California lemon law, warranties and recalls offer some help

Dealing with a defect or malfunction in a vehicle is one of the most frustrating and expensive issues of adult life. Only a small percentage of car owners understand how their vehicles work, and even fewer have the skills to make repairs. Additionally, it is not always easy to understand the laws that govern and protect consumers when their vehicles fail to operate as they should. Many may turn to a legal professional to understand the rights included in their warranties as well as the protections offered by California lemon laws.

One woman had reasonable concerns about the warning light that alerted her to an unknown issue with the passenger airbag in her Nissan Infiniti. A dealer mechanic confirmed the woman's fear that the airbag was defective and may not deploy properly to protect her passenger in an accident. Unfortunately, the model of car she owns does not fall within the dates for the massive airbag recall of over 200,000 vehicles the Nissan company issued recently.

Because her vehicle does not fall within the production dates included in the recall, the mechanic told her she would have to pay the more than $4,000 repair bill for the airbag. Manufacturers limit the number of years for their recalls because of the tremendous expense of repairing potentially hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Meanwhile, those outside the limits whose vehicles have the same problem may be left looking for alternatives.

When auto defects create a deadly situation, car owners may have many questions about their options for seeking redress. Recalls are not all-inclusive. Warranties expire, and the California lemon law has its limitations. By consulting with an attorney, the owner of a defective vehicle can obtain an honest appraisal of the situation and advice about the best options for moving forward.