Honda Lemon Law Attorney

How Does the Honda Lemon Buyback Law Work?

In the State of California, consumers are protected from car purchases that end up being lemons, and this applies to all cars, including Hondas. In the process, car manufacturers are afforded what is termed a reasonable number of attempts to remedy the problem before they’re required to buy the vehicle back or to provide the owner with a substantially similar replacement – based on the owner’s preference. 

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Does the Lemon Law Apply?

In California, there is what is called a presumption regarding what a reasonable number of repair attempts is in relation to the state’s lemon law. When any of the following guidelines are met, the presumption prevails:


    • The manufacturer or dealer has attempted to fix the same issue four or more times, but it remains an issue.
    • The manufacturer or dealer has unsuccessfully attempted to fix the Honda’s defect at least twice, and driving the car could lead to serious injuries or death.
    • The Honda has spent more than 30 days total in the shop for repairs based on any defect that’s covered by warranty. 
  • If one of these applies to your Honda, the lemon law’s benefits may apply.

    Points to Keep in Mind Regarding Your Honda and the Lemon Law

    In order for state lemon laws to apply, your vehicle must be under warranty – or must have been under warranty when it went in for its first related repair. In other words, your Honda doesn’t have to be nearly new or to have very few miles on it for California’s lemon laws to benefit you.

The Most Problematic Honda Models

Hondas are considered synonymous with reliability and dependability, but just like any other make of vehicle, they can also have issues. 

The Honda Accord

2008-2010, 2013, and 2014 Accords get demerits for high oil consumption, excessive brake wear, and extreme seat discomfort.

Honda Accords tend to receive the most complaints, but they are also a number one seller. The kinds of serious complaints that are most common include:


  • Premature brake rotor wear that can lead to brake failure
  • Doors that lock and unlock of their own accord
  • Transmission slippage that can lead to accidents on the road
  • Failure of the ignition switch or starter that can prevent the vehicle from starting 


The most common complaints related to minor defects include:

  • Excessive fuel and oil consumption that raises the cost of operating the vehicle
  • Electrical concerns that can include underpowered batteries, fading dash lighting, and backlighting failures on the stereo
  • Uncomfortable seating that can lead to serious neck and back pain and was most pronounced in 2017 models
  • Issues related to interior trim and paint

The Honda Civic

The 2006-2011 and 2016 Civics have issues with cracking engine blocks, emissions system failures, defective airbags, AC compressor failures, and electronic parking brake failures.

The Honda Civic tends to receive complaints for the following serious concerns:


  • A cracked engine block that can lead to a coolant leak and premature failure of the engine
  • Transmission problems that can create unsafe driving conditions
  • Worn brake rotors that can lead to brake failure


Those complaints focused on minor repairs commonly required by the Civic include:

  • An emission system problem signal that is in error
  • An electric parking brake problem signal that is in error
  • AC compressor leaks, Bluetooth connectivity problems, peeling and cracking body paint, and cracked sun visors that are less than pleasing to Civic owners who’re affected by them

The Honda Pilot

Pilot owners are most likely to complain about serious issues like the following:

  • A transmission fluid leak that can cause a transmission system failure
  • Excessive consumption of oil
  • Extensive premature brake rotor failure that can lead to dangerous driving situations
  • Clogged fuel injectors that can cause the engine to misfire and, over time, can lead to serious engine damage or failure
  • A differential fluid breakdown that can damage the engine’s gears
  • Failures on the part of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve and idle air control (IAC) that can lead to sluggish acceleration, a decrease in overall power, and a decrease in gas mileage
  • Defective low beams that are generally caused by the overheating of electrical wire harnesses, and that increase the risk of accidents related to low visibility 

The Honda Fit

2010, 2015, and 2016 Fits experience issues with their ignition coils and starters. Interiors and exteriors, and power steering systems – along with having uncomfortable seats and facing potential premature engine failure. 

The complaints that Fit owners make most often include:

  • Premature engine failure that can lead to very costly repairs
  • Failure of the power steering system, which can lead to serious accidents
  • Uncomfortable seats and headrests
  • Faulty ignition coils or a faulty starter that can limit the vehicle’s ability to even start

There are specific years that left Fits with cracked front door armrests and issues related to both body paint and clear coating cracking, peeling, or otherwise showing signs of premature wear.

