Lemon Law Basics

California's Lemon Law

Does California’s Lemon Law apply to my vehicle?

The Lemon Law covers the following new and used vehicles that come with the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty

  • Cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs.
  • The chassis, chassis cab, and drive train of a motor home.
  • Dealer-owned vehicles and demonstrators.
  • Many vehicles purchased or leased primarily for business use.
  • Vehicles purchased or leased for personal, family, or household purposes.

What if the manufacturer or dealer can’t fix my vehicle?

If the manufacturer or dealer can’t repair a serious warranty defect in your vehicle after a “reasonable” number of attempts, the manufacturer must either:

  • Replace the vehicle; or
  • Refund its purchase price (whichever you prefer)

What is a “reasonable” number of repair attempts?

There is no set number. However, California’s Lemon Law Presumption contains these guidelines for determining when a “reasonable” number of repair attempts have been made:

  • The manufacturer or dealer hasn’t fixed the same problem after four or more at attempts; or
  • Your vehicle’s problems could cause death or serious bodily injury if it is driven, and the manufacturer or dealer has made atleast two unsuccessful repair attempts; or
  • The vehicle has been in the shop for more than 30 days (not necessarily in a row) for repair of any problems covered by its warranty. This is called the Lemon Law Presumption.