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Class Actions, Recalls and Lemon Law Cases: What’s the Difference?

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  October 13, 2015

You’ve purchased a vehicle and found out that there is a significant issue with it. A defect that manufacturer should have remedied. Maybe a dangerous one. You have decided to take legal action—but are now unsure about where your case fits into the legal landscape. Should you expect a class action lawsuit? Participate in a recall? File a lemon law claim?

While these three actions may seem similar to the average consumer, they are actually markedly different and are only appropriate if certain circumstances exist. Let’s take a closer, conceptual look at these three actions and see when each is called for and what they mean to you, the consumer.

Class Actions

Class actions occur when there is a confirmed, wide-spread issue with a particular model car. In these cases, usually only a single plaintiff– or a small group of them– are involved with the actual filing and court proceedings, but they are representative of all consumers who have bought the model in question.

Typically, class actions do not yield large sums of money for any one individual consumer—in fact, the relief is often minute. However, if an individual’s circumstances also meet lemon law requirements, they can proceed further with a filing on their own, separate from the class action.


recall is an action issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTS is a watchdog organization that monitors consumer safety in the auto industry. When the NHTS has confirmed a dangerous defect in a particular model car, they will issue the recall in order to hold manufacturers responsible and prompt them to provide repairs for consumers.

There are no refunds or proceeds for consumers associated with recalls, but the repairs are free. If, however, there are complications or delays in your efforts to receive your repair, you may have grounds to pursue a lemon law claim.

Lemon law

Lemon law claims are reserved for individuals who have made efforts to have significant defects repaired by manufacturers (through authorized dealerships) but are continually refused service. In these cases, the consumer may be entitled to a FULL BUYBACK of their car.

These claims can address a single, significant defect, or a number of defects over an extended time period. It is these claims where the plaintiff can fully exercise their rights as a consumer and receive full compensation for the money they spent on an inferior product that the manufacturer refuses to take responsibility for.

Do you believe that your circumstances call for a lemon law claim? If so, then contact us at Norman Taylor & Associates today. Our California lemon law attorneys have been protecting the rights of consumers more nearly three decades. We wrote the book on California lemon law and are ready to bring unmatched knowledge and vigilance to your claim.

Get back the money you deserve. Contact us at (888) 449-7639​ today to start exploring your legal options.

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