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The California Lemon Law Applies to All Types of Consumer Goods

Many people want to know whether the California lemon law covers only cars and trucks, or whether it applies to other consumer products if they turn out to be “lemons.” The answer is yes, although the California lemon law’s rules can apply slightly differently depending the type of goods being discussed.

The California Lemon Laws Basic Rules Apply to All Consumer Goods

The “California lemon law” statute is formally titled the “Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act,” and is located California Civil Code Sections 1790 – 1795.8. The lemon law’s rules and requirements generally apply to “consumer goods,” which are defined by the California lemon law (at California Civil Code Section 1791(a)) to mean “any new product or part thereof that is used, bought, or leased for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, except for clothing and consumables.” Accordingly, most of the provisions of the California lemon law apply to ALL consumer goods other than clothing and consumable (e.g., fruits and vegetables, cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, etc.).

As a result, with regard to all consumer goods the California lemon law (at California Civil Code Section 1793.2) requires:

  1. that manufacturers must maintain sufficient repair facilities within California to allow consumers to obtain necessary repairs with reasonable convenience;
  2. that (with limited exceptions) repairs of defective goods generally must take no longer than 30 days; and
  3. that if defective consumer goods cannot be fixed within a “reasonable number” of attempts, the manufacturer must either replace the goods or repurchase them for the amount of money paid by the consumer, less the amount of money directly attributable to the use the consumer had of the product prior to discovery of the defect.
  4. The California Lemon Law Treats Automobiles Slightly Differently Than Other Consumer Goods

    The fact that the California lemon law covers all consumer goods does not however mean that it treats them the same way. The California lemon law contains many special rules that apply solely to specific types of products.

    For example, with regard to automobiles only, the California lemon law (at California Civil Code Section 1793.2(d)(2)) gives the buyer of a defective car or truck the right to demand a repurchase of the vehicle, instead of giving the manufacturer the option of either repurchasing or replacing the vehicle. This section of the California lemon law statute also contains a precise formula for how much money the manufacturer can deduct from the purchase price that it refunds to the buyer for the buyer’s use of the vehicle prior to discovery of the defect. A complete discussion of the California Lemon Law’s “mileage offset” rule for automobiles is contained on this site’s page How Much Money Can I Win in a California Lemon Law Lawsuit?

    Also with regard to automobiles only, the California lemon law (at California Civil Code Section 1793.22) contains specific presumptions regarding how many repair attempts constitute an “unreasonable number” of attempts, thereby rendering the vehicle a lemon. These presumptions are discussed in greater detail on this Web site’s page on How Many Repair Attempts Are Required Under the California Lemon Law?

    The California lemon law also has many other provisions that apply solely to specific types of goods, including clothing and consumables (at California Civil Code Section 1793.35), electronic goods and appliances (at California Civil Code Section 1793.03), wheelchairs (at California Civil Code Section 1793.025), and assistive devices (at California Civil Code Section 1793.02).

    Call a California Lemon Law Lawyer if You Have Questions About the Lemon Law’s Application to Goods Other Than Automobiles

    If you have any questions about whether or how the California lemon law applies to goods like stereos, cell phones, furniture, or any other type of consumer product then the best way to find out if you are covered is to call an expert California lemon law attorney.

    The Vachon Law Firm specializes in California lemon law claims, and offers FREE lemon law consultations. Call 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) for answers to all of your California lemon law questions.