Frequently Asked Questions about California Lemon Law

What is a Warranty & What does a Car or Truck Warranty Cover?

First, there are two different types of warranties for new cars and trucks.

A new car warranty is typically provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer, and a warranty for a used-car (or extended warranty) is a warranty you can often purchase from the vehicle’s manufacturer or a third party.

Sometimes referred to as the factory warranty, a new car warranty is like a promise that the manufacturer makes in case there is a problem with the vehicle, and it covers replacement parts and repairs during the warranty period. It is included as part of the cost of the vehicle.

Typically, new car warranties are 36,000 miles for non-powertrain problems, and 60,000 to 100,000 miles but it varies.

If the vehicle is used, there are some factory warranties that may apply to vehicles with the designation “certified pre-owned.” Company’s warranties often vary to be sure to read and understand your documents very carefully.

New Car Warranties have two parts:

Bumper to Bumper Coverage: This normally includes things like air conditioning and electronics, not things that wear out due to use, things like brakes pads, wiper blade and tires.

Power-Train Coverage: This refers to the car’s transmission and engine.

“Power train” coverage: Typically covers the car’s engine, transmission, and driveshaft. Any internal parts of the engine.

If the powertrain were to have an issue, the warranty is a promise to fix or repair it. In a nutshell, the powertrain provides power to the car.

What are the Lemon Laws?

State and Federal consumer protections were created so they could assist car and truck buyers (and other products) by making sure they are compensated when the vehicle repeatedly fails to match standards of performance and quality.

If this happens, then these lemon laws may require the manufacturer to repurchase or replace the vehicle. When the manufacturer cannot repair the truck or car and it has had ample opportunity and what is considered a reasonable number of repair attempts, with a substantial defect, then a replacement vehicle, repurchase or refund should take place.

What if my vehicle is out of warranty?

If your vehicle was no longer in warranty when the repairs were made, you may still be entitled to compensation under the lemon law. It helps if the first repair attempt occurred during the warranty period, and if you notified the manufacturer within sixty days of the last repair attempt and it wasn’t fixed.

How long can the dealership keep my truck or car for repairs?

From when the vehicle was first brought into the dealership or an authorized repair facility, 30 days, unless issues arise that are beyond their control. It may be considered a violation of California law if it goes beyond 30 days.

Are cars and trucks bought outside of California covered under California Lemon Laws?

No. The vehicles must have been purchased in California. It also has to be registered in California with the original manufacturer’s warranty.

The Active-Duty Military Exception for Lemon Law

If you are active duty, and you purchased the vehicle in the U.S. from a manufacturer that also sells cars and trucks in California, and you are either a California resident or stationed in California when you bought the car or truck or at the time you started your claim.

How long does it take for a lemon law case?

Almost 100% if cases settle, and this normally happens in 30 to 90 days.

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