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Common Issues in California Lemon Law Claims: Unraveling Potential Roadblocks

Jul 12


Understanding the intricacies of California Lemon Law claims can be quite challenging. Although designed to protect consumers, these laws can sometimes prove difficult to navigate. Let's delve into some of the most common issues that can emerge during a lemon law claim in California.

Misinterpretation of Lemon Law Qualifications

The Ambiguity of 'Substantial Impairment'

  • The most prominent issue revolves around determining whether a vehicle's defect substantially impairs its use, value, or safety, as required by the law.
  • The ambiguity in defining "substantial impairment" can lead to differing interpretations, causing potential roadblocks in the process.

Ignoring the Time and Mileage Factor

Another common issue is ignoring the time and mileage factor. Some consumers may not realize that the law applies to vehicles that are still under the manufacturer's warranty and have not exceeded 18 months or 18,000 miles from purchase. Neglecting this aspect can lead to futile claims.

Incorrect Documentation

Insufficient Repair Records

A lack of complete repair records is another common issue. To file a successful lemon law claim, you must provide repair orders, service invoices, and other relevant documents that establish the frequency and extent of your vehicle's defects. Insufficient documentation can significantly hinder your claim.

Missing Communications Records

Mismanagement or a lack of communication records with the manufacturer or authorized repair shop can also lead to claim issues. Remember, your written communication with the dealership or manufacturer can be pivotal in demonstrating your attempts to fix the vehicle.

Failing to Follow Proper Procedures

Not Providing the Manufacturer with Reasonable Repair Attempts

The law requires consumers to provide manufacturers with a "reasonable" number of attempts to fix the vehicle. However, what qualifies as "reasonable" can be subjective, and failing to meet this standard can jeopardize your claim.

Filing a Claim without Legal Guidance

While it may seem like an easy task, filing a lemon law claim without professional legal guidance can be risky. Navigating through legal complexities and paperwork can be daunting, and even minor errors can lead to claim denials.


Understanding these common issues can equip you with the knowledge to avoid potential roadblocks in your lemon law claim journey. Always keep meticulous records, follow all procedures, and consider seeking professional legal guidance to ensure a smoother claim process.


McMillan Law Group

4655 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

+1 619-795-9430