California Lemon Law News + Info

What happens if a car under warranty cannot be fixed?

When you purchase a new vehicle, it typically comes with a warranty provided by the manufacturer. A warranty is a promise that the manufacturer makes to repair or replace certain components of your vehicle in case they malfunction or fail within a specified period or mileage limit. However, warranties have limitations, and it’s important to understand what they do and do not cover.

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Understanding Vehicle Warranties

A warranty is a contract between the manufacturer and consumer. It assures that, during a specified period of time, the manufacturer will offer complementary repairs to ensure that the product conforms to specific standards. The warranty will cover repairs, replacement of parts, and labor costs associated with those repairs or replacements.

Most vehicles sold from manufacturers’ dealerships will come with an express warranty. You should receive a copy of this warranty upon sale of the vehicle.

Auto Buying Guide: Types of Vehicle Warranties

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

When A Car Cannot Be Fixed

If your vehicle repeatedly experiences the same problem or if an issue significantly impairs the vehicle’s use, value or safety, it may be considered a defective vehicle under the California Lemon Law. Your faulty vehicle may be considered a “lemon vehicle” if its problems have not been fixed successfully after you gave the auto manufacturer or dealership a “reasonable number” of opportunities to do so.

What To Do If Your Car Is Unfixable

If you suspect that your vehicle is defective or seems unfixable, you will need to do the following:

  • Inform the Manufacturer or Dealership: Bring your vehicle in for another warrantied repair and report the concerns you have had with your vehicle. Make sure to report that your vehicle has been experiencing recurring issues that have seemingly not been fixed. Your concerns should be documented in the repair orders when you receive them.
  • Gather your Repair Orders and Documents: You will need to establish a timeline of your experience with your vehicle, plus proof of ownership or lease of the vehicle. Start by gathering any paperwork you received at the end of your repair visits. Other documents you may need include vehicle registration, a sales contract or lease agreement, and receipts for expenses incurred because of your vehicle problems.
  • Consider a Lemon Law Attorney: Under the California Lemon Law, you may be entitled to restitution from your auto manufacturer if they are unable or unwilling to repair your vehicle to warranty. A qualified lemon law attorney can help you file a claim against your auto manufacturer at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

What Can I Get If My Car Cannot Be Fixed?

Under the California Lemon Law, owners and lessees of defective vehicles may be able to receive cash compensation, a replacement vehicle that is substantially identical to your model, or a full refund for your vehicle (minus an offset based on the miles driven before your vehicle issues initially surfaced). Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to receive additional compensation for your vehicle troubles.

Each case is different, and no outcome is guaranteed. However, if you get a free lemon law consultation, you can ask specific questions about the viability of your potential claim.

How To Get A Free Lemon Law Consultation

Most lemon law attorneys offer free consultations to anyone inquiring about their potentially defective vehicles. During this consultation, you can expect to be asked questions about your particular situation, receive specific answers to your questions about the lemon law, and get some guidance on the next steps to take in your situation. Depending on your situation, you may be asked to schedule a follow-up consultation and a review of documents related to your case.

Our lemon law attorneys work around the clock to inform prospective clients of their lemon law rights. If you suspect that your vehicle is defective, you can receive a consultation from our team by calling us at our toll free number: 877-222-2222.


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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