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The Ledbetter Law Firm, APC

Careful documentation can help to prove your car is a lemon

Buying a new car is a significant purchase. You likely spent hours researching and weighing the pros and cons of each vehicle, before ultimately deciding on the car for you.

After all the time and resources that went into purchasing your vehicle, it can be disheartening to take your car in for seemingly never-ending issues. Constant maintenance can be both inconvenient and expensive, leading you to grow impatient with both your vehicle and the dealership or repair shop. However, throughout this frustrating period, taking steps to request and preserve meticulous documentation of your repair efforts can be critical.

Proving your car is a lemon

When your new vehicle spends more time in the repair shop than out on the roads, you may have purchased a lemon. California Lemon Law provides car owners with vehicles that are still under the manufacturer’s new car warranty with protections after their vehicle has undergone a reasonable number of repair attempts to be proven defective. In such cases and according to your preference, your car manufacturer must then either replace or repurchase your vehicle.

Careful documentation can support your claim

In proving that you have exhausted your options to repair the vehicle, showing thorough documentation of everything from your written estimates to work orders and more throughout the warranty period can assist. Consider preserving the following records:

  • Your own notes. Take detailed, dated notes of everything: persistent issues, odometer readings, conversations or interactions at dealerships and more.
  • Your written complaints. While it may be more convenient to call in to your repair shop, put your complaint in writing to maintain a detailed record of it.
  • Written estimates. California requires repair shops to provide you with a written estimate before beginning work. Retain copies of all estimates.
  • Repair orders. Without a repair order created by the shop, there is no official record of work done to your car. Request a repair order for each visit.
  • Invoices. Keep each invoice you receive to maintain both the written estimate and the final total of your visits to document the financial toll of the repairs.

Attempting to fix a car that won’t improve is comparable to fighting an uphill battle. Keep calm, maintain detailed records and consider getting legal assistance to get the relief you deserve.

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