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Lemon Law

Lemon Law

Overview

To protect consumers, the Song Beverly and Tanner Acts (aka Lemon Law) were enacted to require that manufacturers repurchase or replace vehicles with serious auto defects expeditiously.

When first enacted, the legislature required that the manufacturer pay the reasonable attorney’s fees of the consumer. In recent years, a cottage industry of plaintiff’s firms have begun to exploit this provision increasingly by delaying case resolution to run up excessive attorneys’ fees and collect larger shares of awards.

Reforms are needed to ensure customers and manufacturers are incentivized to resolve claims quickly. There needs to be a clear, direct path from consumers to the auto manufacturer, and greater utilization of the state’s third-party dispute resolution program, supervised by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

OP Ed

Calif. Auto Defect Law Incentivizes Overlitigation

Law 360 - April 7, 2020

California’s so-called lemon law, made up of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the Tanner Consumer Protection Act, was meant to help consumers obtain quick resolution for serious vehicle defects. Under the law, if a vehicle is not repaired after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer is entitled to a prompt replacement or refund of the purchase price.

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