Owning A Lemon Vehicle

Criteria For Ownership of a Lemon Vehicle

When prospective clients first contact our office, they often ask the question, do I have a lemon vehicle?

There are three easy ways to pinpoint a lemon vehicle:


What type of warranty does your vehicle have? Gasoline vehicles usually have shorter warranties. The minimum warranty from the manufacturer is usually 3 year 36,000 miles bumper to bumper whichever comes first. Longer warranties can apply to specific components such as the engine and transmission. Diesel engines usually carry longer warranties sometimes up to 10 years and 100,000 miles or 200,000 miles whichever comes first.

If you purchased a used vehicle this can still qualify as a lemon if there is a manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle and or you can show documented repairs for defects or nonconformities during the warranty period and before expiration of the warranty. An example of a documented repair is when you have a repair order from a repair facility authorized by the manufacturer showing that the complaint has been repaired or “verified”.

Please note: If you purchased your vehicle “As Is” with no warranty then most likely your vehicle is too old or has too many miles to seek remedies under California law as a lemon vehicle.


This point goes along with the warranty. Is your car still under warranty or does it have high mileage. High mileage is 50,000 miles or more on the vehicle. However, mileage may not be important if you can show that the defect or nonconformity began during the warranty period. Lemon Law Associates of California has actually gotten repurchases on vehicles with high mileage because we were able to go back through the original warranty history to document defects and nonconformities during the warranty period.


Lastly, once you establish that your vehicle is still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or you can show defects during the original manufacturer’s warranty period, then the next question is: How many defects count to qualify the vehicle as a lemon?

California Lemon Law does not set a specific standard only a guideline. A nonconformity is anything that impairs the use value and or safety of the vehicle or anything which can cause serious bodily injury or death. Usually its good to see at least 4 repair attempts for any nonconformity which impairs the use, value and or safety, and at least two repair attempts for any defect which can cause serious bodily injury or death.

These are just a few of the guidelines which can help you determine if your vehicle qualifies for “lemon aid”. Feel free to contact a California lemon law claims attorney at 877-955-3666 for a free consultation with any questions you may have. We would love to help you out even if it’s just to answer your questions. Lemon Law Associates of California is your number one consumer advocate in the fight against California lemon law claims.

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Lemon Law Associates Of California represents consumers who have California consumer vehicle claims regarding lemon law and auto fraud.

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Lemon Law Articles

Click below where you can find articles that can provide solutions to many of the questions you might have regarding California Lemon Law or if you might have a legitimate lemon law claim.

California Lemon Law FAQs


Q. My car is out of warranty now. Can I
still have a lemon law claim?

Ans: Yes. If you can establish the defect or nonconformity occurred during the original manufacturer’s warranty period your claim may still be valid.