Below are some of the common steps in a typical lemon law case, generally speaking. How long will all of these steps take? This varies greatly depending on a number of factors.
You can be covered under state lemon laws if your car catches on fire or some other one-time catastrophe. However, in most cases, the first step will be getting your car serviced at the dealer. The lemon law is – at its heart – consumer warranty protection. This means repairs you do yourself or at your friend’s repair shop don’t count, unfortunately. You must have the problem fixed at the official warranty repair shop. This is crucial.
For the lemon law to apply, you must have the same problem repaired at least three times (sometimes more). Go to an authorized repair shop each time and hold on to all of your receipts and documentation. If applicable, start thinking about recording videos of, for example, the car stalling, or taking pictures of the paint as the bubbling continues to worsen.
If the issue has been worked on three different times and it is still defective or malfunctioning, now it’s time to contact a lemon law attorney.
Most lemon law attorneys will ask you to submit your car’s details via a contact form or email, but you can also call and provide this information. If the lawyer agrees to take your case, you’ll provide the necessary documents to your legal team. The documents your lawyer will need include: the bill of sale, service records, the written warranty. Remember to ask about the fee agreement and always sign a contract to avoid surprises.
The next step generally will be for your attorney to send a letter to the car manufacturer outlining your case and stating your demands (Do you want a refund? Do you want a replacement vehicle?). Sending the letter out may take a few days. Most car companies will take a month or two to reply.
If the manufacturer agrees to the initial demands in your lawyer’s letter, it can still take up to 3 months to actually get the lemon off your hands. However, most likely, the manufacturer will, like an insurance settlement, make a counter-offer or deny the claim altogether.
If the car company denies your claim, your lawyer will then move from trying to settle out of court to fighting in court. Timelines for lemon law lawsuits vary based on many factors.
Finally, you’ll get rid of the lemon! This can mean a full buyback in which you can take your cash elsewhere to get a different car, or you can ask for an exchange from the dealer. Regardless of the terms you negotiated, you are now free of the burden of a defective car.
Get Started Now – California Lemon Law Help The average lemon law buyback in California takes up to six months from start to finish. While this probably isn’t the answer you were hoping for, it is better than buying stuck with a defective, potentially unsafe car with no recourse. If your car is a 2017 or newer and still under the manufacturer’s warranty, get a free lemon law evaluation from an experienced California attorney now.