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.
If a vehicle is defective, its owner may have recourse under both California and federal law. The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act allows a person to pursue compensation if they are sold a defective product. In California, an individual may file a lemon law claim whether the vehicle was leased or purchased outright. However, it is generally necessary to allow a manufacturer an opportunity to fix the defect before filing a claim.
People in California who are concerned about the quality of the products they purchase should be familiar with the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. It is a federal law intended to protect consumers from misleading warranty practices, to make sure warranties are not difficult to comprehend and to allow violations to be legally enforced. While the law is meant to benefit consumers, it also unexpectedly benefits dealers as well.
Used car buyers in California are urged to learn as much about a vehicle as possible before completing a transaction. This may prevent them from purchasing something that needs significant repairs or upgrades. A quick overview of the car itself could reveal clues about previous attempts to repair a dented frame. Paint that doesn't match the rest of the vehicle could also signal that repairs have been made in the past.
A law firm in California is looking to undo results from a previous class action lawsuit regarding two discontinued small car models from the Ford Motor Company. The firm hopes to secure a larger settlement for consumers affected by transmission issues associated with two of the automaker's vehicle models - the Focus and Fiesta. The company may have to fork over as much as $4 billion if the lawsuit is successful.
Those who own cars in California or any other state shouldn't be surprised if their vehicles need repairs at some point. However, consumers do have rights as it relates to how and where these repairs can be made. Generally speaking, mechanics are not allowed to do any work that was not authorized by the car's owner ahead of time. Furthermore, making the wrong type of repair may constitute an unauthorized repair under state law.
In California, individuals who purchase both new and used vehicles might have protection under the state's lemon law. However, this is not the case in most other states. Of course, this doesn't mean that there aren't ways to get a refund or other relief if a car is defective. For instance, the dealer may offer a warranty on a used car. A dealer may also decide to offer a refund or replace a defective vehicle.
When vehicle owners go to a California car dealership to have an issue with their car looked at, the dealer may be less than interested to fix it. This is because repeated attempts to fix a vehicle may cost a dealer time and money that it might not see back. Furthermore, a customer may already be turned off by a brand after having a negative experience with one of its vehicles.
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.