Warranty Rights According to Song-Beverly (Lemon Law)

By Seomul Evans

There was a time when vehicle owners are at the mercy of manufacturers. Not this time though; a check online will reveal that there is a law that protects car owners in the country. To be exact, this law known as the Song-Beverly (Lemon Law) which offers protection to consumers who have been at the receiving end of underperforming vehicles.

In general, the Song-Beverly law offers protection for the consumers and buyers who lease and purchase new vehicles. Under this law, the new motor vehicle includes not just the new vehicle but also the demonstrators. And the most common demonstrators include the chassis, the chassis cab and the propulsion. A quick reading of the law reveals that the consumer can get back the purchase amount or can get another new vehicle provided that the manufacturer in the state has failed to service and repair the vehicle after the required number of reasonable repair attempts. It is expected that the manufacturer or its representative should effectively repair the said vehicle to bring it back to the same efficiencies as expressed in the warranty. And if it fails to do so, it has the option to return the amount paid, or to replace an identical vehicle of the same make and model.

The amount of money that can be returned to the consumer will often include the price paid for the manufacturer-installed products and accessories and the transportation expenses. But the amount to be returned to the consumer will not include the price that has been paid for other accessories that provided by the manufacturer. Technically, it is the choice of the consumer if he/she wants the purchase amount or to simply get a replacement. Whatever the choice made by the consumer, it is expected that the manufacturer and the dealer should cover the payment for the registration, sales and use tax, and other fees associated in owning the vehicle. Other costs that have been incurred by the consumer should be shouldered by the other party as well including finance charges, towing and repair fees.

The consumer many be charged as well whether the vehicle considered as 'lemon' will be replaced or refund for the unit price will be provided. There is a formula used in computing for the amount that will be charged against the consumer. Take for example a car that has travelled 4,000 miles before this was brought to the repair shop. Using the computation where 4,000/120,000 then it follows that the consumer may be charged with 3 percent of the price for usage purposes. Just keep in mind that these rules and the computation will be applicable for the entire period of the warranty. If the vehicle is covered by a 5-year warranty, and the defect has been discovered after two years then the same rules listed above will be followed. The manufacturer can either replace the vehicle or it can offer a refund, provided that the consumer agrees to it.

But there are some limitations with this law as well. The 'Lemon Law' will not apply to your case if the problem occurred because the owner abuse product after delivery. The key here in order to maximize the coverage of the law is to follow the terms of warranty, and to use the vehicle properly.

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