California Lemon Law News + Info

What if the warranty has expired by the time I discovered my vehicle was a Lemon?

As a vehicle owner, it can be frustrating to discover that your vehicle problems appear unfixable, only to find out that your auto manufacturer’s warranty has expired. You might want to know what your legal options are in this case. However, every time you research the lemon law, you keep seeing the term “warranty period.”

How does the warranty period affect your ability to pursue a lemon law claim?

Under the California Lemon Law, a vehicle may be a lemon if it has a problem that is covered by the warranty, first occurred during the warranty period and could not be fixed within a reasonable number of repair attempts.

The key factor is whether the warranty covers the specific vehicle problem, and if the vehicle problem first appeared during the warranty period.

Can I still file a lemon law claim even if my warranty is now expired?

The short answer is “it depends.” If you got your first repair for the defect sometime during the warranty period, you may still be able to file a lemon law claim.

To determine if you have a case, you must keep in mind the following:

  • The vehicle problem has to substantially impair your vehicle’s use, value or safety.
  • The vehicle problem has to occur within the warranty period.
  • The vehicle problem must be covered by the warranty.
  • The vehicle problem cannot be a result of abuse, neglect or lack of maintenance.
  • The vehicle problem has not been fixed within a reasonable number of repair attempts.

Not all repair attempts have to have occurred during the warranty period. Learn how to tell if your vehicle is a lemon and how many repair attempts are required.

It can also depend on how long the relevant warranty period lasts. The industry standard is anywhere from 3 years or 36,000 miles to 5 years or 60,000 miles. However, the warranty periods can vary by vehicle component and by manufacturer. Find your vehicle warranty booklet to check how long your warranty lasts.

Consult with a Lemon Law Attorney

Do not let an expired warranty discourage you from getting a lemon law consultation. Whether you are eligible for restitution under the California Lemon Law depends on the facts of your case. You can get further assistance for your situation by getting a consultation with a lemon law attorney. All consultations with our lemon law attorneys are free. If you have further questions about how expired warranties affect your lemon law rights, call our lemon law team at 877-217-7676.

Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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