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california lemon law Archives

A legal claim can achieve justice for dealership vehicle fraud

Californians who purchase a new car are expecting the term "new" to be taken literally. While a few miles on the odometer is understandable, a vehicle that has been utilized extensively cannot be categorized as brand new. If a car dealership does not inform a buyer that the vehicle was used for other purposes, this is a legal violation. Those who have been impacted by this must remember their consumer rights to be compensated.

Auto dealer fraud is not uncommon

California is among the state leaders in providing extensive and comprehensive consumer protection laws. However, this fact alone does not prevent predatory practices by unscrupulous business owners seeking to increase their bottom lines at the expense of their unsuspecting customers. The laws are of little value when the consumer is unaware of the fraud that is being perpetrated, and some say that the automotive industry is one of the worst offenders in this regard. Even regular, everyday transactions between some auto dealers and the purchaser or lessee of a vehicle must be carefully scrutinized.

How to pursue a lemon law claim

California residents who purchase defective vehicles are granted protections under state law. A vehicle may be labeled as a lemon if it has spent more than 30 days in the shop or if four attempts have been made to repair the same issue. Only two attempts are required to fix serious issues that may render a car dangerous to operate. The defect must appear within 18 months or during the first 18,000 miles that the car is driven.

When dealers sell "hidden" used cars and demo models

When people purchase a new vehicle from a dealership or manufacturer, they expect it to be reliable and in great condition. Almost all dealers use some vehicles to demonstrate features, use as a sample or otherwise promote their business. However, these cars can also come with additional problems due to extensive wear and less careful management of the vehicles. If you have discovered that you have an undisclosed demo car or executive vehicle, it may be important to learn more about your rights under California law.

Used cars can be sold while under recall

Cars in California and throughout the country that are defective may be recalled so that the issue can be fixed. However, dealerships are generally allowed to sell used vehicles under recall before the problem is resolved. Safety advocates say that this unnecessarily puts used car buyers at risk of being hurt or killed. Dealers say that forcing them to fix vehicles before they are sold could have negative consequences for trade-in values.

Protecting yourself under the lemon law

In California, motorists are protected under the state's lemon law. However, it is essential that you understand what to do if you have a vehicle that you believe is a lemon. You need to make sure that everything about your vehicle's problem is documented correctly each time that you take it to the dealership for repairs.

Dealers don't always disclose recalls

Car dealers in California and other states may sell used cars that are subject to open recalls. This could lead to a variety of safety issues that may put a vehicle owner and others in danger. A news station in the state looked at hundreds of used cars and found that many of them had open recalls for issues such as an engine shutdown or an accelerator issue.

How lemon laws apply to leases

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.

What you need to know about 'gray market' vehicles

If you're like many cost-conscious California car buyers, you probably appreciate finding a good deal on a new or used car. One option that you may find that fits into your budget is a gray market vehicle. This type of car or truck will come with an express written warranty. However, it won't be valid in the United States since this type of vehicle is not imported via a manufacturer's authorized distributor.

Legal protections for California car buyers who purchased lemons

Buyers of new or used vehicles expect them to operate properly without needing major repairs for months or even years. State and federal consumer protection laws recognize that people might get a bad deal because of dishonest sales tactics or seriously defective vehicles known as lemons. For these reasons, people typically have a chance to back out of a purchase or obtain necessary repairs.

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