California’s Song-Beverly Act is one of the most powerful consumer protection statutes in the nation. In the past, individuals who purchased a defective vehicle in California had little, if any, legal protection against auto dealerships and manufacturers. Even if those vehicles were covered under warranties, consumers faced an uphill battle against the vehicle manufacturers and their armies of lawyers. That all changed in 1970 when the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, also known as the California Lemon Law, was established. (The law bears the name of its authors in the California legislature, senators Alfred H. Song and Robert G. Beverly). Without the lemon law, California consumers were in a David and Goliath battle where all the weapons favored Goliath. The Song-Beverly Act changed that by leveling the playing field and allowing consumers powerful tools to take on the automotive industry.
In spite of the protections afforded by Song-Beverly, the average consumer still needs powerful legal representation to take on the auto manufacturers. At CCA – TheLemonFirm.com, we are experts in the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Our legal team is comprised of highly regarded lemon law attorneys with a proven track record of trial victories and exceptional settlements in lemon law claims. If you have purchased or leased a vehicle that has a significant defect that affects its performance, safety, or value, you need attorneys that will help you stand up to the big automakers and fight for your rights. Call the experts at CCA for a consultation at no charge to you: (833) LEMON-FIRM.
How does the Song-Beverly Act protect consumers?
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (CA Civil Code § 1790-1795.8) covers all consumer retail goods sold in California that are under an implied or express warranty, which includes automobiles. The law specifies that all consumer goods are covered under an implied warranty of merchantability as well as an implied warranty of fitness. This means that the goods (1) will perform as promised by the retailer or manufacturer; (2) are suitable for their intended purpose; and (3) are of the same quality as similar such goods.
Despite the fact that California has one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the nation, pursuing a California lemon law claim can be difficult. There is quite a bit of nuance in the law and automakers still deploy every trick in the book to protect their bottom line.
In order to qualify, the vehicle’s defects must be covered under a manufacturer’s factory warranty. Second, one or more repair issues must substantially impair the vehicle’s use, safety, or value. Lastly, the manufacturer must be given a “reasonable number” of attempts to repair the defects. Also, a vehicle may qualify simply because it’s not the same quality as other similar vehicle or if it is not suitable for its typical purpose.
Other Provisions of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
One of the essential provisions of the California lemon law has its own subtitle — The Tanner Consumer Protection Act — which provides the circumstances under which a vehicle may be presumed to be a lemon. This provision is limited in scope, however, in that it only applies to vehicles that have been purchased or leased within the past 18 months and have been driven no more than 18,000 miles. The Tanner Act doesn’t apply to used vehicles.
The Tanner Act provides certain presumptions that a vehicle is a lemon. In short, a reasonable number of repair attempts have been made if within the first 18-months or 18,000 miles: (1) the dealer made two or more attempts to repair the same defect and the defect is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death if the vehicle is driven, (2) the dealer made four or more attempts to repair the same performance defect, or (3) the vehicle has been out of service for an aggregate total of more than 30 calendar days from the date of the vehicle’s delivery to the buyer. (It must be noted that, just because a vehicle does not meet the presumption requirements of the Tanner Act, that does not mean that it is not a lemon. The Tanner Act is just another way of proving more conclusively that the vehicle is a lemon).
Finally, another important provision of the Song-Beverly Warranty Act concerns damages available to the consumer (California Civil Code § 1794). These damages include incidental and consequential damages, attorney’s fees, and, under certain conditions, a civil penalty. Incidental and consequential damages include those charges incurred by the consumer as a result of the breach of the Act by the manufacturer. For instance, if a consumer incurred car rental bills or Uber charges because her car was in the shop, CCA could recoup those charges from the manufacturer. The Song-Beverly Act also provides that a prevailing consumer will have all of her incurred costs and expenses reimbursed. This means that you do not pay CCA anything! We forward all of your litigation costs and are reimbursed by the manufacturer. Finally, the civil penalty allows the consumer to recover up to double what they paid for the vehicle as a penalty on the manufacturer when it willfully violates the Act. Our attorneys have a strong track record of obtaining substantial civil penalties for our clients.
Contact Our Los Angeles Song-Beverly Act Attorney
CCA is one of very few lemon law firms in California that was started by a seasoned trial attorney. Our founder, Michael H. Rosenstein, possesses an unsurpassed track record of trial victories and exceptional lemon law settlements. When you hire our firm, our reputation and experience are put to work for you to obtain you a substantial settlement faster, when compared to other lemon law firms.
If you have purchased or leased a vehicle in California that has been in the shop for numerous repairs that the dealer has not been able to resolve, you may have a lemon on your hands. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act provides you with legal remedies. When you become a client of CAA — TheLemonFirm.com, our expert legal team will enforce your rights inside or outside of the courtroom. While we charge you nothing, we will obtain the maximum compensation you deserve. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case: (833) LEMON-FIRM.