Are you the owner of a certified pre-owned Volkswagen that keeps breaking down, even after multiple repair attempts? It sounds like you’ve bought a lemon, which is incredibly frustrating when you were guaranteed a vehicle in good working order. In fact, the whole point of buying a CPO car is to ensure that it meets factory standards that are set by the manufacturer. You would think this will spare you from ending up with a defective vehicle, but that’s not always the case.
California’s lemon law entitles you to compensation if you were sold a lemon, even if the car is used, refurbished, or certified pre-owned. But dealerships and manufacturers may not act in good faith when they’re faced with the prospect of losing money. Guardian Lemon Law can help you recover the costs you’ve been burdened with through no fault of your own. To learn about your rights and legal options, contact our office and speak to a California lemon law attorney.
Can I Lemon a VW if it was Certified Pre-Owned?
The law allows you to lemon a Volkswagen if it was CPO with a warranty that’s backed by the manufacturer. In addition, you must have purchased the car from a dealership, and not from a private seller. If the car has a significant defect that cannot be resolved after a reasonable number of attempts by the manufacturer, you have the right to demand a refund or a replacement vehicle.
But what counts as a “significant” defect, and how many chances does Volkswagen have to fix the problem? Basically, the defect would have to cause a substantial devaluation of your car or pose a significant risk to your safety. Thus, a broken door handle is unlikely to qualify you for a lemon claim, but issues with the brakes – that’s a serious problem that affects your safety.
Now, let’s talk about what we mean by reasonable repair attempts, which varies depending on the extent of the defect. In most cases, the manufacturer gets at least 4 tries to fix the problem before the car is classified as a lemon. But if the defect is likely to result in injuries or death, 2 attempts is seen as reasonable. However, you can also lemon a car based on the number of days it’s spent in the shop. If the car has been out of service for 30 days or more due to repairs, you’ve got yourself a lemon.
Volkswagen Models that are Eligible for a Lemon Claim
Now that you know the eligibility requirements for a lemon claim, you may be wondering if your VW model qualifies for compensation. The lemon law covers all models of personal-use Volkswagen vehicles, whether they are new or used. You can also file a lemon claim on commercial automobiles weighing less than 10,000 pounds and registered to a business with no more than 5 registered vehicles.
As a reference, here is a list of all VW models that are protected under California’ lemon law:
- Volkswagen Arteon
- Volkswagen Golf
- Volkswagen Golf GTI
- Volkswagen Golf R
- Volkswagen Jetta
- Volkswagen Jetta GLI
- Volkswagen Passat
- Volkswagen Atlas
- Volkswagen ID.4
- Volkswagen Taos
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Volkswagen Beetle
- Volkswagen Cabrio
- Volkswagen Cabriolet
- Volkswagen CC
- Volkswagen Corrado
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Volkswagen Eos
- Volkswagen Eurovan
- Volkswagen Fox
- Volkswagen GLI
- Volkswagen Alltrack
- Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
- Volkswagen GTI
- Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
- Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
- Volkswagen New Beetle
- Volkswagen New Cabrio
- Volkswagen Phaeton
- Volkswagen R32
- Volkswagen Rabbit
- Volkswagen Routan
- Volkswagen Tiguan Limited
- Volkswagen Touareg
- Volkswagen Touareg 2
- Volkswagen Toureg Hybrid
What can I Receive from a Lemon Lawsuit against Volkswagen?
If your certified pre-owned VW meets the standard under the state’s lemon law, you can ask for one of two things:
- A refund of the purchase or lease price, along with collateral costs such as license and title fees, sales tax, and finance charges.
- A replacement vehicle of equivalent value.
You can also ask to be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses that you wouldn’t have had to pay if you received a car in good working order. Towing fees, cost of rideshare services, and rental cars would fall in this category, though we can discuss this with you in more detail during a free consultation. We will also talk to you about the mileage offset that can be deducted by the manufacturer. Obviously, a car depreciates in value from being used, so Volkswagen has a right to deduct the amount of depreciation before they compensate you on a lemon claim. This can be challenging to calculate when the car is already used, so it’s important to retain a lawyer who can negotiate a fair mileage offset on your behalf.
What is the Value of my Lemon Law Case?
Claimants that contact us usually ask about the average value on these cases, but the value of a lemon claim must be determined on a case-by-case basis. If we had to give an estimate, a lemon case may be worth anywhere from $50,000 to over $1 million.
Why is there such a great variation? One reason is the type of damages that a client is owed, which can be substantial depending on their out of pocket expenses. Owners may also receive a civil penalty payment, which is awarded when the manufacturer acts in bad faith to avoid paying out a lemon claim. The civil penalty can be double the amount of your total damages, so if you are owed $25,000, your civil penalty will add an extra $50,000 to your settlement. Bodily injuries can also increase a lemon law settlement, since you can ask for damages like medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. These payments can add another $100,000 or more to your settlement, depending on the severity of injuries.
Is there a Deadline to File a Lemon Claim?
Yes, there is a statute of limitations for lemon lawsuits in the state of California. Generally, you have four years to file a claim from the date of discovery, meaning the date on which you discovered the defect that turned your car into a lemon. This can be a bit tricky to determine, so it’s important to speak with a lawyer who can help you determine the statute of limitations for your case. Keep in mind that you will lose the right to seek monetary damages if you don’t file your lawsuit in time. Taking immediate action on a claim is the best way to avoid this outcome, so call us right away if you haven’t filed a claim already.
How long do these Cases take to Settle?
At Guardian Lemon Law, we aim to settle all lemon law claims within 3 to 6 months. Sometimes, the manufacturer is quick to respond, and a claim may be settled in just 30 days. But even minor complications can extend the amount of time that it takes to resolve a case. The cases that take the longest involve accidents that caused the claimant to be injured. It’s possible that a lawsuit will be required in order to receive a fair amount of damages for what the client has gone through. At that point, the process of recovering your payment can take one or more years.
Speak to a Lawyer Experienced in VW Lemon Claims
Advice from an experienced attorney is the key to winning a lemon case, regardless of how far along you are in the claims process. If you’re a new claimant, you probably have questions about your legal rights and the steps you need to take in order to recover your damages. If, on the other hand, you have an active claim against VW, you may be unhappy with how long it’s taking to settle your case. No matter the issue, we can help you during a free second opinion at our law firm. With their many years of experience in lemon lawsuits, our attorneys can help you determine the best course action. A second opinion consultation is just a phone call away, so please contact us at your earliest convenience.
Contact Guardian Lemon Law
If you need skilled, effective representation in a lemon claim against Volkswagen, look no further than Guardian Lemon Law. Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of lemon owners such as yourself, and we are confident in our ability to bring you justice. That’s why we offer a Zero fee guarantee, where we put up all the costs of litigating your case. We get paid by VW at the same time you receive your settlement, so your finances are never at risk. If you’re ready to learn more about the protections that are available to you, schedule a free case review by contacting our office.