When buying a new vehicle, you may feel overwhelmed with excitement at the prospect of owning your own car. Most cars come with warranties, ensuring that the manufacturer will fix any problems that may arise with your new vehicle. Yet, since you purchased a new car, you might expect that safety issues, mechanical breakdowns and design flaws would be limited.
What happens if a problem continues to occur, even after the manufacturer repaired the problem under the warranty or you keep having issues related to the design or performance of your car?
Understanding the law
The federal lemon law protects those who purchase new vehicles, where the car, truck or motorcycle fails to meet performance and quality expectations and standards. Under the California Lemon Law, the manufacturer must help to repair or replace the defective part of the car after the owner has made several attempts to fix it.
California also has the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which extends this requirement to consumer transactions in addition to vehicles purchased at retail car lots. If the car does in fact meet the requirements of the law, you may receive a replacement vehicle, an additional attempt to repair, a refund, attorneys fees, extended service contract and/or reimbursement for expenses, such as rental cars or towing.
A look at the defects
When a car’s system does not perform as it is intended, it is referred to as a defect. Yet, not all defects are covered under the lemon law. Furthermore, issues with the car are looked at on a case by case basis.
- Headlight, taillight, interior lights and/or turn signal issues
- Mirror and windshield wiper malfunctions
- Steering column problems
- Repeated check engine light warnings and other alert malfunctions
- Stalling and/or failing to start
- Brake defects
Other problems include non-working air conditioning systems, bubbling paint and batteries that continually drained.
These defects are a serious safety hazard and can lead to a car accident, injuries and death. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.