The Honda CR-V

The 2017 and 2018 CR-Vs have experienced issues with gas fumes in the cabins of the vehicles and with gas leaching into the SUV’s oil systems. The problems are exacerbated in colder climates and on shorter trips. 

The Element is beloved by owners, and although it hasn’t been in production for years, many people remain serious fans. This said, however, the Element is not immune to problems, including:

  • Warped or broken brake rotors that can lead to brake failure on the road
  • Oil pressure sensors that malfunction and can lead to engine oil leaks
  • SRS warning signals that are displayed in error as a result of faulty seat belt wiring harnesses
  • A differential fluid breakdown that can cause oil leaks
  • Issues related to body paint and clearcoat
  • Failures related to the mechanical keys
  • Electrical and mechanical issues that affect the tailgate and door locks

The Element takes the prize for the weirdest defect among all the Hondas, and that is a gauge needle that literally works itself loose and falls off – to the tune of about a $1,400 repair.

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Common Manufacturer Defects

The most significant manufacturer defects that apply to Hondas break down into basic categories. 

Sudden Airbag Deployment

Honda has had significant manufacturing problems related to sudden airbag deployment, which led to a massive recall in 2019 that exclusively affected the CR-V. Honda, in its recall notice, reported that the culprit is metal burrs in the steering wheel’s interior surface. They claim that the burrs damage the wire harnesses that attach to the steering wheels. This leads to short-circuiting that deploys the airbags when they shouldn’t be deployed.  

Airbag Failure

Honda has also experienced manufacturing problems related to airbags that fail to deploy upon impact, greatly increasing the risk that vehicle occupants will be injured in accidents. While the problem surfaced as long ago as 2009, the recall was not officially announced by Honda until 2019. Models from 2009 to 2015 were affected, and a wide range of models were included, such as the CR-V, Fit, Pilot, Accord, and Civic. The issue was caused by an inflator in the front passenger-side airbag being improperly installed. This defect leaves the front passenger vulnerable to serious injuries due to an inadequately inflated airbag. 

Engine Stall

A Honda manufacturing defect related to timing belts in about 94,000 Hondas generated another recall in 2019. The vehicles affected are the 2018 and 2019 Pilot, Ridgeline, and Odyssey. The problem is the timing belt’s premature deterioration, which was caused by a design flaw that can lead to the engine stalling unexpectedly – representing a significant safety concern.

Honda Recalls

Honda is no stranger to recalls, and some of the most prominent include:

Brake Booster Recall

About 124,000 Civics and Ridgeline vehicles from 2020-2021, along with 2021-2022 Pilots, were recalled for potential improper assembly during the manufacture of tie rod fasteners that connect the brake master cylinder and the brake booster. This can lead to the brake master cylinder separating from the booster assembly, which can cause decreased brake function and increase the risk that a crash will occur. 

Media-Oriented Systems Transport Coaxial Cable Connector Recall 

Honda recalled more than 1.1 million vehicles that, include the 2018-2023 Odyssey, the 2019-2022 Pilot, and the 2019-2023 Passport, based on faulty media-oriented systems transport (MOST) coaxial cable connectors that can lead to the rearview camera display potentially failing to display anything. 

Side-View Mirror Recall

Honda recalled about 330,000 2020-2021 Pilots and Ridgelines and 2020-2022 Passports and Odysseys based on the heating pads behind both side-view mirrors potentially not being bonded properly, which can lead to mirror detachment. 

Seat Belt Recall

Honda recalled about 448,000 2017-2020 CR-Vs, 2018-2019 Accords and Accord Hybrids, and 2018-2020 Odysseys in relation to a manufacturing problem with the vehicles’ front seat belts that could potentially cause the buckle channels on the belts to interfere with the release buttons. 

Ridgeline Recall

Honda recalled about 117,000 2017-2019 Ridgelines for an issue involving opening and closing the tailgate, which could potentially break the wiring harness of the rearview camera and cause it to fail. 

Hood Latch Recall

Honda recalled more than 724,500 2019 Passports, 2016-2019 Pilots, and 2017-2020 Ridgelines based on a hood latch striker that could become damaged and separate from the hood, leading to the hood opening on the road. 

