Major Obligations & Penalties of Lemon Law

Charlotte Miller

Updated on:

Lemon car law is present in every state of the US. We have heard many times that to make higher profits, an automobile manufacturer intentionally sells poor quality products that are old and used— only to fool the customers. Several times, it goes unnoticed as the car does not get into any serious trouble, but many times the car shows defects right from the beginning. Lemon car law is therefore enacted to protect the customers from such malpractices. 

When does your car qualify to be a lemon?

According to the law in most states, a car is considered a lemon under two cases:

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  1. Must have a “substantial defect” covered by warranty

Substantial defects are the type of problems that are not caused by the owner of the vehicle— it is the problem caused by the manufacturer. It questions the car’s safety and usability. The type of problem and its criteria to fall under “substantial defect” is different for different states. Thus, if you reside in Los Angeles, you will need a professional lemon law lawyer Los Angeles situated to help you understand and follow the policies in your area. 

  1. Must continue to have defects after multiple repair attempts

If your car has a substantial defect as outlined by your state’s law, it is sent to the manufacturer for further repair. The manufacturer, thereafter, is given several chances to repair the car before the car is labeled as a “lemon”. It is suggested to demand an official copy of the warranty repair order or invoice if your car has previously gone under repair.

For example, if a customer has bought a car from a dealer and after driving it for some time he notices that it has some serious issues with the steering wheel— it is too rigid and not flexible at all, the car is a threat to safety. Thus, it comes under the category of “substantial defect.” In this case, the car is then sent to the dealer for repair. After multiple attempts, if he is unable to repair the car, it will be a case of “Lemon”. Furthermore, you can contact lemon law lawyers Los Angeles situated professionals for further assistance.

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Things you should know before filing a lemon car law case


  • While making the purchase, the product should be backed by a warrant for it to be eligible for “substantial defect”.
  • The lemon law also applies to old and used products as well and if it is under warranty, the manufacturer is obliged to perform his duties. 
  • The manufacturer is obliged to make 2 attempts to repair the product within a time frame of 30 days (equivalent to 1 month). 


According to California Lemon Law, the consumer is liable to get a “civil penalty” from the manufacturer. If he can prove that the car falls under the “lemon category” and the manufacturer has violated the terms and conditions by not accomplishing the obligations, he will be levied with a penalty. 

Buyback or Replace

When the manufacturer is proven guilty on the grounds of “lemon”, he or she has to pay the penalty. The manufacturer is also eligible for Lemon Law Buyback. This means that the manufacturer has to provide the full refund, subtracting the cost of prior use of the vehicle. In some cases, though not necessary, the car is even replaced with a similar model or a car of similar value. 


The laws and regulations may seem very straightforward and easy to be understood, but it should also be kept in mind that car manufacturers are great business entities with valuable goodwill. Thus, they can go to any extent to save their reputation.

Therefore, it is necessary to approach a trusted attorney, preferably a lemon law lawyer Los Angeles if you are fighting the case for lemon car law in the US. He or she will assist you and solve your problems effortlessly.

Schedule a case evaluation today!