Experienced California Lemon Law Lawyers

Are you driving a lemon?

You could be entitled to a full refund, a new car, or a cash settlement. Consult a California Lemon Law attorney to examine your case and fight back against predatory manufacturers. All consumers have rights; your California Lemon lawyer will help you defend them.

At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we have fought and won thousands of Lemon Law cases, making us a premier firm for Lemon lawyers in California.


8 Things You Should Know About California Lemon Law

Each state’s Lemon Laws are slightly different, so what do you need to know if you have a lemon vehicle in California?


1. Scope of California Lemon Law

The CA Lemon Law potentially covers both new and used vehicles that are still under the original or extended manufacturer’s warranty. This includes certified pre-owned vehicles but excludes service warranty issues. Whether bought or leased, vehicles covered under this law may be eligible for a Lemon Law claim if they meet the specified conditions.

2. Vehicles Covered Under the Law

California Lemon Law applies to vehicles primarily used for personal, family, or small business purposes (with fewer than five vehicles owned in the state). The range of vehicles includes:

  • Cars
  • Pickup trucks
  • Vans
  • SUVs
  • Motor home chassis cabs
  • Dealer-owned and demonstrator vehicles

3. Defects Covered

California’s Lemon Law requires that defects are covered by the manufacturer’s new-vehicle warranty and substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. Defects resulting from unauthorized use are not covered.

4. Timing for Claims

A Lemon Law claim in California can be initiated as soon as a defect is discovered, but it is strategically better to wait until after an unreasonable number of repair attempts. A claim is typically strengthened if the vehicle has undergone multiple unsuccessful repairs within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles or has been out of service for over 30 days cumulatively.

5. Duration of a Lemon Law Claim

The duration of a Lemon Law claim in California varies. It’s influenced by factors such as the defect’s nature, the manufacturer, and the California Lemon Law lawyer handling the case. We have found that we have been able to settle the majority of our California Lemon Law cases within 30-90 days. Still, we recommend that before you hire a Lemon Law attorney, you ask them about their typical time to settlement and their fee policy. 

6. Cost of Legal Representation

In California, the Lemon Law protects consumers by requiring auto manufacturers to bear the attorney’s fees for successful claims. This provision ensures that pursuing a Lemon Law claim costs the consumer nothing, whether the case is won or lost. At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we guarantee that, win or lose, we will never send you a bill for fees, ever.

7. Remedies Available

Successful Lemon Law claims in California can result in either a replacement vehicle or a complete purchase refund, along with compensation for related expenses like rental cars and repairs. The replacement vehicle must be comparable in make, model, and trim to the original Lemon vehicle.

8. Alternatives if Lemon Law Does Not Apply

If your vehicle’s issues don’t meet the Lemon Law criteria, it’s advisable to consult with a seasoned California lemon law lawyer to explore other legal options. Additional consumer protection laws, both state and federal, may still offer avenues for recourse.

Understanding these aspects can empower consumers to navigate the legal process more effectively and ensure that they fully utilize their Lemon Law rights. Let a dedicated Lemon Law attorney in California fight your case and ensure you get the justice you deserve. Get in touch with Timothy Abeel & Associates for your free case consultation today.


Frequently Asked California Lemon Law Questions Explained

California’s Lemon Law is a consumer protection law that helps people who buy or lease new vehicles or motor homes that have major defects that cannot be repaired during the first 18 months of ownership or the first 18,000 miles the vehicle is driven (whichever happens first). Even if you are not the original owner or lessee of a vehicle, you may still be able to bring a Lemon Law claim if you purchased a vehicle that malfunctions prior to meeting the 18-month time limit or 18,000 mileage limit.


Let Timothy Abeel and Associates Help With Your Lemon Law Case

Driving cars with persistent defects is frustrating. Do not abandon your car in the shop or return it to the dealership for a refund. Hire an experienced California Lemon Law lawyer who understands your rights and will not take no for an answer.

At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we are California Lemon Law attorneys equipped with the experience and knowledge needed to win you the best possible settlement.

Your Lemon Law California attorney is there to process your case, ensure you avoid being taken advantage of, and hold manufacturers accountable. Pursuing your case with a Lemon Law lawyer in California is 100% risk-free, so contact Timothy Abeel & Associates to know how Lemon Law works today.

There are a few requirements that determine whether your new vehicle is covered by California Lemon Law:

  • The vehicle must be a car, SUV, truck, passenger van, motor home (chassis cab only), or other non-commercial vehicle.
  • The vehicle must be used primarily for consumer, household or personal use (meaning, not used primarily in connection with a business).
  • The vehicle must be purchased or leased from a dealer in California.

