Call For A FREE Consultation

6 Steps for Preparing Your Lemon Law Claim

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  June 10, 2023
Scrabble pieces spelling out "Lemon Law" on a wooden table.

Discovering that you may have purchased a lemon can quickly turn the excitement of buying a vehicle sour. Lemon cars, which have unfixable and recurring problems, can be a costly inconvenience and affect the value and safety of your car.

While not every troublesome car is a lemon — if you believe you have one — it’s essential to prepare your case carefully. Here are six steps to take when preparing your lemon law claim in California. 


Preparing Your Lemon Law Claim: 6 Steps to Take


  1. Find Out if Your Car Is Under the Original Warranty
  2. Each state has its own lemon law, so it’s crucial to understand the requirements and deadlines for filing a claim. For example, some states require a specific number of failed repair attempts before you can bring a claim, while others have a time limit for filing.

    In California, specifically, your vehicle must meet the following criteria: 

    • The vehicle must be under the manufacturer’s warranty. 
    • The car must have a defect covered by the warranty that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety.
    • The consumer must allow the manufacturer or authorized dealer a fair chance to fix the defect, usually through a set number of repair attempts.

  3. Give the Dealer an Opportunity to Repair the Vehicle
  4. Before proceeding with a lemon law claim, it’s important to give the dealership a reasonable opportunity to fix the problem. This means that you should have taken your car to the dealership for repairs a sufficient number of times. The actual number of repair attempts required may vary depending on the specific situation and other factors.

    Four repair attempts are generally considered sufficient in many states, including California. However, you can seek legal assistance after fewer attempts if the defect poses a significant safety risk. For instance, if the issue jeopardizes driver safety, like brake failure or a transmission that causes sudden shutdown on a busy freeway, even one or two repair attempts can be reasonable.

    By giving the dealership a chance to fix the problem, you demonstrate that you have taken reasonable steps to address the issue before pursuing legal action.


  5. Research Your State’s Lemon Law Remedies
  6. Generally, two main remedies are available when filing a lemon law claim: a replacement vehicle or a repurchase by the manufacturer.

    If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to receive a replacement vehicle that is comparable to your original one. Alternatively, the manufacturer may repurchase your vehicle and provide you with a refund.

    Additionally, you may be eligible for additional award amounts, such as reimbursement for any expenses related to the defect or malfunction of the vehicle.


  7. Keep Detailed Records
  8. To build a strong case, you’ll want detailed records of all your interactions with the dealership and manufacturer, including repair orders, invoices, and correspondence. A repair order records the parts and labor used to repair a customer’s vehicle. It becomes yours and the shop’s receipt of the services performed.

    Also, keep track of the dates, times, and details of all repairs and problems you’ve experienced with the vehicle.


  9. Don’t Let Time Run Out
  10. Don’t wait if you think your car is a lemon! In California, you have four years to file a lemon law claim. The clock starts ticking when you discover or reasonably should have discovered that the manufacturer can’t fulfill its warranty obligations by fixing the vehicle. Take action now to protect your rights.


  11. Speak With a Lemon Law Attorney

Above all else, find a lemon lawyer who can assess your situation and offer the best course of action. Lemon law cases can often be contentious, and manufacturers may resist compensating you for your vehicle’s defects. Fight for your rights by hiring an experienced attorney to help prepare and file your claim.


Contact Our Experienced California Lemon Law Firm Today!

Got a lemon car? Norman Taylor & Associates is here to assist with your lemon law claim. Our expert team specializes in lemon law cases, offering guidance and representation.

Don’t let a lemon ruin your driving experience — seek justice with us today. Call 818-244-3905 for a free case review.

Schedule my consultation

Contact Us

  • 425 West Broadway, Suite 220
    Glendale, CA 91204

Regular Hours

  • Monday - Friday
  • 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


We'll review your case and assess the best possible outcome.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.