What You Should Know About Jeep Lemon Law Cases
Known for making sturdy vehicles for adventure and off-roading, Jeep is one of the most popular automobile brands nationwide. First produced for military use during World War II, Jeep has become recognized for its durable utility vehicles and luxury SUVs with custom features. However, not every Jeep that is manufactured is dependable, without defects, or meets the necessary safety standards. Unfortunately, some consumers have invested in new or pre-owned Jeeps only to discover that they may have a Jeep lemon law case.
Are Jeeps Lemons?
If you’ve been experiencing recurring issues with your Jeep, you may have purchased a lemon. Under California Lemon Law, consumers are protected from the inconvenience associated with maintaining a defective vehicle that cannot be repaired — and the significant expenses they could potentially incur. If your Jeep is a lemon, you may be eligible to receive a refund or replacement vehicle by law.
In order to demonstrate that your Jeep rises to the level of a lemon in California, the defect in the vehicle must substantially impair its value or safety. Additionally, the Jeep must have been purchased within the state and still be under the original manufacturer’s warranty. If the nonconformity arose within 18 months of the Jeep’s delivery — or first 18,000 miles driven — the vehicle will be presumed to be a lemon, making it easier for consumers to establish their Jeep lemon law cases.
Importantly, a reasonable number of repair attempts must first be made by the authorized dealer or manufacturer to demonstrate that your Jeep is a lemon. Usually, four unsuccessful repair attempts are enough to qualify your Jeep as a lemon. In cases where the defect presents a safety issue that could cause injury or fatality, only two repair attempts must be made before invoking the lemon law. A Jeep may also meet the lemon law criteria if it was in the repair shop for a total of 30 days or more.
Common Defects Found in Jeeps
Consumers have complained about a number of issues in various models of new or used Jeeps over the last several years. Not only have these problems caused consumers the hassle of having to bring their vehicle to the shop for repairs, but many drivers and passengers have suffered severe injuries due to certain Jeep defects.
Common problems affecting Jeeps have been reported to include:
- Faulty airbags
- Software issues
- Ignition switch problems
- Engine stalling or failure
- Steering defects
- Unintended acceleration
- Alternator issues
- Brake problems
- Transmission issues
- Rough shifting
- Driveshaft defects
Jeep drivers have also reported wobbling, shaking, vibrating, exhaust leaks, electronic malfunctions, issues with window regulators, fuel tank overflow, and many other defects. If you notice that your Jeep has any issues that may make it dangerous to drive, it’s critical to bring it to the authorized dealership immediately for repairs. In the event that the nonconformity cannot be repaired, you may be entitled to a remedy under the lemon law.
Recently, Chrysler issued a recall of 42,887 2018-2021 Jeep Wranglers and 2020-2021 Jeep Gladiators with manual transmissions, over fire risks stemming from a clutch pressure plate defect. Significantly, this isn’t the only recall Jeep has faced — millions of Jeeps have been subject to countless recalls over the last decade.
Jeep models subject to recalls have included the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Jeep Compass, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Renegade, and Jeep Wrangler. The defects prompting these recalls have ranged from performance or safety issues to serious malfunctions that can lead to the risk of injury to drivers, passengers, and others on the road.
Jeeps have also been recalled for a wide range of other issues such as concerns over remote hacking, seatbelt malfunctions, Jeep ignition switch problems, faulty floor mats, electronic gear issues, cruise control defects, water leaks, and mechanical failures. Notably, certain model years of the Jeep Wrangler were also subject to the massive Takata airbag recall.
If you received a Jeep recall notice, it’s important to bring your vehicle to the authorized dealership for free repairs. You can also confirm whether your Jeep is affected by an active recall by entering its VIN on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. While a recall doesn’t necessarily mean a car is a lemon, your Jeep might satisfy the lemon law criteria if the problem is not repairable and was discovered while your vehicle is still under warranty. In these cases, you may be able to have your vehicle replaced or obtain a refund.
Should I Purchase a Lemon Law Buyback Jeep?
If you’ve been in the market for a Jeep, you might be considering purchasing a lemon law buyback. Although these vehicles may cost much less than a new Jeep, in many instances, they can cause more frustration than they’re worth. However, in some cases, buying a Jeep that may have been labeled a lemon for a minor defect can result in substantial savings if the problem was fully repaired.
It’s essential to make sure you do your diligence before buying a car with a lemon history, or a vehicle that is on the Jeep buyback list as part of a buyback program. Since a lemon law buyback is a car that the manufacturer repurchased due to a defect, you should look into what the problem was — and what repairs were made to correct it.
In California, an auto dealership is required to disclose a vehicle’s lemon status and its history by law. If you find out that Jeep bought back the specific model you’re interested in buying because it had a serious safety issue, it may be best to avoid investing in that particular vehicle.
Contact a Southern California Attorney For Your Jeep Lemon Law Case
If your Jeep has a defect that makes it rise to the level of a lemon, you have legal rights under California’s lemon law. The attorneys at the Ledbetter Law Firm are experienced in handling Jeep lemon law cases and are committed to helping you obtain the refund or replacement vehicle you deserve. Critically, you shouldn’t delay seeking the advice of a skilled lemon law attorney — you only have four years to bring your lemon law claim, starting from the date you discovered the nonconformity.
The California Lemon Law lawyers at the Ledbetter Law Firm help people in Southern California who have experienced Lemon Law issues with their vehicles obtain a vehicle replacement or the refund that they deserve. With offices conveniently located in San Diego and Torrance, California, telephone and video conferencing options are also available. Call (619) 374-0252 to schedule a consultation with a California Lemon Law used car attorney today.