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California's Lemon Law protects buyers of unfixable vehicles

If the motor vehicle you bought recently just cannot seem to run consistently, it is natural to feel extremely frustrated. You may suspect that the dealership that sold you the vehicle ripped you off. But you are not necessarily stuck with that hunk of junk and no compensation.

California has a Lemon Law that gives people who bought an unfixable vehicle the chance to be made financially whole again. Most states have some form of this law, which in California is formally known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

How do you know if your vehicle is a lemon? If it has a performance issue that cannot be resolved in a reasonable amount of time under the warranty, your vehicle may qualify. The Lemon Law covers more than cars and trucks. Watercraft like boats and Jet Skis can also be lemons, as can recreational vehicles like campers and motor homes.

Thought the time that the owner must wait is left vague, in general the dealer is given one to three repair attempts within that “reasonable” time frame. If those repairs fail to fix the problem, the owner may need to take legal action.

While doing so on your own is possible, it is usually a good idea to hire an attorney with experience in consumer rights law. The law surrounding warranties can be very complicated, and someone without a background in warranty law may not get the compensation they deserve, or at least their claim could be delayed, costing them time and money.

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