When a car is leased in California, the consumer is renting the vehicle from a leasing company. Therefore, the leasing company is the entity that has rights under a state's lemon law instead of the lessee. That was one attorney's interpretation of a ruling made by the Arizona Supreme Court. Typically, a lemon law stipulates that a manufacturer must take back a vehicle that has been in a repair shop for more than 30 days.
California law generally protects consumers if they purchase a defective vehicle. One woman in Florida claims that her new 2018 Hyundai Sonata SE had significant issues after just a few miles of driving. She says that the wheel started shaking and that she couldn't accelerate while driving on the local interstate. The woman also claimed that the radio wouldn't play and that the engine didn't work properly. There are several known issues with the 2018 Sonata.
California residents who have had problems with a vehicle they have recently purchased might be able to rely on the federal lemon law for relief. In order for protections to be applicable, the vehicle has to have issues while its warranty is still in effect. That does not require that the vehicle was purchased new, but if there were no warranty protections on the purchase, then the federal lemon law will not apply. It should be noted that California has its own law that applies to both vehicles and other goods.
Some California drivers of Ford Explorers may have heard that there has been concern about a carbon monoxide leak in the vehicle. Around 3000 drivers have complained, but Ford says it has investigated and that its vehicles are safe.