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What Qualifies as a Lemon

Protecting Consumers from Automotive Manufacturers Since 1987

Does Your Vehicle Qualify as a Lemon?

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Lemon Vehicles in California

If you believe that you have a lemon, you will need a thorough understanding of the various criteria one looks for to make that determination. 

At Norman Taylor & Associates, our California lemon law lawyers can provide you with information regarding what is considered a lemon and save you any guesswork!

If you suspect your car qualifies as a lemon, reach out to Norman Taylor & Associates, California Lemon Law Attorneys online or at  (818) 244-3905.

What Qualifies a Car as a Lemon?

There are two main factors that must be considered when determining whether or not your car qualifies as a lemon assuming you had your repairs done while covered by the manufacturer’s warranty:

1. Reasonable Number of Repairs: In California, if the vehicle manufacturer is unable to fix a car after a reasonable number of repairs, then it is considered a lemon. While the law doesn’t provide an exact definition for “reasonable,” California’s Lemon Law Presumption does provide guidelines to help determine what a “reasonable number of repairs” would be for various vehicle issues.  It is worthy of noting that a reasonable opportunity to repair is the standard.  If they refuse to repair, they will not be rewarded by later claiming they didn’t have enough repair attempts. 

2. Substantially Impaired Use, Value, or Safety:  The defect undergoing repair must be once of significance.  If it’s just a dome light malfunction and nothing else, that will not rise to the level of a defect that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety.  Bad brakes – likely yes.  Bad transmission – likely yes.  Bad electrical – likely yes.  Bad suspension – likely yes.  is applies to new and used vehicles sold or leased in California that come with a manufacturer’s vehicle warranty.  Impaired value can often be judged by, did you have a new car experience?  Impaired use, speaks for itself.  If it spent a majority of time in the shop – there goes your use.  Similarly, if you have a safety problem and cannot drive the vehicle – no use.  Safety problems are usually pretty obvious and the jury would determine how many repair attempts is a reasonable number under the circumstance. 

Whether you are driving a car, truck, SUV, motorhome, or leased vehicle, you should not have to pay the price for a manufacturer’s defect. If you believe your car qualifies as a lemon and are ready to take the next step in recovering compensation for your losses, please contact our attorneys today.

Common Vehicle Problems Related to Lemons

  • Brakes
  • Electrical
  • Air Conditioning
  • Transmission
  • Engine
  • Paint
  • Suspension

Reasonable Number of Chances to Repair

In addition to having the significant problem, you must have given the manufacturer a reasonable number of chances to repair the defect with their warranty repair facility (usually the dealership where it was purchased).

Even if the warranty is expired by time or miles, if the manufacturer never properly repaired your defect by the time the warranty expired, the warranty will continue to cover that defect.

Even if you have not had the same defect, you can still have the nightmare experience of a wide variety of problems and the added stress of multiple days of your vehicle being in the shop for repairs. Vehicles that need constant repairs for a variety of issues, can be considered substantially impaired and under the protection of the lemon laws too. If your vehicle has been in the shop for an unreasonable number of days for multiple problems, then you may be entitled to a replacement or refund.

Representing Consumers for More than 35 Years

If you think you have a lemon, you can receive legal guidance from our firm’s lemon law services

We’ve been representing consumers for more than 30 years. We have an expansive understanding of manufacturers’ processes and can predict their actions. If you are unsure of whether your vehicle may qualify as a lemon contact us now.


We offer a free case evaluation, which we can hold at your earliest convenience.

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    Glendale, CA 91204

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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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