How Do I Know if my Vehicle is a Lemon?

When you own or lease a vehicle, there is nothing more frustrating than taking your car to the dealership over and over for a recurring problem. After several unsuccessful attempts have been made to repair the issue, you may wonder whether your vehicle is defective. California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, also known as the California Lemon Law, is designed to protect consumers from being sold a vehicle that repeatedly fails to operate safely. Let’s take a closer look at what California’s lemon law covers and what you can do if you suspect you have a lemon on your hands.

Some Basic Definitions

Lemon law aims to protect consumers. A consumer is defined as: someone who buys or leases a new vehicle from a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer; someone who leases a vehicle for four months or more; or someone to whom the vehicle is transferred while the vehicle is still under warranty. To qualify for lemon law protection, the vehicle in question must have been purchased or leased in the state of California, or purchased or leased but an active member of the Armed Forces who was stationed or residing in California when the vehicle was leased or purchased.

Additional Requirements

California’s lemon law applies to any new or used vehicle that is under warranty. The defects covered by lemon law must substantially jeopardize the use, value, or safety of the vehicle to the consumer. Also, you must demonstrate that a reasonable number of attempts have been made to repair the vehicle. If you have experienced a persistent issue that puts the driver, passengers, or others at risk and you’ve taken the vehicle for repairs two or more times, you may meet the requirements for lemon law protections. You may also qualify if your recurring issue has been repaired four or more times without success and you’ve directly notified the manufacturer about this defect, or if your vehicle has been out of service for a total of 30 days or more.

Taking Action

If it’s determined that you are in possession of a lemon, the law compels the manufacturer to replace or repurchase the defective vehicle. It can sometimes be difficult to navigate a lemon law claim in California, so working with an experienced lawyer is a great way to ensure that the process goes smoothly and successfully. 


As soon as you suspect that you may have a lemon on your hands, contact the knowledgeable and experienced Berkeley lemon law attorneys at Lemon Law Partners, LLP. Call (510) 944-0336 to arrange a free case evaluation today.

Are you having issues with your vehicle?

Lemon Law Partners can help.
(510) 944-0336