California Lemon Law

Hopefully, you are not getting in touch with the California lemon law, but once you arrive in California and you would like to buy a car, there is a slight chance that you will. I made a very unfortunate encounter with this specific law and I would like to let you know about such a law. In fact, the law is a good law, it just didn’t work for me.

A lemon is a defective car that is found to have numerous or severe defects not readily apparent before its purchase. Any vehicle with these issues can be termed a ‘lemon’. In fact any product which has major flaws can be called a lemon.

I was wondering why they call a car or a product a lemon and found out that in the 1800s people described people who were sour or unfriendly as “lemons”. Over time, ‘lemon’ came to refer to anything that was defective or broken or which breaks constantly, particularly a car.

We had a fine nose and sniffed out a nice yellow lemon. It was a Subaru Outback which lasted 2 weeks before it blew up. We then wanted to give the car back to the seller and demanded our money back. This was not that easy since we bought the car in “as is” condition.

If we would have not signed the agreement “as is” condition, we could have suite the seller under the lemon law. The lemon law generally protects the buyer and helps you to compensate for cars that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality and performance or any other product.

Be aware when you buy a car in “as is condition” the lemon law will not apply. Some sellers make you sign a document which says: bought in “as is” condition. With having your signature, they know you can’t suit them later under the lemon law.

We tried to go the route of the small claims court under the california lemon law, but since we only arrived and didn’t settle yet thinks were too complicated and we  gave up. The seller took our lemon back and we got half of the money back. This was rather disappointing.

Generally selling and buying on Craigslist works well, but be aware of many scams on Craigslist, especially for the jobs and selling cars category. People can be sneaky and think of the weirdest stories. As soon as there are children involved, or people moving to Iraq and shipping cars, stay away from such emotional adverts. Go for honest and straight forward adverts.

Try to find out in advance as much as you can about the product you want to buy and the people you want to purchase it from. Always go with your gut feeling it will tell you whether you can trust the seller. If not move on, the right car will come.


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