a lemon car

How Long Does a Lemon Law Case Take?

Maybe you have been driving a car that seems like it spends more time getting repaired than actually driving it. You finally muster up the courage to call a lemon lawyer to explore your options. Naturally, one of the first questions you wonder about is “How long will this take?” There are several possibilities of how long your case may take.

First, you need to make sure that you have all of your car’s repair records, purchase/lease agreement, and current registration. Those records are crucial for the attorney to make a demand to buy back your car. Manufacturers will often reject or offer a small amount to you if you do not have all of your records. Having all of your records paints the entire picture which explains why you have a lemon and the manufacturer should repurchase your car. Also, keeping all of the records and getting them to your attorney will allow your attorney to send out the demand to buy back the car faster. This avoids the delay of waiting to get those records so they can be included in the demand.

Second, after you have provided all of your repair records to the attorney, a demand can be sent out to the manufacturer. Although manufacturers can respond sooner, it is common for a manufacturer to respond to the demand within 30-45 days. The common manufacturer responses are: (1) the manufacturer requests additional information or requests more time to consider the demand for a repurchase; (2) the manufacturer offers to buy back your car; (3) the manufacturer offers to pay you a cash settlement (which means you keep your car); (4) the manufacturer rejects your demand to buy back your car. The more severe the problems/defects that plague your car and jeopardize your safety, the more likely the manufacturer will offer you a repurchase.

If you are fortunate to receive an offer to repurchase your lemon, the process generally takes three (3) to five (5) months from start to finish. This process used to be a bit faster but with the onset of COVID-19, manufacturers have delayed the process. On the other hand, if you are offered a cash offer and do not accept that offer, it is important to continue to take your car into the dealership whenever it has problems. Getting additional repair orders which show that your car continues to break down is ammunition to your demand for a repurchase of your vehicle. This approach also applies to situations when the manufacturer rejects your demand.

If you are still at it after the manufacturer has refused to buy back your car, the next option is litigation. This is the actual filing of a lawsuit in court. Prior to the pandemic, the timeline to getting your case to trial was generally a year after filing the lawsuit. However, the pandemic has changed those timelines. The cases have been delayed since it has been challenging to get juries to report for jury duty. This is likely to change soon since it now appears that the pandemic is getting under control. Do not be discouraged though. Most cases are settled before going to trial. That means that you may have to file a lawsuit but there is a good chance that it will settle before trial.

All of these factors reinforce four important tips that will help you get a buy back before filing a lawsuit. Those include:

  1. Take The Car In Every Time You Have A Problem
  1. Take Pictures or Videos of the Problem
  1. Read The Work Order/Repair Estimates That The Dealership Gives To You Before The Dealer Works on Your Car to Make Sure the Problem is on the Records
  1. Get All Repair Orders From the Dealership After Work is Performed

If you have leased or own a vehicle that is still under the manufacturer’s warranty and has had a number of repair attempts by the dealer but the problem still exists, you need a Pasadena Lemon Lawyer to help you. Don’t let the manufacturer take advantage of you and allow you to continue to drive the defective and unsafe vehicle you are driving.

Mark Charles Law, APC is located in Los Angeles County and Pasadena. Call us at (626) 844-7710 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law lawyer today.

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