DOES LEMON LAW APPLY TO A CAR’S A/C & HEATER ISSUES?
Norman Taylor & Associates
January 10, 2023
Lemon laws exist throughout the country to protect consumers from finding out their brand-new car doesn’t work right.
While lemon laws mainly apply to serious malfunctions that affect the safety or use of the vehicle, sometimes lemon law can apply to a car’s A/C and heater issues.
It’s very easy for a car dealership to reject your claim that a malfunctioning A/C system is a “lemon-level” problem. If you’re seeking a refund because your new car has A/C problems, it’s best to seek an experienced lemon law attorney.
We’ve worked on over 12,000 lemon law cases with a 98% success rate, so we know what typically does (and doesn’t) work against a car manufacturer. Here’s what you need to know about a car’s A/C issues and when lemon law may apply.
DOES CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW COVER A CAR’S A/C ISSUES?
Lemon law can sometimes apply to a car’s A/C and heater issues — it really depends on the individual case.
The successful cases we’ve seen with A/C problems usually involved:
- A moldy A/C system – Breathing in mold isn’t healthy for anybody, not to mention the unpleasant smell. However, it can cause dizziness and difficulty breathing for individuals with asthma or allergies.
- A broken A/C system – If your car’s A/C doesn’t work and you live somewhere that gets pretty hot outside (like Southern California), it can cause hazardous conditions for the driver.
- A broken heating system – If your car’s heat doesn’t work and you live in a place where it’s cold and snowing, it has the potential to create unsafe driving conditions.
To figure out how and when lemon law applies to this common vehicle problem, it’s important to understand how California’s lemon law works.
HOW LEMON LAW WORKS IN CALIFORNIA
Generally, lemon laws apply to defects that make a car unsafe: issues like brake failure, loss of power steering, or malfunctioning airbags are among the most common.
Air conditioning isn’t usually one of the top problems that come to mind when people think of a lemon. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if a dealership turns you away when you claim your car is a lemon because something’s wrong with the A/C.
California’s lemon laws are generally straightforward. As long as an eligible vehicle is under manufacturer warranty, it is subject to lemon laws. This applies to used cars and certified pre-owned cars as well.
Car manufacturers will do just about anything to avoid spending money, and will probably try to fix your A/C without actually replacing the car or providing compensation.
Why? Because, by law, if a dealer sells you a lemon, they must replace it or buy it back, your choice. After they take it back, dealers have to mark it with a “lemon sticker” if they want to resell it.
To get your car replaced, you’re probably going to need a lawyer.
HOW A LEMON LAW ATTORNEY CAN HELP
To prove that a car is a lemon, you have to show how its defects are an immediate safety hazard. This is straightforward when it comes to brakes, steering, or transmission problems. However, it can get tricky with A/C issues.
Proving that a lack of heating or air conditioning is a safety concern is going to take a detailed argument — this is where your lawyer comes in. Building good arguments is what they do, and there may be a strong case for why having no A/C is harmful.
Example of How Dysfunctional A/C Can be Dangerous
First of all, let’s look at our state. California is hot. There’s a reason why a lot of beach movies take place here.
The further south you go, the hotter it gets. What if the primary use of your car will take place in the southernmost part of the state?
Driving around in a steel box with no cool air could pose a genuine threat to your safety. Your dealer knows it’s true, but they may not be swayed when you make this impassioned argument in their office. Lawyers know how to make arguments in court, and judges can force dealers to do the right thing.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If your new ride has a bad air and heating system, reach out today. We can set up a no-cost, obligation-free consultation to discuss your options. Contact us online or call (818) 244-3905.CONTACT US