Take a Moment and Read It
Your manufacturer warranty booklet contains important and valuable consumer information that spells out your rights and obligations. With a few quick turns of the pages, you will become acquainted with what your new vehicle’s warranties are at a glance, what to do when you need to talk with your manufacturer, what things generally are covered by your warranties and what things are not, and your responsibilities as a buyer to keep your new vehicle’s warranties intact.
Go ahead—take a moment and read it.
What is Covered and What is Not
In general, your manufacturer will warrant that your new vehicle is free from defects in materials or workmanship, subject to certain terms and conditions. All new vehicle limited warranties establish a basic coverage period timeline. For example, a standard coverage period timeline may be for 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, from the earlier date of either retail delivery or first use of the vehicle.
Exceptions to your general limited warranty should be clearly indicated in your new vehicle’s warranty booklet. Specific exceptions may reduce or eliminate warranty coverage altogether for things like minor repairs, air conditioner refrigerant charge, original equipment battery, and towing. Importantly, you are responsible for the maintenance of your vehicle to the extent the repairs are not expressly agreed to, or provided for free of charge, by your manufacturer. Keep in mind, factors beyond your manufacturer’s control, such as misuse, neglect, accidents, alterations, and normal wear and tear, are not typically covered by your manufacturer’s limited warranty.
How the Lemon Law Applies to Your Express Warranty
Under California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (“lemon law”), you may be entitled to have the manufacturer promptly repurchase or replace your vehicle for a breach of your vehicle’s express warranties. But, how does this work? Let’s take a closer look.
In California, the lemon law has established a handy set of rules to protect consumers when buying new automobiles that are sold through manufacturer/dealer relationships. The general rule is that if the manufacturer is unable to repair a new motor vehicle to conform to the express warranties after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer shall either promptly repurchase or replace the vehicle. In other words, if you purchased a new vehicle from a dealer that had something substantially wrong with it and the dealer was unable to fix the problem after a couple of opportunities to do so, you may have a valid lemon law claim.
Putting It All Together
Let’s say you purchase the car of your dreams, a beautiful brand new cream-colored, four-door, luxury sedan from Dealer X, stocked with industry standard components. A few days later, as you are slowing to cross through an intersection, you feel what might be the transmission momentarily slipping out of place before continuing to operate normally. You immediately park your car and you pull your limited warranty booklet out of the glovebox. As you thumb through your booklet you realize you may have a defect that is covered by the vehicle’s manufacture powertrain limited warranty. Since you are not a mechanic, however, you are not certain. During the next few weeks you drive your car back to the dealership and ask them to fix the problem two separate times. Unfortunately, they cannot figure out what’s wrong your car and tell you that things are fine. Yet the problem continues to happen at unpredictable moments. You are dissatisfied and worried and you want your money back, but you are not sure what the next step is…
Contact Us Today
Fortunately for you, we at The Ledbetter Law Firm, APC have years of experience in lemon law litigation. The first step is to contact us for your free consultation where we will review your car problems and the repair history. Remember, attorneys’ fees are provided for under the lemon law, so contacting us couldn’t be more affordable to your wallet. At The Ledbetter Law Firm, APC, we value your business and look forward to serving you every step of the way.