If you find yourself dealing with a problem vehicle that qualifies under California Lemon Law, don’t delay. Life can get hectic with a faulty vehicle, but it’s important to file your claim promptly. It’s vital that you pursue your legal rights as soon as possible. If you wait too long then you may miss the California Lemon Law Time Limit.
Many consumers don’t realize there’s a time limit when it comes to filing a lawsuit under California Lemon Law. After dealing with the headache of owning a lemon, the last thing you want to do is miss your opportunity to resolve the situation. A statute of limitations applies to California lemon law and if you miss your window, you may greatly diminish your chances of reaching the desired settlement.
In the state of California, there is a statute of limitations on how much time the owner of a lemon has to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file within this window, then the claim is forfeit, even if the vehicle is obviously a lemon. As you can imagine, this can be devastating for someone who relies on their vehicle in their daily life.
A lemon law case is essentially a breach of warranty claim. These types of lawsuits carry a four-year statute of limitations based on the California Commercial Code. This means that if you have a lemon law claim, you only have four years to file the lawsuit. The California Lemon Law Time Limit applies to all aspects of your lemon law claim, including civil penalty claims.
Understanding when the lemon law time limit ends begins with understanding when it starts. While manufacturers have argued in the past that the statute of limitation should start from the purchase or lease date, the California Court of Appeal had a different idea.
The California Lemon Law timer starts running as soon as the consumer should have realized that the vehicle in question was a lemon. This means that the timer begins when a reasonable vehicle owner would have realized that the manufacturer was unable to repair the defect. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of room for interpretation. It’s not uncommon for the owner of the vehicle and the manufacturer to argue about when the statute of limitations started.
This is one of the reasons it’s important you have a qualified and experienced lemon law attorney in your corner. The manufacturer is prepared to do whatever they can to avoid a costly battle and settlement, replacement, or repurchase. If they can get the case dismissed on a perceived technicality, they won’t delay doing so.
Hiring an experienced lemon law attorney helps increase your chances of reaching a beneficial solution. It also shows the manufacturer that you mean business. An attorney can make sure your claim is handled promptly and within the statute of limitations.
It’s important to realize that the statute of limitations dictates how long you have to file your lemon law lawsuit. Beginning your claim with the vehicle’s manufacturer simply isn’t enough. The lawsuit must actually be filed within the four year window.
If you’ve been working with the manufacturer but haven’t filed a claim, it’s important to understand where you are in relation to the time limit. If you’re nearing the end of the statute of limitations you’ll want to consult a lemon law attorney immediately. Your attorney will go over your legal rights and get you on the right track as quickly as possible.
You should also allow your attorney to handle the negotiations for you. Do not request a lemon law buyback directly from the manufacturer. It’s important that you follow the process outlined by the law to ensure you’re fully protected, fully covered, and fully reimbursed. Working with the manufacturer directly will not extend the statute of limitations.
It’s also important to understand that, even if you’re at the beginning of your time limit, you shouldn’t delay filing a claim. Delays actually reduce the likelihood you’ll receive the desired outcome. Take action as soon as possible by contacting a lemon law attorney as soon as you understand the vehicle is defective. Even though the time limit to file is four years, your claim has the potential to be reduced if you wait. The reason being, part of your claim is that the use, value, or safety of the vehicle is impaired by the defect. Proving this becomes difficult if you wait a significant amount of time before filing your claim. The manufacturer can argue that the problem wasn’t serious if you continued to drive the vehicle.
Navigating California Lemon Law can be tricky and isn’t something you should do alone. The manufacturer will likely do all that they can to avoid settling, replacing, or repurchasing the problem vehicle. A qualified and experienced lemon law attorney has your best interests in mind.
They will guide you through the lemon law process. They’ll also help you maximize the effectiveness of your lawsuit. There is often additional financial strain associated with a lemon vehicle. You may have had to pay for a rental or public transportation. You may have missed out on income due to the vehicle’s defects. An attorney understands these costs and will fight to have the manufacturer reimburse you for them. They’ll even help you get the manufacturer to cover the cost of their legal fees. This means that if you win nothing, you pay your attorney nothing.
Owning a defective vehicle is stressful enough. Don’t allow the problem vehicle put more financial and emotional strain on your life than it already has. Call to speak with a qualified lemon law attorney to fully understand your rights and see what path you can take to reimbursement.