What Are California’s Lemon Laws?

Attorney Alex Tofer | 888-981-5607 | Free Consult

"One of the common issues that [we see] in our office is people who have defects with their airbags. Defects with their seatbelts. Defects with their braking systems…so, in [cases involving a car accident], not only do you have a claim for a lemon law, but you also have a claim for personal injury."

Curious about California's "lemon" laws for new, breaking down cars?

Alex Tofer is an attorney with Tofer & Associates in Beverly Hills, CA. In this video, he explains that, if your car has any kind of defect, you should contact an attorney as quickly as possible. The manufacturer may not give you a refund without you seeking legal action. You need an attorney who knows the laws well in order to help you build—and win—your case.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-981-5607 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Key Takeaways From Alex Tofer:

Buying a car is a costly and important decision. When a new car owner begins experiencing issues with the vehicle shortly after purchase there are options to help repair or replace the defective vehicle.

A lemon law helps you when the unexpected happens.

A "lemon" is a term for a car that has unexpected defects after a customer purchases it—the windshield wipers or radio may not work properly, the car may not drive smoothly, etc.. These defects typically happen a short time after a customer has purchased a car, leading the customer to not receive the full value of their money. Lemon laws let you pursue auto manufacturers and receive refunds for recently-purchased cars that develop issues.

Seek legal action against the manufacturer, not the dealership.

While it might seem sensible to pursue a case against the dealership or entity who sold you the car, they are not the party that created the car and its defects. A dealership will not know, and is generally not responsible for knowing, the exact defect records of every car on its lot, and it may be completely unaware that cars they sell have defects at all.

Dealerships are not responsible for creating safe, reliable vehicles—but manufacturers are. Creating and releasing a car with a defect signals that the manufacturer has failed to uphold its end of the transaction with a customer—consumers understand that their money pays for what should be a car in good condition.

Record when your car’s defects become noticeable.

As long as the car has been taken in for service to a defect during its warranty period (a year, two years, etc.), you have grounds to build a lemon law case.

Used and leased cars are covered under California lemon laws.

If you buy a used or leased car from a dealership or dealership entity (such as Carmax), or you purchase it through a business as part of a sales contract, your car is eligible for protections under the lemon laws. If you purchase a car from a private seller, there is no sales contract and, therefore, you generally cannot pursue the seller for your car's defects.

Always seek an attorney when dealing with manufacturers and lemon laws.

Sometimes, manufacturers will tell you that there is nothing they can do if they think you are not going to seek legal action in a lemon law case—their desire is to take the easy way out and hope that you give up and do not pursue monetary claims. Tofer says in the video that he ran into this problem when contacting a manufacturer about his car’s issues. However, because he was an attorney who knew about lemon laws and their protections, he was able to receive from them not only the money he paid for the car, but also additional damages and legal fees.

It is always important to seek an attorney when dealing with lemon laws and car manufacturers. You will want someone on your side who knows the details of your case—and who knows exactly how your car’s defect issues should be resolved. Taking on a legal dispute on your own can be difficult, time-consuming, and unsuccessful, but an attorney will know how to make the process smoother and faster—and ensure that any disputes are dealt with fairly and accurately.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-981-5607 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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