California Lemon Law News + Info

What if the manufacturer claims that the defect was caused by my own negligence?

If your vehicle is not performing like it should, its performance may be caused by a manufacturing defect. Owners and lessees of vehicles with manufacturing defects may be eligible for a replacement or a repurchase of their vehicles under the California Lemon Law. However, auto manufacturers may attempt to skirt their responsibilities in the following ways: by not fulfilling their affirmative duty to replace or repurchase your vehicle, or by claiming that your vehicle does not qualify under the lemon law.

One way they claim your vehicle does not qualify is by stating that the vehicle defect was caused by your own negligence.

Specifically, the California Lemon Law does not cover vehicle problems caused by “unauthorized or unreasonable” use of the vehicle after the purchase. Generally, this means the law does not cover problems caused by aftermarket modifications, problems caused by abuse of the vehicle, problems caused by unreasonable use (say, for example, off-roading with a motor vehicle not meant for that purpose), or problems caused by neglect or lack of maintenance.

Learn what kind of defects fall under lemon law protection.

One way to refute this claim is by digging up repair orders for every maintenance repair you had and comparing it with the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the auto manufacturer. Maintenance repairs include oil changes, fluid refills, tire rotations and vehicle inspections.

Learn how to keep track of your repair orders.

If simple maintenance repairs were not enough to resolve your vehicle problems, then chances are your vehicle problems are more substantial. When you have a serious defect, you are required to give the auto manufacturer a reasonable number of chances to fix your vehicle. You may have to gather repair orders specific to the vehicle problems that you’re claiming to be evidence of a defect.

Learn what to do if your auto manufacturer refuses to repurchase or replace your vehicle.

Once you’ve gathered your documents, it’s time to consult a lemon law attorney. An experienced attorney can review the details of your potential claim and build a strong argument that the defect was not the result of your negligence.

Hiring a lemon law attorney will cost you nothing out of pocket. That’s because lemon law attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. In other words, they only get paid if you win, and the auto manufacturer has to pay the attorney’s fees and costs.

You also pay nothing for the initial consultation. If you believe your vehicle is a lemon, and the auto manufacturer is claiming negligence, call our lemon law attorneys to discuss your legal options: 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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