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Does Lemon Law Apply to A/C & Heater Issues?

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  February 11, 2021

No one is completely sure where the term “lemon” originates, but a “lemon” is a car that was defective when you bought it. Because cars are so expensive and are essential to our daily lives, lemon laws exist across the country to protect consumers from driving a new car home, only to find that it’s dysfunctional. Buyers shouldn’t be expected to pay for expensive repairs on something that is meant to be good when they bought it.

Lemon laws usually apply to serious, dangerous malfunctions. Heating and air problems can be denied as a “lemon level” problem. If you need a refund because your new car has A/C malfunctions, you should seek a lawyer.

Lemon Laws in California

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 as well. Even private sellers who are getting rid of an old car are expected to be honest about the vehicle, but that isn’t technically a lemon law mandate.

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.

Generally, lemon laws apply to defects that make the car unsafe. Problems with brakes, steering, airbags, etc. may qualify a car as a lemon. Air conditioning isn’t often considered when people think of a lemon. If you want to convince your dealer that the car is a lemon based on the air conditioning, don’t be surprised if they turn you away. It’s no secret that companies want to avoid spending money if they can, and they may just try to fix your A/C without fully replacing the car. To get the car replaced, you’re probably going to need a lawyer.

How a Lawyer Can Help

To prove that a car is a lemon, you have to show how its defects are an immediate safety hazard. 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.

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.

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.

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