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Which Car Manufacturers Produce the Most Lemons?

Driving is such an integral part of our daily lives that it’s hard to remember how dangerous it can be. Car accidents are the second most common accident-related cause of death in the US and the most common for people under 55. Something as simple as a defective part in someone’s car can instantly end lives.

That’s why the state of California has put its “Lemon Law” into place. If driving a car is the most dangerous thing you do daily, then your vehicle itself shouldn’t be making it worse. Here’s what you need to know about the Lemon Law and the five brands that are most often listed in lemon law complaints.

What Is California’s Lemon Law?

California’s Lemon Law is a crucial piece of legislation that protects consumers like you from the negligence of large car manufacturers. It came into being after decades of failed fights where consumers with defective vehicles had to fight manufacturers to prove their claim. The official name for the law is the “Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act,” which protects all consumers from faulty or defective goods.

A “lemon” of a car, or a vehicle covered by the act, is a vehicle that’s been:

  • Out of service for 30 days or more for warranty issues
  • Repaired by the manufacturer for general warranty issues at least four times or twice for problems that could lead to death or severe injury

These problems must occur within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of ownership, and the owner of the car can’t be causing the issues through abuse.

If this sounds like your car, then you unfortunately have a lemon. You need to get the manufacturer to make it right.

Not sure whether your car is a lemon? Then you should pay attention to its make and model. It’s more likely that you’ll wind up with a defective vehicle if you buy from the following five brands.

5. Mercedes-Benz

Yes, despite its reputation for luxury, the Mercedes-Benz corporation can regularly produce cars that are dangerous and even deadly. Despite these cars’ good looks, you might face a number of problems that make your Mercedes a lemon, like:

  • Suspension failures
  • Misfiring engines
  • Oil leaks
  • Faulty brakes
  • Major transmission issues

Your first step for any of these problems should be to have your local Mercedes-Benz dealer attempt to fix them. However, if you’ve tried to get your issues resolved and they keep coming back, then it might be time to take legal action.

4. Nissan

Nissan cars are considered a reliable, sporty alternative to other overseas brands like Hondas and Toyotas. However, not every Nissan is problem-free. In fact, Nissan cars are among the most common brands to find in lemon law claims in California.

If you own a Nissan, you might run into any of the following problems at some point, especially if you bought a recent model:

  • Faulty autonomous emergency braking systems (AEBs)
  • Brake fluid leaks
  • Oil leaks
  • Major corrosion issues
  • Faulty hood latches that can pop open while you’re driving
  • Exploding sunroofs

Not every Nissan will have these problems, but the ones that do are dangerous to their owners and everyone else on the road. If Nissan can’t fix your issues, then your car is probably a lemon.

3. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, also known as FCA, is one of the big three American car manufacturers. They produce cars under the brands Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram, all of which show up frequently in California lemon law cases.

Recently, Jeep alone has recalled more than 95,000 Jeep Cherokees globally for transmission problems. Other common issues with FCA vehicles include engine and suspension corrosion, shifting issues, fire hazards, and more.

2. General Motors

General Motors is currently the biggest name in American car manufacturing. In 2020, more than 18% of all cars purchased in America were made by GM, including Chevy models. This means that the brand is one of the most common in lemon law lawsuits simply because of how common their cars and trucks are.

These problems can be dangerous. The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 2019 and 2020 models were recently recalled four times for different issues. The trucks were often facing problems with stalling while driving, general electrical issues, a missing pressure regulator in the engine, and the potential for vehicle fires.

Even beyond these wide-reaching issues, GMC cars and trucks can have their own unique problems. If you’re having an issue that the company itself can’t fix, then you have a lemon on your hands.

1. Ford

Finally, the brand that has had the most trouble in recent years is Ford. This is partially due to the popularity of the brand, but that doesn’t entirely explain it. After all, in 2020, General Motors’ market share was nearly 50% higher than Ford’s.

One of the significant problems with Ford’s vehicles is the recent collection of issues in its PowerShift transmission. Ford’s Focus and Fiesta models have both been hammered in the courts for their dangerously faulty transmissions. Not only were the transmissions faulty, but Ford knew about the problems and didn’t take steps to fix them in the manufacturing process.

If you have any model of Ford vehicle, it’s understandable if you no longer trust the company to produce safe cars. Reach out today to learn whether you may have a lemon law case regarding your Ford car or truck.


Your car is one of the most valuable things you own. It’s responsible for your safety in the most dangerous activity that most Americans undertake every day. Your car should be as safe as it can be, or its manufacturer should be held responsible.

That’s just what California’s Lemon Law accomplishes. If your car turns out to be a lemon, you can and should hold its manufacturer accountable for its problems. With the help of an expert lemon law attorney, you can fight to get what you’re owed for your faulty vehicle. Don’t put yourself and others at risk; reach out for your free consultation today.

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