Lemon Law Cases
Lemon Law Partners, LLP has handled dozens of significant lemon law cases over the last several years, standing up to every American manufacturer and most foreign car companies. Some of these cases were settled quickly, while others required extensive litigation. The time it takes to resolve a lemon law claim is dependent on the response of the manufacturer. Regardless of the level of cooperation we get from the companies, we stand by our clients. Attorneys Arthur J. Obolsky and Anthony J. Sperber enjoy a challenge and won’t shy away from tough cases. We’re reliable, responsive and aggressive when needed, and we’ll do what it takes to see your case through.
|Year, Make, Model||Nature of Defect||Stage at Which Resolved||Full Refund?|
|BMW 325xi||Acceleration||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Chevy Crew Cab Pickup||Suspension||Early Litigation||Yes|
|Dodge Caravan||Electrical||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Dodge Dakota QuadCab||Brakes||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Ducati M900D (Motorcycle)||Engine||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Ford F250||Brakes, Steering||Early Litigation||Yes|
|Ford Focus||Engine||Early Litigation||Yes|
|GMC Savana Truck||Alignment||Early Litigation||Yes|
|Infinity QX56||Brakes||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|KIA Sportage||Engine||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Lincoln Navigator||Electrical||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Mercedes C240||Fuel Gauge||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Mercedes CLK430||Transmission||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Toyota Camry||Alignment||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
|Volkswagen Beetle||Engine||Settlement at Mediation||Yes|
|Volkswagen GTI||Electrical||Pre-Litigation Settlement||Yes|
Key Lemon Law Cases
Case 1: Oregel v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc.
(Consumer Need Not Prove the Source of the Problem; Only That It Still Persists)
Oregel v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc.
90 Cal.App.4th 1094, 109 Cal.Rptr.2d 583
Cal.App. 4 Dist.,2001.
Summary of facts:
Marcelino Oregel leased a 1998 Isuzu Rodeo in March 1998. He discovered the car was leaking oil and despite bringing it to the dealership several times over the next 10 months for repair, the car was never fixed. Oregel contacted Isuzu and after the company declined to repurchase the vehicle, he contacted an attorney. The attorney filed suit, claiming that Isuzu was violating the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. The matter went to trial and Oregel won. The jury found that Isuzu had willfully violated its duty to repurchase the vehicle.
The only step that Song-Beverly imposes on the consumer is that he or she give the manufacturer or its repair facility the opportunity to fix the defective car or truck. The consumer is not responsible if the manufacturer or its agents take advantage of the opportunity. They are also not responsible if the manufacturer or its agents cannot find the problem or attempt to repair it.
Also, the consumer is not obligated to prove the cause of the problem that he or she is having with the vehicle. For example, the consumer doesn’t have to prove the source of an oil leak, or the reason why the car’s engine is stalling. The statute requires only that the consumer show that the defective car or truck failed to conform to its warranties. This may be done by proving that one or more problems persist despite efforts to repair them.
Case 2: Mocek v. Alfa Leisure, Inc.
(Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability Does Not Require Consumer to Attempt Repairs)
Mocek v. Alfa Leisure, Inc.
114 Cal.App.4th 402, 7 Cal.Rptr.3d 546
Cal.App. 4 Dist.,2003.
Summary of facts:
Frank Mocek and his son both purchased the same model fifth-wheel travel trailer from Alfa Leisure, Inc. Almost immediately after purchase, severe problems appeared with the electrical system. A technician from the company offered to remove the trailer from the park where it was located for repair but Mocek refused, saying he wanted a replacement or a refund. When the request was denied, he filed suit. Mocek won on the basis of breach of implied warranty under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.
A consumer doesn’t even have to provide a manufacturer with a repair opportunity under the lemon law when there’s a breach of the implied warranty, which means the product did not possess even the most basic degree of fitness for ordinary use.
Case 3: Robertson v. Fleetwood Travel Trailers of California, Inc.
(Presentment Requirement and Damage Caused by Failure to Repair)
Robertson v. Fleetwood Travel Trailers of California, Inc.
144 Cal.App.4th 785, 50 Cal.Rptr.3d 731
Cal.App. 5 Dist.,2006.