No, motorcycles, boats, and unregistered off-road vehicles do not qualify as vehicles under California’s Lemon Law, but there are other laws that can help motorcycle, boat and off-road vehicle owners if they buy or lease one that’s defective.

Not every vehicle defect or problem qualifies you for a Lemon Law claim (although there may be other laws available to make a claim and get compensation).

California’s Lemon Law requires:

  • A defect or problem that is covered by the vehicle’s written warranty.
  • A defect or problem that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle.
  • The defect or problem has not been repaired or corrected by the car dealer after a reasonable number of attempts (in other words, you need to give the car dealership at least two chances to repair or correct the defect before you file a Lemon Law claim).
  • BUT if the vehicle has been out-of-service because of the defect—or any other problem or malfunction—for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days you can file a Lemon Law claim EVEN IF the dealer hasn’t had four chances to fix the defect.
  • A dealer to give you a fully itemized statement of the work each time you take the vehicle in for repair or service, including information about any parts installed and labor performed.

California Lemon Law provides for two remedies – you choose the one you want:

  • A vehicle repurchase: If the owner or lessee chooses to have the vehicle repurchased, the vehicle’s manufacturer is required to pay back:
    • The vehicle’s purchase price (not the market price, or its current value, but the purchase price you paid according to the original invoice or lease contract, including any credit you received for the trade-in of your old vehicle).
    • The sales tax, license/registration fees, and finance charges you paid.
    • The down payment, loan and lease payments you’ve made.
    • The cost of any manufacturer-installed options after the date you took delivery.
    • The cost of any rental car you needed while the vehicle was being repaired.
    • Repair costs, attorneys’ fees, expert fees and court costs.


  • A replacement vehicle: If you’d rather get a brand-new vehicle that operates correctly, you have the option of receiving a comparable vehicle (same make, model and trim level) with credit for all of your payments as if you still owned the original vehicle. In other words:
    • Your loan or lease continues at its current unpaid balance and will still run for the original term (it is not extended).
    • Your prior payments are counted toward the loan or lease as if you still owned the defective vehicle.
    • In other words, if you were in month six of a four-year car loan or lease when the defective vehicle was replaced, your next payment with the new car counts as payment number seven under your loan or lease.
    • If you choose the replacement vehicle remedy, the manufacturer also pays your rental car expenses, repair costs, attorneys’ fees, expert fees and court costs.

If the problems with your new car started after 18 months or 18,000 miles, you may still have claims under other consumer protection laws, such as a breach of implied product warranties or a fraud claim against the dealer.

The Lemon Law is designed so that the owner of a defective vehicle is fully reimbursed and not stuck paying additional expenses or costs. The law includes a fee-shifting provision that requires the vehicle manufacturer to pay all attorneys’ fees and other legal costs if the consumer wins the case IN ADDITION TO reimbursement for all repairs and service visits at the dealer.

All your expenses are paid whether you choose the repurchase remedy or replacement vehicle remedy.

Yes, we file Lemon Law claims for vehicle owners throughout California no matter where they live in the state. If we need to have an expert inspect your vehicle and write a report, we will send that person to you.

We work tirelessly to get our clients back on the road and with money back in their pockets as soon as possible, with a goal of settling each case within the first 30 to 90 days. We’re also not afraid to file suit against the manufacturer if they refuse to give our clients everything they’re legally entitled to.

Even if the repairs and issues with your vehicle don’t fit within the parameters of Lemon Law, they may qualify as unreasonable under other state or federal consumer protection laws. Call Timothy Abell & Associates at 888.611.5481 or contact us online to find out if you have a breach of warranty or loss in value claim.

Timothy Abeel & Associates, P.C. works to get the owners of defective or malfunctioning vehicles the settlement they deserve as fast as possible. Give our firm a call at 888-611-5481 to find out what you are entitled to as a consumer.

Yes. Some used cars are covered under CA Lemon Laws. Your Lemon Law lawyer in California can advise you whether your auto fits the criteria.

Used cars generally qualify if you purchased it under a defective warranty and it cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

However, California Lemon lawyers can only fight your case if you purchased the vehicle from a retailer or dealership, not a private owner. If your car does not qualify, call your California Lemon Law lawyer to determine whether you can pursue your claim under acts such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Determining how much your California Lemon Law lawyer could win for you depends on several key factors, including a formula based on the number of miles driven.

The formula is calculated by determining the number of miles driven before the first repair attempt divided by the average lifespan for a vehicle in California (120,000 miles). This figure is then multiplied by what you paid for the vehicle.

California Lemon Law lawyers will use this formula to estimate how much you could be entitled to.