Attorney Aaron Fhima said that informing consumers about their rights is key to ensuring the law is working as intended.
LOS ANGELES, CA, February 14, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — California’s lemon law, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, is one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the nation. However, attorney Aaron Fhima of the law firm Neale & Fhima said that if consumers aren’t aware of just how powerful it is, they might fail to take advantage of the protections it offers them.
“There are several misconceptions people hold regarding California’s lemon law,” Fhima said. “Car buyers too often forgo replacement or repayment simply because they weren’t told about the options afforded to them under law.”
Fhima said there are four misunderstandings he frequently encounters in his practice as a lemon law attorney. To help consumers understand their rights, he offered these reminders:
1. The lemon law also applies to some used vehicles. People often believe that the law is applicable only to new vehicle purchases, but even a used vehicle is still considered new if it meets certain criteria.
2. While consumers often assume that a lapsed warranty means there is no course of action available, Fhima said this is not the case. A consumer does not need to have a warranty in place to bring a claim if the consumer had repairs made while the vehicle was still under warranty.
3. Fhima said the other stipulation of the lemon law that breeds confusion is the 18,000-mile usage/18-month ownership provision. While consumers might assume exceeding these limits nullifies a claim, they might still have a path toward compensation, particularly if prior repair attempts were made.
4. Safety-related defects aren’t the only defects covered by California’s lemon law. Any defect that impairs the value or use of a vehicle can also be cause for filing a claim. More repair attempts are generally allowed for non-safety-related defects, but consumers can still seek repayment or replacement if the problem isn’t fixed.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act has been law in California since 1970, covering many different types of purchases, though it is most commonly associated with vehicle purchase. It was amended in 2007 to apply to California’s Armed Services residents, who can file a claim even if their vehicle was not purchased or registered in California.
Fhima said that California’s lemon law is designed to make our automobile markets fairer for buyers and that, if it isn’t fully utilized, consumers are carrying an undue burden.
“Buying a lemon is an incredibly frustrating experience,” Fhima said. “Filing a claim against a manufacturer might seem daunting, but once consumers realize that they have power under our lemon law, they rightly feel empowered to take action and get the compensation that they’re owed.”
Neale & Fhima is a California personal injury and consumer rights law firm that focuses exclusively on representing clients who have suffered personal injuries, who have lost loved ones in traumatic accidents and who have lemon law claims. The attorneys have over 40 years of combined litigation experience, and together they have recovered more than $50 million for their clients’ injuries and losses. Visit http://nealefhima.com/los-angeles/ to learn more.
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