The California Lemon Law – Where Did It Come From

Not many people understand where laws began but many times it’s important to know this to help you better understand the law itself. This is also true with the California Lemon Law.

This law started in 1979 by a woman in Lemon Grove, California. She purchased a car and while waiting it to be repaired she lost her patience. Considering that 3 months had gone by, you can understand why. All by herself, she picketed that exact dealership for a whole 5 months. During that time she was verbally abused by the mechanics, salesman and customers. Finally after all this time she got some attention from the local newspaper. A citizen’s movement began, support for her situation built and it resulted in the California Lemon Law being enacted.

This humble beginning spawned a lemon law in every single state. Of course the law varies from state to state but they pretty much all say the same thing; that the vehicle must be in good condition, without malfunctions when it was sold and throughout the life of the warranty.

California, like most other states, states that after a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle by the dealership, if the vehicle still isn’t fixed, then it can be considered a lemon. The only exception to that rule is if the malfunction could cause bodily harm or even death. If that’s the case, then it can be just one attempt to repair it and if it isn’t fixed, it can be considered a lemon and the vehicle will quality under this law.

The most important aspect of this law is regarding the warranty. It doesn’t matter if the car is one month old or two years old. If the vehicle is still under warranty, then you can qualify for this law. Also, don’t forget that this law doesn’t just cover automobiles. It also covers: trucks, SUVs, vans, boats, recreational vehicles and motorcycles. The same thing applies to all the vehicles except for the last three. They have several specifications that must be in order before they can qualify.

Many times when you purchase a vehicle, the dealership will say that it is being sold “as is.” If you bought a vehicle like that, it still can qualify. Saying “as is” does not exempt that vehicle from being considered a lemon. You still can go forward, get yourself a good “lemon law” attorney and get your money back or a new replacement vehicle.

Remember, when you look for an attorney, find one that will give you a free case evaluation to see if your vehicle qualifies. Also, find one that will not make you spend any out of pocket expenses. What they usually do is work on your case and they take a percentage of any of the money that they recover for you.