After acquiring your dream car, you look forward to enjoyable days ahead. Unknown to you, it is a lemon case, a regrettable purchase and a source of frustration.
Generally, a lemon car comes with persistent and substantial defects that affect the vehicle’s safety, value, and use. Vehicle owners who accidentally buy lemon cars endure frequent breakdowns, expensive spare parts, stalling, and safety hazards.
Fortunately, California lemon laws were enacted to provide oversight and regulation on dealers and manufacturers who sell lemon cars to unsuspecting consumers.
If you’re looking for a solution to a lemon car problem, consider speaking to a knowledgeable California lemon car attorney.
Here’s what you need to know.
By definition, a lemon car has significant defects affecting the vehicle’s value, use, and safety. A defect that makes a driver or passenger fear for their life qualifies as a safety risk.
That said, a defective vehicle increases the risk of accidents on the road. It also makes it harder to navigate road hazards safely. It’s worth noting that the vehicle’s condition is likely to worsen without the proper diagnosis and repair.
With that in mind, consider seeking help from a dealership for vehicle defects covered by the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty. If you attempt to solve the defect yourself or take it to an unauthorized repair shop, you risk violating the safeguard available under lemon laws.
Here are a few severe defects that pose safety risks to car owners.
A lemon car with brake failure poses a safety risk to drivers, passengers, and other road users. It’s impossible to control a vehicle without brakes making it likely to crash into another vehicle, building, or object.
According to a National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, 2% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by brake failure. Subsequently, victims suffer severe injuries, including broken bones, burns, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
The possible causes of brake failure include:
An airbag is a supplemental protection that works hand-in-hand with seatbelts. Generally, cars have frontal and side-impact airbags designed to deploy in severe and moderate crash incidents.
However, because airbags deploy rapidly, it can result in severe or fatal injuries if the driver or passenger is too close.
Although an airbag is designed to protect vehicle occupants, a defective airbag is a safety risk to vehicle owners. Remember, a defective airbag has design or manufacturer defects that reduce its safety function.
For instance, the Takata defective airbags installed in tens of millions of U.S. vehicles have been subjected to a recall. The recall was issued following multiple complaints from consumers that the airbags would rapidly explode, resulting in severe injury or death.
A defective steering wheel can cause a vehicle to lose partial or complete control, leading to fatal accidents. If you’re driving and turn the steering wheel slightly, but your car cruises straight ahead without changing direction, it might have an unresponsive steering wheel.
A vehicle with an unresponsive steering wheel feels very light. It is as if the steering wheel is disconnected from the car and barely changes direction. In addition to the safety risk, it’s annoying and dangerous because you cannot make proper trajectory changes as you want.
Federal agencies and non-profit firms have multiple campaigns reminding people of the need to wear safety belts. Despite the efforts, a defective seat belt doesn’t offer the much-publicized protection and can cause severe injuries or fatalities.
An accident results in two types of collisions. The first one occurs when the car strikes another vehicle or object. The second type of collision happens when a vehicle occupant collides with the dashboard or another passenger— a seat belt can prevent the second type of collision.
The safety belt holds the body close to the seat to prevent the body from moving forward during the collision. A seat belt has a three-point safety system that includes a lap, belt, and shoulder strap. It also has a retractor system, an additional safety feature that locks safety-belt movement.
If any of the above features becomes defective, it can harm vehicle occupants.
A seat belt malfunction can either cause or enhance the severity of an injury. In addition, the vehicle’s speed and type of seat belt malfunction determine the kind of injury. Victims of seat belt malfunction suffer a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts to spinal cord injuries.
Common injuries associated with defective seat belts include head trauma, fractured bones, traumatic brain injuries, paraplegia, and death.
If the manufacturer or dealer can’t fix a substantial defect in your vehicle after a reasonable repair attempt, they must either replace it or refund its purchase price.
More importantly, the lemon law presumption applies the following guidelines on the reasonable number of repair attempts.
Consumers who accidentally buy lemon cars endure a costly and frustrating experience. Simply put, it’s a source of inconvenience, loss of money, and time.
Here’s how a lemon car can prove frustrating.
A car is supposed to save you the time you’d have spent waiting for the metro or an uber. The inefficiencies associated with lemon cars cause a waste of time. A lemon car can take a great deal of your time in two ways; lengthy trips to a mechanic and time spent seeking a refund or replacement.
Here’s the breakdown:
A lemon car will force you to spend extra time at a repair shop due to a shortage of repair parts, hard-to-diagnose problems, and a large queue of vehicles that needs servicing.
An extended stay with the mechanic could translate to further lost time as the owner makes alternative arrangements like car rental or public transportation.
Pursuing a refund or replacement is a time-consuming process that involves several steps. First, you must notify the manufacturer, file a claim, wait for the decision, negotiate the settlement, and, if unsatisfied, take legal action.
The above process, which culminates in a refund or replacement, may take up to six months, a frustrating experience for vehicle owners.
A lemon car can bring financial loss to a car owner in the following ways.
In addition to reduced value and safety, a lemon car brings inconvenience. For instance, if your vehicle has persistent engine defects, it can break down at any point. The frequent stalling leaves you stranded on the road, contribute to missed appointments, or makes you incur unexpected expenses.
You’ll also need to make alternative commuting or travel arrangements. If you opt for public transport, you’ll have to cope with crowded spaces, delays, reduced privacy, and reliability. Alternative travel plans could also disrupt your plans through missed flights, arriving late, or canceling appointments.
It’s almost impossible to plan your day with a lemon car. Lemon vehicles can stall on the highway without notice endangering your life and other road users. With that in mind, you need to work with an experienced California lemon law attorney to find a solution.
At LemonLaw123, we’re highly experienced and knowledgeable in lemon laws which gives us an edge in finding lasting solutions for our clients.
Contact us online or call us at 657.276.6633 for a free case review.