Summary of facts:
Soon after purchasing a 39-foot Fleetwood travel trailer, Lorna and Francis Robertson discovered a persistent water leak by the shower floor. A technician from the dealership repaired the leak, but water damage had already affected the underbelly of the trailer. Fleetwood agreed to repair the damage but would need to remove the trailer from its location and send it away for repair. The Robertsons instead requested a return of the purchase price, which Fleetwood refused on the grounds that it had not been given the opportunity to repair the original leak (the dealership had). The court eventually found in favor of the Robertsons, finding that they had satisfied the requirement by having a technician repair the trailer on-site and that the water damage had come about as a direct result of the leak.
Several significant results emerge from the Robertson decision.
First, the Court held that Song-Beverly covers not just the defect but the harm resulting from that defect.
Next, the Court held that a consumer can invoke repurchase rights at any point after a reasonable number of repair opportunities have been given to fix the problem. The consumer does not need to provide additional repair opportunities to repair related issues stemming from a problem that was never fully repaired. And if the consumer does in fact provide additional repair opportunities, those are added to the total repair opportunities for that initial problem and will not restart the count from zero.
held that under Song-Beverly, a repair opportunity does not only have to take place at the repair shop. If the manufacturer or its authorized repair facility has chosen, with the consumer’s consent, to undertake repair efforts at the consumer’s residence, then a consumer is deemed to have provided a reasonable repair opportunity each time the repairperson makes a service call to the consumer’s residence.
Everyone enjoys a happy ending. At Lemon Law Partners, LLP, we have successfully litigated against major car manufacturers in many cases, but this is one of our favorites. Read on to discover how attorneys Anthony J. Sperber and Arthur J. Obolsky helped a client in need, and how they can help you if you’re stuck with a defective vehicle. Remember, we’re only paid if we win your case.
Success Story 1: The Case of the Remarkably Difficult Motorcycle Manufacturer
A purchase gone wrong
Once upon a time in 2007, our client bought a motorcycle from a well-known manufacturer with a multi-national presence. Soon after, the engine suddenly shut off at a high speed. Despite bringing the motorcycle back for repairs nearly a dozen times, the manufacturer failed to fix the defect. Our client was stuck with a lemon.
Fortunately, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act came to the rescue. Under this state law, the rider was entitled to restitution in the form of a replacement or refund. Even so, the manufacturer refused to accept any responsibility or even acknowledge that the defect existed. Not ones to shy away from a challenge, Lemon Law Partners, LLP began a lawsuit against the company.
Fighting for consumer’s rights
The manufacturer fought back hard. For the next two years it employed “scorched earth” tactics, throwing orders upon orders at us to block our path toward a settlement, which we felt was in our client’s best interests. Still, the manufacturer insisted there was no defect, despite the overwhelming evidence against them. Fees were accruing, and all our client wanted was restitution for the unknowingly purchased lemon. Repeatedly we tried to settle, reminding the manufacturer that costs were building and that it would ultimately be responsible for them, but the manufacturer never offered a settlement that would make our client whole again.
Success on the horizon
After a hard-fought and seemingly endless battle, the trial court threatened to issue sanctions. Only then did the manufacturer budge, but not before dumping 10,000 more documents on us to try and cause further delay. Again, we suggested settlement with fees to be determined by motion, but again the manufacturer refused. This meant many more hours of work, but we were determined to see this case through to the end. We prepared for trial.
On the eve of the trial the manufacturer gave in and agreed to do what it had refused to do for the last two years – admit that there was a defect and pay our client restitution, as well as a civil penalty stating that our client is the “prevailing party” and thus entitled under the Song-Beverly Act to a refund or replacement along with attorneys’ fees and costs. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief – the long, hard-fought battle was won. Needless to say, our client was glad the wait was over, and even more glad to get rid of the defective and dangerous lemon motorcycle.
A happy ending for everyone
Thankfully, this type of delay doesn’t happen in every case. But the moral of the story is the diligent and hard-working lawyers at Lemon Law Partners, LLP are always prepared to fight on the behalf of our clients, no matter the challenges they face. We’re in business to get you a replacement or full refund, even if the manufacturer refuses to cooperate. It’s what we do, and we’re proud to have been a part of success stories like this one.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With a California Lemon Law Attorney at Lemon Law Partners, LLP
When you have a lemon on your hands and are struggling with the manufacturer to fix the problem, we can help. Call the skilled attorneys with Lemon Law Partners, LLP at (800) 887-9362 for a free case evaluation. We serve Berkeley, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and all of California.