Time to Take Your Vehicle to the Shop

By: Brian T. Murray

For almost a week, Californians have been subject to a shelter-in-place order in response to the world-wide outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.  A silver lining to this unexpected quarantine is that it has allowed us the opportunity to spend more time with our families and focus more attention on chores and other household projects.  For many of us, maintaining and repairing our car is one of those tasks that is easy to put off because of the hassle of bringing our car into the dealership. Further, most of us use our cars to commute every day, which only leaves nights and weekends to keep up with these repairs.  Meanwhile, those nagging issues with our car continue because we simply don’t have enough time to address them. 


Now is the time. Executive Order N-33-20 directs all residents to stay home until further notice except as needed to maintain operation of essential services. (https://covid19.ca.gov/img/Executive-Order-N-33-20.pdf)  However, automotive repair and maintenance facilities are considered essential services. (https://covid19.ca.gov/img/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf) Despite this unfortunate situation, many authorized dealerships remain open to diagnose and repair vehicles.  Therefore, right now may be the best time to have your vehicle repaired especially if the issue is an unverified or intermittent issue that may require extra time and attention from the technician. 


If your vehicle has one of those problems that the dealership just can’t seem to fix, then you may have rights under the law. Your only obligation under the law is to present your vehicle to the dealership for repairs.  The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, better known as California’s Lemon Law, requires automobile manufacturers and distributors to promptly repurchase or replace an automobile when they are unable to conform the vehicle to the written warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts.  In California, a reasonable number of repair attempts requires that a repair facility must be given at least two opportunities to fix your vehicle. 


If you are experiencing problems with your vehicle, now is the time to present the vehicle to the dealership for repairs.  If the dealership is unwilling or unable to repair your vehicle you may have rights under the law. If you would like to discuss whether your vehicle, or former vehicle, qualifies as a “Lemon” please contact us at (833) LEMON-FIRM [(833) 536-6634] or www.thelemonfirm.com.