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The California Lemon Law Asks Where the Vehicle Was Sold – Not Whether the Buyer Paid California Sales Tax

Vehicle manufacturers used to try to argue that the California lemon law does not apply if the buyer didn’t pay California sales tax for the vehicle.  However, the California lemon law statute does not expressly require that a consumer pay California sales tax.  Further, in the case of Cummins, Inc. v. Superior Court, 36 Cal.4th 478 (2005) the California Supreme Court considered the sales tax issue, and ruled that a consumer need not have paid California sales tax for the vehicle in order for the California lemon law to apply.  The California Supreme Court ruled that in order for the California lemon law to apply, the defective car or truck need only have been SOLD in California.  Thus, if a vehicle was sold in California, it does not matter (for California lemon law purposes) whether the buyer paid California sales tax.

In a small number of cases, car buyers in California structure their vehicle purchases in specific ways in order to avoid California sales tax.  These tax avoidance transactions may cause the vehicle sale to be legally deemed to have occurred outside of California, thereby causing the California lemon law not to apply.  Here is a link that explains which types of tax avoidance transactions cause the California lemon law not to apply.

If your vehicle has been repaired numerous times for the same malfunction, and you want to know what rights you may have under the California lemon law call 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665) for a FREE consultation to discuss your situation in detail and to find out whether the California lemon law applies.