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Valencia Lemon Law Blog

Buying a car with a restructured title

A necessary part of buying a used car is checking to see if the vehicle been involved in accidents or damaged in some way. Taking the time do this can mean the difference between buying a reliable used car and one that is not reliable. Doing this may bring to light the fact that the car was involved in a wreck, and it was then salvaged and rebuilt.

Buying a salvaged car with a reconstructed title

Nissan’s recalls and flaws

We believe that auto manufacturers need to be held accountable, but it is still nice to see when they voluntarily recall a vehicle that is dangerous or not functioning properly. While no manufacturer is immune recalls and flaws, Nissan seems to be involved in more than most motor vehicle manufacturers.

Vehicles with the most recalls

Cooling off periods in California

Remorse is a powerful feeling, particularly when a large amount of money is involved. It is fairly common for someone who buys a car to have buyer’s remorse, either because they think they spent too much money or they come to find that there is someone about the vehicle that they have a hard time adjusting to. While California does have a “Cooling-off” period, unfortunately, it probably will not be much help to the buyer.

The buyer gets a 2-day window

Honda recalls 1.1 million vehicles

Honda Motor Company announced last week that it would recall 1.1 million Honda and Acura vehicles here in the United States. Not to be confused with a previous recall involving 12.9 million vehicles because of Takata airbags, the reason for the latest recall is it re-replacing the infamous Takata airbag propellant that could become unstable and explode during impact. This reportedly led to 220 or more deaths worldwide, including 12 here in the United States.

January incident prompts recall

How Implied Warranty of Merchantability works

There are a variety of laws that protect buyers and sellers during a business transaction. Some of these laws cover issues that are spelled out in a contract, while others are more implied. The Implied Warranty of Merchantability (IWM) falls into the latter category. While many have never heard the term used, they have a general understanding of how an IWM works – a common example is a buyer who returns a product they just bought because it does not work. This happens regardless of contract or receipt.

An IWM guarantees that cars or anything else bought was in safe condition, essentially free from defect and performs within the expected parameters unless the seller makes it clear that item purchased is an “as-is” situation. It is also worth noting that the IWM also falls under California’s Lemon Law.

What is “crashworthiness”?

The word “crashworthiness” may sound like a word made up by a clever car salesperson, but it is actually one of the most important term used in vehicle defect cases. The term describes the ability of the vehicle to prevent injury to occupants in the event that there is a crash.

The idea is to measure the design of a vehicle to accommodate the rapid acceleration or deceleration due to a crash, focusing on protecting the occupants’ safety once the event begins and the secondary impact occurs, such as occupants slammed together or against the interior of the vehicle after the initial contact. Common examples of crashworthiness features are seatbelts, crumple zones as well as airbags and side impact protection.

Center for Auto Safety ranks all 50 states' Lemon Laws

The Center for Auto Safety is a consumer advocacy group that has supported Lemon Laws since Connecticut drafted the first one 37 years ago. It has now looked at the laws in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and ranked them. California did pretty well in taking the 12th spot (more on that in a minute), but it was New Jersey that took the top spot, while Illinois was at the bottom.

The rankings were based on the following criteria as well as other metrics:

Hyundai and Kia facing suit

Korean motor vehicle manufacturers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. were sued over defects that reportedly cause their engine to catch fire. According to Bloomberg and others, 350 consumer complaints involving non-collision fires were reported to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The class-action lawsuit was filed December 14 in the Central District of California. The affected models are Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Santa Fe, and 2010-2015 Kia Soul.

This is on top of the Center for Auto Safety's October 2018 call to recall 2.9 million vehicles in five different models. It argued that there was a four-month period where a non-accident fire was reported every day.

The difference between state and federal Lemon Laws

The Lemon Law’s basic premise protects those buying cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles and RVs from being taken advantage of. A manufacturer cannot repeatedly try to fix a vehicle with a recurring issue after a reasonable number of attempts. A seller or a dealer cannot misrepresent the product they sell by such subterfuge as changing the odometer, not noting crash damage repairs or omitting relevant information. Both federal and state Lemon Laws enable buyers to recover damages as well as attorney’s fees and costs.

Where California law usually goes further

California Lemon applies to some commercial vehicles

California Lemon Laws are some of the strictest in the country, and for good reason. Our famously car-centric culture means that we spend a lot of time in our vehicles, whether it is for personal reasons or conducting business. Either way, the roads are usually full with drivers in vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

Which commercial vehicles qualify?