Requirement that Vehicle be Subject to a “Reasonable Number” of Repair Attempts
Under California’s “lemon law” (i.e., the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act) (Civil Code Section 1791 et seq.), if a car or truck is under warranty, then the vehicle’s manufacturer must fix any defects so as to comply with the warranty within a “reasonable number of attempts.” If the manufacturer is unable to fix the problem (or if it can’t properly diagnose what is wrong), then it must either repurchase the vehicle or replace it with a new one.
So What is a “Reasonable” Number?
What constitutes a reasonable number of repair attempts under the California lemon law depends on how serious the defect is. It can be as few as two for defects that pose serious safety issues or that prevent you from being able to rely on your vehicle. Less serious malfunctions, on the other hand, require more repair attempts.
The best way to find out if you have a valuable California lemon law claim is to call an expert lemon law attorney. The Vachon Law Firm offers FREE consultations to discuss any California lemon law or other consumer legal questions. Call 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) today for a FREE consultation.
The California Lemon Law Has Presumptions Regarding What Constitutes a “Reasonable Number” of Repair Attempts
The California lemon law lists three situations in which a car or truck is presumed to be a lemon. Specifically, a vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if:
- There have been two or more repair attempts for a “condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury” within 18 months after purchase or within the first 18,000 miles, and the consumer has directly notified the manufacturer at least once of the need for repair;
- There have been four or more repair attempts for the same malfunction within 18 months after purchase or within the first 18,000 miles, and the consumer has directly notified the manufacturer at least once of the need for repair; or
- The vehicle spends a total of 30 or more days in the shop for repair within 18 months after purchase or within the first 18,000 miles.
However, it is important to remember that California’s lemon law created these three presumptions solely to provide guidance. When a California lemon law case goes to trial, the jury (or judge if it is tried by a judge) has the legal authority to find that a vehicle with fewer repair attempts qualifies as a lemon.
California Appeals Court Ruled That for Lemon Law to Apply “Reasonable Number” Means At Least Two Repair Attempts
The California lemon law’s only mandatory requirement is that the consumer must have taken the vehicle in for repair (to a car dealership that is one of the manufacturer’s authorized repair facilities) at least twice. Although this requirement does not appear in the text of the California lemon law statute, it was added by California’s Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District in the case of Silvio v. Ford Motor Company, 109 Cal.App.4th 1205 (2003). Accordingly, unless the California Supreme Court overrules the Silvio decision, consumers should take their vehicle to the shop for repairs at least twice prior to considering a California lemon law claim.
Once you have two or more repair attempts, the best way to find out if you have a California lemon law claim is to call a qualified attorney who specializes in the California lemon law lawsuits. The Vachon Law Firm offers FREE consultations to discuss your California lemon law rights. Call right now at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) to find out if you are entitled to monetary compensation under the lemon law!!!
- Back to California Lemon Law Info Page