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Where Should I Take My Car for Repairs If I Suspect It Is a Lemon?

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  November 16, 2022

Seeking repairs is a crucial part of lemon law claims.  

Given how important maintenance is in this process, where should you take a car for repairs if you suspect it’s a lemon? 

The best place to take a suspected lemon for repairs is a manufacturer’s dealership. 

Here at Norman Taylor & Associates, we’ve handled over 12,000 lemon law cases and are using our experience with successful lemon law cases to help educate consumers on their rights. Here’s why you must take your vehicle to a dealership — as well as a few things to avoid — for a stronger chance of a successful lemon law claim

TAKE YOUR CAR TO THE MANUFACTURER’S DEALERSHIP 

The best place to take your vehicle for repair if you think it could be a lemon is the manufacturer’s dealership. If you believe you have a lemon, you need to make sure you’re taking all the appropriate steps to establish your claim. 

For example, if your Nissan is having transmission problems, it’s best to take it to the Nissan dealership instead of Joe’s Auto Shop, which not authorized by the manufacturer to perform warranty work for them. You would run the risk of invalidating your warranty as it concerns your transmission. 

That said, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which dealership to go to if your manufacturer isn’t one of the major name-brand vehicles. For that reason, it’s best to consult an experienced lemon law attorney to help you manage your case until you qualify to proceed with a lemon law claim.   

Norman Taylor, our founding attorney, wrote the book on lemon law and always aims to get results for his clients. He and his legal team are California lemon law experts and will work tirelessly to make sure you’re driving a safe vehicle. 

HOW MANY TIMES DO I NEED TO SEEK REPAIRS BEFORE FILING A LEMON LAW CLAIM?

To make a successful claim, you’ll need to demonstrate that you sought repairs at least twice (for a life-threatening defect) and three or more time for other issues.

While California’s lemon law doesn’t expressly dictate how many times you have to give the manufacturer an opportunity to repair through its authorized warranty repair facilities, this is a general rule of thumb we follow with our clients. 

Ultimately, you are trying to prove that you gave the manufacturer a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the vehicle before invoking your lemon law rights. 

DON’T ATTEMPT REPAIRS YOURSELF

To make a successful lemon law claim, you and your attorney need to demonstrate that you made an effort to get it repaired. For that reason, you should never attempt to repair a lemon by yourself, even if you are a skilled mechanic.

Making a successful claim requires documentation showing that you sought repairs for a specific issue and received a maintenance report or work order documenting that those repairs were done.

Even if it seems like a common vehicle defect with a simple fix, it’s important to take your car through the proper avenues and allow the manufacturer to have the chance to repair it themselves. 

TRY ANOTHER DEALERSHIP AND MECHANIC

When you have a dealership you have used regularly for warranty repairs or maintenance, you would typically stick with that mechanic as they are most familiar with your vehicle. 

However, having given them several repair attempts at your vehicle defect, it is not unreasonable to have another authorized manufacturer dealership look at your vehicle. 

Be sure to keep all your repair order receipts, the paperwork, and documentation in one place for reference later. This will make it easier to demonstrate that you gave the manufacturer authorized dealership(s) a reasonable opportunity to repair your defect(s). That will go a long way toward proving one of the essential elements of your lemon law claim.

DO YOU SUSPECT YOUR CALIFORNIA VEHICLE IS A LEMON?

For all of your California lemon law needs and questions, contact Norman Taylor & Associates or call us at (818) 244-3905 for a FREE consultation! We have the experience to ensure you are taken care of.

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