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Lemon Law Myths

Protecting Consumers from Automotive Manufacturers Since 1987

California Lemon Law Myths

If you’re a California resident and have recently purchased a vehicle, you may have heard about the California lemon law. This law protects consumers who unknowingly buy or lease defective cars, commonly known as “lemons.” However, there are several misconceptions and myths surrounding the law that can leave consumers confused and misinformed.

Here are the facts you need to know.


How Does the Lemon Law Work in California?

Under the California lemon law, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement if your vehicle experiences a substantial defect within a specific timeframe and the manufacturer fails to repair it after a reasonable number of attempts.


California Lemon Law Myths & Facts


Myth 1: The Lemon Law Only Applies to New Vehicles

Fact: One of the most common misconceptions about the California lemon law is that it only applies to new vehicles. This isn’t true. The law covers both new and used cars as long as they’re sold or leased with a warranty.

Whether you bought a brand-new car or a certified pre-owned one, you can still seek protection under the lemon law if the vehicle qualifies as a lemon.


Myth 2: California’s Lemon Law Only Covers Mechanical Issues

Fact: While mechanical defects are the most common grounds for lemon law claims, the law also pertains to non-mechanical problems that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. These can include issues with the electrical system, safety features, or even cosmetic defects.


Myth 3: You Have to Go to Court to Resolve Lemon Law Disputes

Fact: Some cases end up in court, while others can be resolved by requesting a refund. If a lawyer intervenes and the manufacturer attempts to resolve the issue before going to court (known as pre-litigation), it typically takes 90 to 120 days to finalize.

However, sometimes, the company refuses to address the problem, and the customer has to sue them.

In other instances, the manufacturer proposes arbitration, where they pay an arbitrator to handle the case. An arbitrator is a neutral third party appointed to settle disputes outside the court system. In this situation, the company usually wins, or the customer gets another repair, which isn’t much help since they still have a warranty. It’s better to skip arbitration and hire a lemon law attorney.


Myth 4: The Lemon Law Has a Strict Time Limit for Filing a Claim

Fact: Another misconception about California’s lemon law is there’s a strict time limit for filing a claim. While there are time limits, they’re pretty generous. According to California case law, you generally have up to four years from when you realize the manufacturer can’t fix your vehicle. The rule is, don’t sit on your rights or assume you have unlimited time. Hire a lemon lawyer.


Do You Think You Have a Lemon?

If you believe you’ve purchased a 2017 or newer lemon car and want to pursue a lemon law claim, contact Norman Taylor & Associates today! We can guide you through the process, help you gather the necessary documentation, and fight for your rights.

Our experienced lemon law attorneys have been protecting consumers’ rights since 1987. Call 818-244-3905 to schedule a FREE consultation today!

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


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