Does the California Lemon Law Cover Boats?

Millions of Americans use boats for recreation, travel, freight transport, sports, and business. Boats are also essential for military activities, rescue operations, and monitoring of water bodies. Even so, boats develop defects just like vehicles.

Unfortunately, some boat defects are persistent and prove difficult to fix. A boat with an engine defect can stall when least expected, endangering passengers. In addition, it forces you to incur unplanned expenses such as towing charges.

Luckily, California lemon laws apply to many consumer goods, including boats. If a manufacturer sells you a defective water vessel, boat, or recreational water with a significant safety hazard, you may be eligible for a refund or replacement.

If you’re looking for a solution for your lemon boat, consult an experienced lemon law attorney on how you can get a refund or replacement.

Types of Boats Covered by California’s Lemon Law

Does the California Lemon Law Cover Boats?

California lemon law covers all watercraft sold by a manufacturer or dealership with a valid warranty. It also includes boats that do not have motors.

The lemon law covers the following watercraft if sold with a warranty:

  • Motor boats
  • Fishing boats
  • Sailboats
  • Catamarans
  • Yachts
  • Speed boats
  • Jet Skis
  • Pontoon Boats

Is Your Boat A Lemon?

A ‘’lemon’’ boat or watercraft has a persistent fault that diminishes its value. It could be a leak, poor floatation, engine defect, or faulty navigation. A boat is considered a lemon if it has chronic defects that have proved difficult to fix after several attempts.

If you have a lemon boat or watercraft, California lemon law requires the manufacturer to refund you its buying price plus repairs or replace the vessel. However, you need to prove to a judge or an arbitrator that your vessel is protected under the lemon law and it is indeed a lemon.

Here’s what you need to prove that your boat is lemon:

  • That the boat or watercraft is under warranty
  • That the watercraft’s fault is not caused by an accident and any form of misuse
  • That you own or you’ve leased the boat— ensure you have the original sales or lease document
  • The defect persists despite a ‘’reasonable number’’ of repair attempts to fix it.
  • The boat or watercraft has a significant fault that affects its use, value, or safety.
  • The boat defect did not arise due to negligence, abuse, or lack of proper maintenance, according to the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • You took the boat to the dealership for repairs, and it spent a considerable amount of time in the repair shop.

You must also prove that you gave the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to fix the defect. California lemon law has defined a ‘’reasonable number’’ of repair attempts that a boat manufacturer, authorized agent, or certified boat facility has before a consumer can initiate a claim.

Considering you have the burden of proof as a consumer, it is crucial to keep all essential records related to the boat and your interaction with the manufacturer.

If you’re not sure whether your boat is a lemon, an experienced attorney can evaluate the merits of your case and determine whether you may be eligible for a refund or replacement.

How to Use Lemon Law to Get Rid of Lemon Boat

Besides constrained use and value, owning a lemon boat is a safety hazard. For instance, if the navigation or communication system breaks down, you can become stranded in open water, endangering your life.

Fortunately, you can file a lemon law claim to get rid of the defective boat.

Here are the steps for filing a lemon law boat claim:

Step 1: Take Your Boat to the Dealership for Repairs

You must take your boat to an authorized dealership or its agent for repairs to protect your rights under California lemon law. In addition, you should give the manufacturer a ‘’reasonable number’’ of repair attempts to fix the boat or watercraft.

Step 2: Gather Evidence

Like all legal matters, the success of a lemon law claim improves with the availability of supporting evidence.

Compile the following records to back your claim:

  • Repair order: A repair order is a printout that you receive after dropping the boat for repairs. Ensure it has crucial details like a description of the defect and mileage at the time you took for repairs.
  • Repair Invoice: It is similar to a repair invoice but describes all the repair attempts made by the dealership.
  • Warranty Document: You need the manufacturer’s warranty document found in the owner’s manual as proof of coverage and validity of the protection.
  • Original Purchase or Lease Documents: Original purchase and lease documents contain crucial details like buying price, discount, after-market additions, and trade-in information.

Step 3: Hire a Lemon Law Attorney

After gathering the necessary documentation, it may be time to engage a lemon law attorney. You’ll need the attorney’s help to file a successful lemon law claim. The attorney will also advise you on how to improve your case and create a winning strategy.

More importantly, most lemon law attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they get paid after winning the case. California lemon law also requires manufacturers to pay for the legal fee once the consumer wins the case.

Step 4: Negotiate the Settlement

The manufacturer will table a proposal if they agree with your claim. The attorney can negotiate for a higher settlement amount or better terms. Lastly, an attorney can litigate the matter in court if the manufacturer refuses to settle or offers an insufficient amount.

Speak to Us Today For a Fair Compensation

If you own a boat with a persistent defect, you can’t rely on it to run your business. If it has a fuel system defect, it may fail to ignite when you have an urgent delivery to make, leading to a loss of revenue and customer trust.

With that in mind, consider working with an experienced lemon law attorney who’ll aggressively fight for your rights.

Lemonaw123 lead attorney Valerie G. Campbell has handled over 500 lemon cases with a 99% success rate, which gives us a competitive edge in handling your case.

Contact us online or call us at 657.529.5239 for a free case review.

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell, known as The Lemon Law Lady, has dedicated her entire legal career to the specialized field of Lemon Law, a journey that began immediately after her
graduation from UCLA School of Law.

With a 99% success rate and a policy of no fees unless you win, her practice stands as a testament to her expertise in California’s Lemon Law, her commitment to her clients, and her unwavering dedication to justice and consumer rights.

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