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Getting to Know the California Lemon Law

23rd March 2011
By Norman Taylor in Lemon Law
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Before the government enacted lemon laws covering automobiles, the average buyer had little to no recourse if they were to buy a car that was later found to have repeated problems due to defects in the manufacturing process. At this point in time the only thing the buyer could do was to take their car into a repair shop and pay to have the problem fixed.

In some cases this could prove to be a costly inconvenience, while in others it proved to be deadly as needed repairs were not made. This lack of concern on behalf of the various car manufacturers led to a significant depreciation in the value of many cars. This led to the development of the first of California's lemon laws in 1970, known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the beginning of Californians being the best protected consumers in the country.

The basis of this law stated that if a car is sold by the dealer and suffered from a problem that could not be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts by the dealer or the manufacturer; the manufacturer must either provide a refund or replacement. The only problem with this initial law is that no one established a numerical value for the term "reasonable number of attempts and this led to major problems that ended up in court.

This law was expanded in 1983 to cover leased and used cars that were still under the original manufacturer's warranty and guidelines were established covering what was to be considered a reasonable number of attempts to repair a particular problem. This figure was to be based on the nature of the problem rather than a set number. In 1991 the California legislature passed a law requiring manufacturers to brand the titles of any cars reacquired under the lemon law and submit them to the DMV.

If any lemon is to be sold all repairs must be made and the buyer informed of the fact that the car has been branded as a lemon. In 2000 another amendment covering defects that could cause serious injury or death, reduced the number of repair attempts from four to two as a way to further clarify the phrase "reasonable attempts".

Today, California has the toughest consumer protection and lemon laws in the country. Consumers have the right to buy vehicles and goods that are going to provide the level of service that you would expect. When you do not get this, there is legal recourse designed to help ensure that the problem is rectified or you may be entitled to a refund or replacement.

The question is, "What do you do if you think you have purchased a lemon?" You need to know if you are entitled to a refund or replacement. There is only one way you are going to get answers to these questions and any more that you might have and that is to seek legal counsel.

While the California Lemon Law is undoubtedly the best in the country, it can also be among the most confusing. If you try to decipher it for yourself, you are likely to end up not getting what you are entitled to under the laws. Trying to take your fight against the big corporate giants such as Ford, GM or Toyota by yourself is likely to unsuccessfully, no matter how valid your case may or may not be.

If you want the best chance to achieve a successful outcome in your case, you are going to need the services of an attorney that specializes in cases involving the California Lemon Law. An attorney with experience practicing this particular area of law and is crucial. Norman Taylor has been handling Lemon Law cases for 24 years and to date has recovered over $100,000,000 in refunds for his clients. If you feel you have been stuck with a lemon, make an appointment with his offices today.
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