California Lemon Law – Does it Require Arbitration?
Norman Taylor & Associates
October 30, 2009
Some lemon laws may require you to go through an informal arbitration process before you can file a lemon lawsuit. Others may not. In the case where you are not required to do this, it should be known that arbitration is rarely helpful, even if you win. For example, the arbitrator may issue an eloquently worded opinion finding that your defect exists, but that “in all fairness” it looks as if it could be repaired. So, instead of awarding you the refund or replacement that the law requires, you are “awarded” another repair attempt. This isn’t an award at all. It is something you were entitled to under your warranty anyway!
What’s even worse is the “award” of a refund with deductions to your refund that are not permitted by your state law. There is no real oversight committee to see that the law is actually followed.
More often than not the arbitration process turns out to be yet another obstacle placed in between the consumer and his goal, to get their money back for a bad vehicle. In all my years I have observed that it is indeed a rare occurrence for a consumer to receive the relief they are actually entitled to under the law. One is better off seeking the assistance of a competent lemon law attorney.