What Qualifies as a “Repair Attempt” Under the California Lemon Law?

THE CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW REQUIRES THAT VEHICLES BE PHYSICALLY DELIVERED TO AN “AUTHORIZED REPAIR FACILITY

The California lemon law essentially imposes two requirements on repair attempts. These are: (1) that the repairs be performed by an “authorized repair facility;” and (2) that the vehicle be physically delivered to the facility. These requirements are discussed further below.

After reviewing the California lemon law’s requirements for what constitutes a repair attempt, you may want to review this link discussing How Many Repairs Are Required Under the California Lemon Law?

California Lemon Law Repairs Must Be Attempted At An “Authorized Repair Facility”

California’s lemon law requires vehicle owners to take their cars or trucks to an “authorized repair facility” for repair.  Authorized repair facility means any official franchised dealership for that brand of cars or trucks (e.g., if you own a Ford vehicle, you must take it to an official Ford dealership, if you own a Toyota then you must take it to an official Toyota dealership).  Official franchised dealerships are easy to find because they use the vehicle brand name in their own name, for example “John Baker Ford,” “South Bay Chevrolet,” and “Owen BMW” are all franchised dealerships.

Lemon Vehicles Must Usually Be Physically Delivered to the Repair Facility

The vehicle must also be physically delivered to the authorized repair facility.  Contacting the repair facility by telephone and discussing the problem does not count.  So you should deliver the vehicle and ask them to repair it.  If the dealer asks you to leave and come back on another occasion (e.g., dealers sometime claim that they are waiting for necessary parts or manufacturer specialists) that still counts as a repair attempt by virtue of the fact that the vehicle was taken to the authorized repair facility and the owner requested repair.

Exception for Vehicles Immobilized by the Defect

In some instances, a car or truck can’t be taken to an authorized repair facility because it can’t be driven at all or is unsafe to drive.  Under the California lemon law, if a vehicle can’t be delivered to an authorized repair facility because of the defect, then in this situation only, the vehicle owner is permitted to send a written notice of the malfunction to repair facility, which states that  the vehicle cannot be delivered the dealership as a result of the defect.  This written notice is then deemed to be a repair attempt under the California lemon law.

Call the Vachon Law Firm at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) if you would like additional information on providing written notice of a defect. Consultations are always FREE!.

Important to Obtain and Keep Invoices For All Repairs

Finally, to preserve your rights under the California lemon law, you should obtain and keep all invoices for all of the vehicle’s repair attempts.  If you send a written notice, then you should keep a copy of the written notice and some form of proof that you sent it (i.e., certified mail receipt, facsimile confirmation sheet, etc.).  These documents will be important forms of proof should you need to assert a claim under the California lemon law.  When you call a California lemon law lawyer to see if you have a claim under the lemon law, the first thing he or she will want to see will be the invoices that you collected.

Call the Vachon Law Firm at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) for a FREE consultation to discuss your vehicle’s repair history.  You may have a right to monetary recovery under the lemon law!

Can You Still File a Claim Under the California Lemon Law if You Didn’t Keep All of Your Invoices?

Yes.  You can usually go back to the repairing dealer at any time to get copies of invoices for previous repairs.  The automobile manufacturers all utilize computerized databases to track warranty repairs, which the repairing dealerships can access.  Dealerships usually do not object to providing the repair history for your vehicle upon request.

Additionally, all vehicle manufacturers keep records of their warranty repairs, and these records are often accurate. Thus, even though it is a good idea to keep all of the invoices yourself, if you remember that you had a certain number of repair attempts, but do not still have the repair invoices, it is still possible to bring a California lemon law claim. Your lemon law lawyer will be able to show you how we can force the manufacturers to produce and turn over its warranty records in the “discovery” process if a California lemon law lawsuit is filed. Call the Vachon Law Firm at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) for a FREE consultation to discuss your repair attempts (documented or not) to see if you qualify for monetary recovery under the lemon law!

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