Express warranties are written warranties, such as a new car’s “Factory” Manufacturer’s Warranty or a “Certified” Pre-Owned vehicle warranty. Express Warranties specifically tell you what is covered. If the dealer or manufacturer fails to do what they promised to do under the warranty, the dealer has breached this warranty, and you may be able to return the vehicle and get your money back under California’s “Lemon Law.” The “Lemon Law” says that if the dealer cannot repair your vehicle, even after repeated attempts, they must buy the vehicle back from you. Depending on the problem, you may be eligible to return your car and get your money back in as little as one or two repairs. For most defects, you must give the dealer three to four repair attempts before demanding a buy-back. But, if the defect in your vehicle is safety-related - like a braking or steering problem - you may need only one or two repair attempts before you are eligible for a buy-back.
New or Used Vehicles Can Be Lemons
The Lemon Law applies to both new and used vehicles. Even if your factory warranty is expired, you may still have a Lemon Law claim.
Examples of Defects
We have handled “Lemon Law” cases for a huge variety of problems. We have won repurchases for defects including: Engine Noise/Ticking, Constantly/Intermittently Illuminated Warning Lights, Paint Defects, Transmission Shifting Problems, Stalling,
What is a Repair Attempt?
Any time you give the dealer a chance to repair the vehicle, it counts as a “repair attempt” - even if the dealer does not fix the problem, or does not do any repairs! Important: you must document your repair attempts. When you drop the vehicle off at the dealer, you must make sure that the dealer writes down everything you want them to repair. When you pick the vehicle up, you must make sure the dealer documented all repairs (if any). If the dealer could not duplicate the problem, they should say so on your Repair Order or other paperwork. if you do not document it, the manufacturer and dealer will deny you ever complained. If you lost old Repair Orders, do not worry. The dealer and manufacturer should have a record of your prior visits. Ask your dealer for a repair history.
Manufacturer Arbitration Programs
If you ask for a buyback, many Manufacturers will tell you that you must go through its “arbitration” program. You do not have to arbitrate with the manufacturer or the dealer. These arbitration programs are paid for by the manufacturer, and the arbitrators are heavily biased against you. Even worse, if you lose your arbitration (which is likely), the manufacturer can use this fact against you at trial! Manufacturers never tell you this when they offer to arbitrate.