When someone buys a new vehicle in California, that purchase is protected by federal law. If a new vehicle has one or more problems that cannot be fixed by three or more visits to a mechanic, the buyer can return it to the dealer and receive a full refund. A court recently ruled that a mechanic is no longer required to prove that a vehicle is a lemon. All that is now required is the receipts and any related paperwork showing that the vehicle had problems.
In previous cases pertaining to lemon law, judges have ruled in favor of carmakers when plaintiffs did not provide testimony from an automotive expert. In one appeal in Massachusetts, however, the judge ruled that receipts from failed repairs provided plenty of proof that a vehicle had inherent mechanical defects.
Lemon law does not just apply to the vehicle itself but also to parts a dealership adds in an attempt to fix the problem. When one driver brought a new truck back to the dealership, complaining of engine problems, the dealership said that adding a turbocharger would fix the problem. The court decided that the lemon law should cover the turbocharger since it was installed to correct an original mechanical problem.
Vehicle owners who are having trouble getting a refund for a lemon may want to seek support and guidance from an attorney. A lawyer can determine if federal lemon law applies to the vehicle purchase and recommend a legal course of action if the carmaker still refuses to provide compensation. If a lawsuit is pursued, an attorney will represent the vehicle owner both in and out of court.