Consumer Protection For Defective Products

What is a "lemon"? Generally, it means a product that is defective and has not been repaired despite multiple attempts under warranty.

You have the right to demand a refund or replacement for a car, truck, boat, RV, motorcycle, or other consumer product if:

  • It came with a written warranty from the manufacturer or dealer;
  • There have been a reasonable number of attempts to repair it under warranty; and
  • Despite the repair attempts, it still has a substantial defect.

There is no specific number of repair attempts which is required; it varies from case to case. If you might have a lemon, contact our office to discuss your situation with an attorney.

Making a Lemon Law Claim

We will review your documentation, including the warranty, purchase or lease agreement, and repair records, and gather any additional information necessary to evaluate your case.

Next, we send a demand letter to the warrantor setting forth the problems with your vehicle or other product and asking for a refund or replacement, according to your preference.

If the warrantor does not satisfy the demand to your satisfaction, we would proceed with the filing of a lawsuit. Attorney fees and costs, and any other expenses of litigation, must be paid by the warrantor when you prevail. This is why we can take your case with no retainer payment or other out-of-pocket cost.

When a vehicle or other product is repurchased as a lemon, you receive a refund of all amounts paid, plus related out-of-pocket expenses. The refund may be reduced according to how much the product was used before the first discovery of the defect — in the case of a vehicle; this is based on the mileage at the time of the first repair.

Leases and Financing

Leased goods are eligible for the same lemon law protection as purchases.

When a purchase is financed, if you are entitled to refund under the lemon law, then any remaining balance on the loan cannot be collected. Usually, when the consumer returns a product for refund, the warrantor will separately pay off the remaining balance on the loan.

All costs of financing, including interest, must be paid back to the consumer as part of the refund.

If you buy a used vehicle and the dealership goes out of business, you may still be able to bring a case against the lender for refund of any payments made.

Federal Lemon Law

There is also a federal lemon law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Unlike California's lemon law, it applies to goods purchased anywhere in the United States, not just in California. It also applies to any product generally bought for personal use, even if it is being used by a business.

Based on the circumstances of your case, we can determine which laws and warranties apply and what compensation you may be entitled to receive.

Find Out More

Contact us to speak with an attorney about your situation and your rights under the law. There is no charge for consultation and case review.