What Cars Qualify for California Lemon Law?

by Aryn Plax

Oct 2, 2020

If you bought or leased a car only for it to be a clunker, you’re neither alone nor out of luck. The California Lemon Law exists to protect consumers who end up with defective vehicles. However, it does not protect everyone who has a bad car. To file a lemon law case against your manufacturer, you have to fit a set of qualifications listed in the California Lemon Law.

The California Lemon Law states that (1) a California resident has to have (2) bought or leased (3) a new or used vehicle (4) with a manufacturer-backed warranty (5) from a licensed dealership in California, and that vehicle has to be set aside for (6) personal, family or household use.

That means any vehicles bought from an auction or a private sale, vehicles that are sold “as-is,” and vehicles bought elsewhere in the United States (or abroad) do not qualify under the California Lemon Law.

The California Lemon Law does offer a few exceptions.

An odometer with the label

A business owner can file a lemon law claim for a faulty vehicle if that vehicle (1) is equal to or under 10,000 pounds in curb weight and (2) the business does not have more than five vehicles registered in California.

The California Lemon Law also grants exceptions to members of the Armed Forces. Active duty members of the military may file lemon law cases if they either (1) purchased their vehicle in another state before being stationed in California or (2) purchased their vehicle from a licensed dealership in California before being stationed elsewhere.

Want to know if your vehicle qualifies for California Lemon Law protections? Fill out the form below or call us at 877-222-2222 for a free consultation.