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What if a vehicle manufacturer denies a lemon law claim?

California drivers expect their vehicles to be reliable and safe. They depend on their cars to get them to work and back home safely. When a vehicle turns out to be defective, it can be an extremely frustrating issue that impacts every aspect of a consumer's life.

Under state law, an auto manufacturer must compensate the consumer if they file a valid lemon law claim. This compensation can be in the form of a full refund, including the down payment and repair fees. It can also include a replacement of the defective vehicle. 

This seems like a fair trade for consumers who had to deal with the frustrations of a lemon and the constant repairs. However, what if the manufacturer denies their claim?

Potential reasons for denial

Filing a lemon law claim can be a complex process. Because of the details this process involves, a manufacturer could possibly deny a claim based on:

  • Lack of evidence, including service reports or complaints
  • Insufficient automobile maintenance by the consumer
  • A missed deadline, or filing after the warranty expires
  • Failure to follow the correct process for filing a claim

Unfortunately, some manufacturers might have some more devious reasons for their denial. They might not want to refund consumers, or they might want to preserve their reputation against claims that their product is a lemon.

Auto manufacturers know that the lemon law claims process is complicated for consumers. So, they might also deny a claim to make it even more challenging with the hope that consumers might simply give up. 

What can consumers do after a denial?

Consumers often still have legal options after a manufacturer has denied their claim. Especially if the denial was the result of unethical reasons or negligent investigations of a claim. 

As long as the claim is valid, consumers have the option to appeal a denied claim to obtain the compensation they deserve. However, it is particularly important for consumers to ensure they follow the proper procedures to protect their rights against unfair manufacturers. 

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