You have a car that has been giving you nothing but problems. You are forced to take the car in time and time again for the same problem that never seems to get fixed. It is so bad that you don’t think that the dealership can fix the problem and you are wasting your time.
What do you do? Let the problem linger? Ignore it?
The answer to that question is straight forward. You have rights under California's lemon laws. The Song-Beverly Act requires a car maker to buy back your car for defective vehicles. But there are certain steps that you can take to increase your chances of getting your money back.
Gather Your Documents
The first step you need to take is to gather all of your documentation.
That means you need to find:
- Your purchase or lease agreement
- A copy of your current registration
- Copies of all repair and work orders (estimates for when you are still waiting to get your car back)
These are the records that show that the car manufacturer could not fix the car despite a “reasonable” number of repair attempts. Such documents are going to be the ammunition to get your money back.
You are usually going to deal with the service advisor and not the technician who worked on your car. They are sometimes more sympathetic to your troubles and sometimes express that in an email or text message. It is important to keep these emails.
If you communicated with the dealer by text message or email, you should keep copies of those records also. That can be evidence that the dealer is aware there is a problem that could not be fixed.
Take Photo or Video Proof
In addition to those documents, you may need to record additional proof.
Technicians at dealerships can get frustrated when they cannot repair the same problem over and over again. For that reason, they sometimes shift the blame on you or another reason. Some technicians will simply reset your computer and claim that the problem you complained about “could not be duplicated.”
This happens more often than you might believe and requires you to take photos and/or videos with your phone. The problem might be a light on the dashboard that says “check engine” or it may be a video of the car make noises or shaking uncontrollably. This is the evidence that shows the problem was still there even though the dealer tried to erase the problem.
Find the Right Attorney
After you have gathered these important documents, you need to find an attorney who can help you. Too often, car manufacturers will try to take advantage of you. You need to have confidence in your attorney to know your rights under lemon law.
Make sure that the attorney you select is someone who is willing to fight for you all the way through. You want an attorney who will handle your case personally instead of handing it off to a paralegal or an inexperienced attorney. You want an attorney that will take your case to trial if necessary, not someone who will drop your case if the manufacturer does not agree to buy back your car.
Ask the attorney about their trial experience and not simply if they have filed lawsuits. Your attorney will be your voice if your case goes to trial and you need to be comfortable with that person acting on your behalf.
Attorneys with good relationships with car makers can speed up the process for you. Although the pandemic has slowed down the times for getting lemon law cases settled, an attorney with a good reputation can get it done faster. Also, the car manufacturer will know that you are serious about pursuing a case if they refuse to repurchase your car.
Have Your Lawyer Submit A Demand For A Repurchase Or Sue The Manufacturer
Assuming your car is still under warranty, you can have your attorney submit a demand to the manufacturer to repurchase your car. You can also have your attorney file a lawsuit. This decision will be specific to your individual case.
Timing is everything and the types of problems your car is experiencing are factors that come into play on that decision. However, by filing a demand or a lawsuit against the manufacturer, you have started the process of getting your money back. Ask your attorney what they think is the best approach for your situation.
Reach Out to Mark Charles Law Today
If your vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty and has had several unsuccessful repair attempts by the dealer, you need a Pasadena lemon lawyer to help you. Don’t let the manufacturer take advantage of you and allow you to continue driving a defective and unsafe vehicle.
Mark Charles Law, APC is located in Los Angeles County and Pasadena. Mark Charles personally handles all cases that are accepted by the firm and will be the attorney that takes your case to trial. Call us at (626) 844-7710 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law lawyer today.