The lemon law applies to these faults if they arise during the first 18 months after the car is bought or within the first 18,000 miles on the odometer, whichever occurs first. During the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, the lemon law takes for granted that the manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity or a reasonable number of attempts to fix the vehicle.
The lemon law in California gives major rights to the car owners. The law helps people to get their cars repaired or replaced if it is under a warranty. A warranty is a written promise from the seller or maker that a car will perform as claimed.
The lemon law also provides coverage for a used car if it was sold with a written warranty and the vehicle was bought for private or family use. Under the California lemon law, the first time a lemon buyback is resold at the retail stage; it must have one-year factory warranty to cover defects and cannot lawfully be sold “as is.” The law requires that the car's papers declare that it is a “lemon law buyback” and the car must have a “LEMON” sticker stuck on the door jamb. When lemon buybacks are illegally sold “as is,” the buyer still has rights under the lemon law if this fact is unknown to the buyer.
Leased cars covered by a service contract also make the grade under the lemon law in California. Motorcycles, boats and vehicles used for recreation are also are eligible under the lemon law.
When you qualify under the lemon law you are entitled to receive a refund or a replacement vehicle, plus vehicle registration fees, rental car costs and towing charges. The choice of the refund or replacement vehicle is the consumer's, not the manufacturers. The manufacturer is only permitted to deduct money for the miles the vehicle was driven before it was taken to the garage because of the defect.
There are some common lemon law myths. Many people including lawyers and judges alike are misinformed that California’s lemon law merely means the attempted repair by the car maker of three or four times in the shop for the same warranty repair within 18 months or 18,000 miles. The lemon law recognizes a denial for the benefit of consumers where the same snag has been repaired four or more times within 18 months or 18,000 miles. If this is the condition then the consumer does not have to give any more evidence to show that the maker has had a reasonable number of repair attempts.