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What happens to a lemon law claim after a recall?

We see recalls frequently on the news. Large car companies such as Ford or Honda have recalled certain vehicles due to significant manufacture errors or defects. Usually, they send out a recall notice, and you bring in your car for repair.

However, what if you were pursuing compensation for a defect in your new car through a lemon law claim when it was recalled? What happens then?

The effect of recalls on lemon laws

California's main lemon law is the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, established in 1970. If your new car has a significant defect that the manufacturers have not repaired, this law requires them to either:

  • Repurchase your vehicle
  • Replace the vehicle

If the manufacturer repurchases the vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Car payments
  • Additional fees
  • Repair charges

The purpose of lemon law is to protect you in the event you purchase a defective vehicle and hold manufacturers accountable for a defect. If they recognize that defect and recall the vehicle to fix it, then lemon law no longer applies. 

Then what are your options? 

Recalls may cause lemon law claims to fall through. However, just because your car was recalled does not mean you should give up on your claim.

Once you notice troubles with your new car, it is a good idea to keep a record of what occurs and how often. This record may help you if your vehicle continues to act up. It may also indicate that the manufacturer did not repair the defect in the recall.

If this happens, you may still have a claim. Your record may also help your claim if it regards a separate issue than the recall indicated, or if you file your claim before the recall. 

It is important to monitor your vehicle and the repairs in a recall just in case you can still file a claim for compensation. 

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