Lemon Law for California

The Consumer Warranty Act requires that, if a manufacturer or its representative is unable to repair a purchased or leased motor vehicle to conform to its written (express) warranty after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer must promptly replace or repurchase it. (The manufacturer is allowed deducting money for miles you drove the vehicle before you took it to a repair shop because of the defect.)

The vehicle must have been purchased or leased in California for personal, family or business use in order to qualify for this protection.

During the entire warranty period you are protected by the Warranty Act. You will be protected for at least five years if you buy a car with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. This protection period can even be prolonged, as the time limit in which to bring a legal action for breach of warranty is four years from when the defect is first discovered. For example, in case you discovered that your vehicle is defective four years into a five-year warranty, you have an additional four years (or eight years from the date of purchase) to take legal action.

If your vehicle is determined to be a lemon, you have the right to choose a refund instead of a replacement vehicle. You cannot be required by the manufacturer to accept a replacement vehicle instead of a refund. In addition, you may be able to get a refund for repair, towing and use of a rental vehicle.