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California Lemon Law - Know Your Consumer Right!
What is California Lemon Law ?
California Lemon Law is a state granted consumer-right that safeguards consumers against purchases of faulty or defective (Lemon) products. Although the product may be anything, the California Lemon Law bears a special allegiance to faulty, malfunctioning automobiles.
Main-points of California Lemon Law
Also known as Motor Vehicle Warranty Rights Act, the California Lemon Law states that if a purchased vehicle turns out to be defective in the warranty period rendering it unfit for use or inflicts some serious injuries to the user, then the consumer has every right to ask for refund or replacement. The Lemon Law holds the manufacturer responsible for all the defects and problems in a Lemon Vehicle. Once the flaws are brought to the notice of the manufacturer, the manufacturer is bound to do the repair-works. In case the manufacturer fails to set the problem right even after some genuine attempts, the company must either replace the defective vehicle or refund the consumer's money.
The Law also empowers the customer to file a Lemon Lawsuit in any Court of Law if a manufacturer denies to comply with the repair / refund / replacement plea even after the snags in the automobile are detected and proved. Additionally, refund for expenses incurred on various heads like repairing charges, rental vehicle charges and even your lawyer's fees are secured under the California Lemon Law.
The same set of laws is applicable for leased vehicles as well.
Under What Circumstances Can Consumers Seek Protection Under The Lemon Law In Calfornia?
California Lemon Law permits buyers and renters of both new and used vehicles to demand for full refund or replacement when the vehicles are declared 'Lemons' - faulty and unfit for use. However, this declaration calls for the following proof:
- The defect is a manufacturing defect and is certainly not a result of mishandling.
- The vehicle has been repaired at least four times and still the defect persists. (In case of serious defects that can lead to injuries and death, the number of repair attempts has been lowered to two repairs).
- The defect is detected but is not set right within the period of 18 months or 18,000 miles (whichever is earlier).
What The Consumers Need To Do?
The California Lemon Law truly protects the rights and interests of consumers. However, the customers need to attend specific requirements like:
- Abide by the instructions in the User's Manual while driving or handling the vehicle.
- Take the vehicle only to authorized service centers for all repair-works and servicing.
- California Lemon Law only recognizes a written complaint sent to the manufacturer as a formal legal notice. For added safety, you may send the complaint through certified mail.
- All the vehicle documents, all repair records, technical reports, etc. should be kept handy because lodging a complaint or filing a case calls for accurate proof.
Unless and until you fulfill all the above requirements, you will not be able to enjoy the benefits and protection offered by the California Lemon Law.
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