Vachon Law Firm

Lemons on Scales of JusticeThe California lemon law’s rules apply to all types of consumer goods sold anywhere in the State of California. Appliances, electronics, furniture, clothing, sporting goods, etc. are all covered, in one way or another, by the lemon law. But the rules that most people are interested in (and the rules that this Web site focuses on) are the lemon law’s rules that apply to new and used cars.

This page summarizes the most basic requirements of the California lemon law. However, people interested in looking for additional and more detailed and specific information, be sure to check out the lemon law information links on this sites home page.

That being said, the basic rules of the California lemon law are the following:

  1. In California, the lemon law covers vehicles only if they are sold with an express warranty. An “express warranty” for purposes of the California lemon law means an agreement by the seller or manufacturer to “preserve or maintain the utility or performance of the consumer good or provide compensation if there is a failure in utility or performance” – in other words, a warranty is any guarantee by the seller or maker of the goods that they will work properly.
    [Please take note that “service contracts” and “extended warranties” in which a third party (i.e., someone other than the manufacturer or seller) agrees to repair any malfunctions or defects do not count as warranties for the purposes of the lemon law in California.]
  2. For new and used cars that are sold with an express warranty, the manufacturer must repair any malfunctions that “substantially impair the use, value, or safety” of the car or truck within a “reasonable number of attempts.”
  3. No matter how many repair attempts have been made, the California lemon law requires that any single repair attempt take no more than 30 days. The only exceptions to the lemon law’s 30-day requirement are (1) if the consumer agrees in writing that the repair can take longer, or (2) when the delays are the result of conditions or circumstances that are beyond the control of the manufacturer.
  4. In cases in which the manufacturer cannot repair a substantial malfunction within a “reasonable number of repair attempts” the manufacturer is obligated to promptly either repurchase or replace the car or truck with a new one (i.e., the manufacturer must offer a lemon law buyback).

If you think these rules cover your lemon vehicle, then you may be entitled to a vehicle repurchase or replacement under the CA lemon law’s rules. Call the Vachon Law Firm right now to discuss your potential lemon law claim, and to find out the best way to assert your right to a buyback under the lemon law’s rules.

What to Do if the California Lemon Law’s Rules Don’t Apply to Your Car

If you read this site’s summary of the basic rules for California’s lemon law, and realized that the lemon law does not apply to your vehicle don’t give up yet. There are a multitude of rules and requirements that apply to automobile sales in California other than the California lemon law. Check out this site’s Car Dealer Fraud section to learn about common forms of auto fraud to see if any apply to you.

In particular, the Vachon Law Firm recommends that ALL consumers carefully read this site’s pages discussing falsifying down payments, failing to properly disclose negative equity, and backdating vehicle purchase and lease contracts. Car dealerships frequently violate these auto fraud rules, and as a result many car buyers end up with a right to rescind their vehicle purchase or lease contract and get their money back – even if the vehicle’s manufacturer didn’t violate the requirements of the California lemon law.

Want More Information About the California Lemon Law’s Requirements?

Although the rules of the California lemon law may look simple, in many cases they can be difficult to apply. If you have California lemon law questions, call the Vachon Law Firm for answers.

Whether you live in San Francisco or Los Angeles, Redding or Eureka, California lemon law consultations are always FREE at the Vachon Law Firm. We take lemon law cases anywhere in the State of California. Call us toll free at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) or email us at for your free consultations, and to get the answer to all of your questions about the lemon law’s rules.