Our Attorneys Explain the Lemon Law Presumption
Manufacturers Must Have a Reasonable Number of Opportunities to Repair
Pursuant to California’s Lemon Law, consumers of qualified defective vehicles must provide the manufacturers or their authorized dealerships a “reasonable number” of opportunities to repair the defective vehicle before the manufacturer is required to repurchase or replace the car. However, because the lemon law does not specifically state the exact number of opportunities a buyer must give a dealership to repair the vehicle, there is some question as to what amounts to a “reasonable number” of attempts as this definition can differ when it is interpreted in the eyes of the judge or jury.
Most Viable Lemon Law Claims Do Not Meet a Lemon Law Presumption
Before delving into the details of the Lemon Law presumptions, it’s important to note that most viable lemon law claims do not meet any of the lemon law statutory presumptions. The California lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC have obtained thousands of vehicle repurchases over the course of decades, most of which did not meet a statutory presumption.
You do not need to meet a presumption; you only need to give the repair facilities a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the vehicle. That is the standard under which most California lemon law claims are judged.
If you do not meet a lemon law presumption, that cannot be used against you. This was made law in the 2004 case of Jiagbogu v. Mercedes-Benz USA. If a presumption is not met, the jury should not be given an instruction on it and will instead be instructed to decide simply whether the repair facilities failed to repair the vehicle after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
Our California lemon law attorneys can help you assess whether you have given the manufacturer of your defective vehicle “reasonable opportunities” to repair your defective vehicle. Below is some information on lemon law presumptions as explained by California lemon law attorneys.
California Lemon Law Presumptions
It is not necessary to meet a presumption for you to have a strong lemon law claim, but if you do satisfy the requirements of a presumption, that can make your claim stronger. If you meet one of the presumptions, an instruction should be given to the jury that your care is presumed to have met the reasonable number of repair attempts standard.
The California lemon law provides the following presumptions that presume a manufacturer to have been given a reasonable number of opportunities to repair a defective vehicle if within the first 18 months of ownership and 18,000 on the vehicle’s odometer, one or more of the following occurs:
- the vehicle defect is likely to cause “death or serious bodily injury” and there have been two or more attempted repairs by the manufacturer; or
- there have been four or more attempted repairs by the manufacturer on the defective vehicle; or
- the defective vehicle has been out of service for repair of the defects for a cumulative total of more than 30 calendar days since delivery of the vehicle to the buyer.
It’s important to note that the above presumptions are rebuttable. That is, even if met, they are not automatic, and the manufacturer can argue that it was not given a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the vehicle.
The California lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you assess these presumptions to your claim to determine whether your vehicle will likely qualify as a lemon, entitling you to damages.
Contact the California Lemon Law Attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC
Contact the California lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC for assistance with your lemon law claim. To reach our experienced lawyers, call us at 888-523-4790 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney.
We have offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.