Lemon Law

For millions of Californians, purchasing a vehicle is a serious financial commitment and sometimes is the largest transaction they will ever make. So, when a vehicle turns out to be unreliable and defective – otherwise known as a “lemon” – it can devastate family budgets; and faulty vehicles put lemon owners (and other drivers sharing the road with them) at risk.

Until California’s “Lemon Law” (the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act) was passed in 1970, auto manufacturers routinely refused to honor the terms of the warranties they sold to consumers. At the time, warranties were little more than sales gimmicks – empty promises from automakers to fix defective vehicles; and consumers wouldn’t realize, until it was too late, that manufacturers could simply refuse to honor warranty agreements without consequence.

Today, with the Lemon Law in place, California consumers enjoy considerable protections from getting stuck with a defective vehicle. State law requires automakers to either replace or buy-back defective vehicles if they are not fixed within a reasonable number of repair attempts. Ever since the Lemon Law was implemented, vehicle reliability has improved, largely because of the accountability the law demands of auto manufacturers. On those uncommon occasions when consumers are sold vehicles that are unreliable, they rely on California’s strong Lemon Law to make things right.

Shortly after I purchased a used car under warranty, I starting having problems with the battery. I repeatedly took the car to the dealer to get it repaired but the problem kept persisting. This was incredibly inconvenient and frankly, I was sick and tired of taking my car in for repairs. Thanks to the California Lemon Law, I finally feel safe driving again. I was able to return my car and get back what I paid for it with no out of pocket costs. I highly recommend to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to fight for their rights.
        - Maria L., Los Angeles

Instead of simply complying with the law, auto manufacturers constantly seek to weaken consumer protections. Regardless, CAOC and our consumer allies will keep fighting to make sure California’s laws are strong, and keep car buyers protected.