Seat Belt Recall

Honda recalled about 4,300 2021 Accords, Accord Hybrids, CR-Vs, and Ridgelines based on their second-row center seat-belt assemblies having the potential to deactivate improperly, which can lead to an inadequate child restraint system. This leaves the vehicles noncompliant with federal occupant crash protection requirements. 

Fuel Pump Recall

Honda recalled more than 628,000 2019-2020 Accords, Civic Hatchbacks, Accord Hybrids, Odysseys, Passports, Pilots, and Ridgelines – along with 2018-2019 CR-Vs – due to the potential failure of low-pressure fuel pumps inside the fuel tank. This kind of failure can lead to the engine stalling while on the road, which makes accidents more likely. 

What Does “Reasonable Number” of Repair Attempts Mean?

The law does not specify what a reasonable number of repair attempts translates to, which is an excellent reason to have a seasoned California lemon law attorney in your corner. In the end, every lemon law case must be evaluated in relation to the unique situation at hand. In some circumstances in which the defect is a serious safety concern, two unsuccessful repair attempts may be deemed a reasonable number for the lemon law to apply, but in other situations, four visits may be required before the law kicks in. 

If Your Vehicle Isn’t Repaired within a Reasonable Number of Attempts 

If the dealer is unable to repair your vehicle with a reasonable number of attempts, you have the right to either a replacement that is substantially the same or to a refund of your purchase price – minus the value of the mileage you put on the car prior to the first related repair visit. This mileage amount is calculated according to a methodology implemented by the state. The law will balance the dealer’s efforts to rectify the problem with the degree to which your rights are affected as a consumer to determine where the line will be drawn between a reasonable number of attempts and too few to reach this qualifier. 

The Lemon Law May Apply Even if Your Warranty Has Expired

Generally, the lemon law only applies to vehicles that are under warranty, but there is an exception to this rule. If you made the first repair visit related to the defect in question prior to your warranty’s expiration date, you may be able to avail yourself of the protections afforded by California’s lemon law. In other words, your car needn’t be brand new or have very few miles on it for lemon law protections to apply.

How Do I Know if the Dealer Had a Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts?

The surest way to determine if you’re in a situation to file a lemon law claim – after allowing the dealer a reasonable number of attempts to repair your Honda – is by consulting with a trusted California lemon law attorney. Your attorney will take on all the following primary tasks to help ensure that your case is solid:

  • Carefully gathering and compiling the necessary information and evidence in support of your claim
  • Using this information to demonstrate that the Honda dealer had ample opportunities to repair your vehicle but failed to do so
  • Helping you to make thoughtful decisions throughout the claims process and to avoid the common pitfalls that can derail a claim

If you aren’t sure whether your dealer was allowed a reasonable number of attempts to correct the problems you have with your Honda, a savvy lemon law attorney will assess your unique situation and provide you with all the information you need. 

Lemon Law Protections

You plunked down a considerable amount of money to buy a vehicle that you can rely on, and if the Honda ends up being a lemon, it can leave you facing difficulties related to getting to work, transporting your children where they need to be, and simply living your life, and the law recognizes this fact. If your vehicle is still under warranty and you have done your level best to have it repaired to your satisfaction, it may be time to file a lemon law claim. 

While not every manufacturer-related inconvenience qualifies under lemon law protections, those that reduce the safety of your vehicle, reduce the resale value of your vehicle, or reduce your ability to use your vehicle in the manner it’s intended to be used. If one of the following applies to your vehicle, it’s time to consult with a formidable lemon law attorney:

  • Your vehicle spent more than 30 total days out of commission at the dealers during the first 18 months of your ownership – or during the first 18,000 miles.
  • Your vehicle has a serious safety defect that the dealer was unable to repair after at least two attempts. 
  • Your vehicle had a different kind of defect that the dealer was unable to repair after four or more attempts.

Your lawyer can advise you of the proper legal action to recover from your losses.

Determining if your Vehicle is a Lemon

Here how you know
  • Is your vehicle 2017
    or Newer?
  • Have you had multiple
    repair attempts?
  • Did the problem start
    in the first 60,000 miles?

If you answered yes
we can help!

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