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What Is a Repair Attempt Under California Lemon Law?

Repair Attempts Under the Law

Under California lemon law, the consumer only needs to present the vehicle for repairs to the manufacturer’s authorized repair facility. Generally, this is the car dealership from whom you bought your vehicle or other dealerships that are authorized to sell this vehicle as new. What this means is that even if the dealer cannot duplicate the problem, it is a repair attempt. However, what the dealership says about the problem is a factor in determining whether you have a reasonable number of repair attempts. For instance, if the defect you are complaining about is an intermittent problem and the dealership says it cannot duplicate it, you should continue to take the vehicle in to the dealership and complain about it. You may want to do so five to six times, or until the dealership tells you it will not look at the vehicle anymore, because it cannot find the problem.

When your visit is completed, you are supposed to get a repair order that will list:

  • The date the vehicle went in for warranty repairs
  • The complaint
  • The odometer reading
  • The diagnosis and what (if any) repairs were completed
  • The date vehicle was ready

Protecting Yourself

  • When detailing the problem to the service advisor, be as descriptive as possible. The law does not expect that you will be an expert, but the clearer you are the better. Describe the issue in detail. Keep your own personal log of any conversations you have.
  • Do not leave the dealership without the repair order invoice. This will show both your complaint and what the dealer did in response. Be sure you review it before signing it or taking your vehicle. This will be your only chance to get a record of your warranty repair visit. If the repair order is not accurate, or does not include information you complained about, you need to demand that the dealership make changes to the repair order.
  • If you request a warranty repair history from a service advisor, be sure you request a detailed history as opposed to a summary.

If you have a vehicle that has a defect and that defect still exists despite the fact that you took the vehicle to the dealership for repairs, you may have a lemon under California lemon law. Contact the San Diego lemon law lawyers at Rosner, Barry & Babbitt, LLP today for a free consultation.

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