Does California’s Lemon Law Cover Jet Skis?

California is the ideal state for lovers of water sports, and many residents are the proud owners of a jet ski, also known as a personal watercraft (PWC). These come in 2 categories: the “sit down” model, which can hold two or more people, or the “stand-up” model. The stand-up version accommodates one person and is mostly used by advanced riders for tricks, races, and competitions.

No matter which type of jet ski you own, it’s essential that all the parts on the vehicle work as they should. Unfortunately, many owners find themselves with a PWC that keeps breaking down from the same problem. So, what are your rights when your jet ski has a major defect that can’t be repaired by the manufacturer? Can you seek compensation for a defective watercraft under the state’s lemon law?

The answer is yes, which is good news if you were under the impression that the lemon law only covers automobiles. However, this statute also applies to owners of watercrafts, including jet skis, boats, and yachts. If you suspect that your jet ski is a lemon, contact our attorneys to learn about your legal options. There are various forms of compensation you may be entitled to, which we can help you recover from the manufacturer. Call us today to schedule a free case review.

How can I Prove that my Jet Ski is a Lemon? 

To establish your rights under the California lemon law, you will need to prove the following circumstances:

  • The jet ski was purchased / leased from the manufacturer or an authorized dealership.
  • You have an active warranty for the vehicle, which covers the defect in question. 
  • The unresolved defect seriously impairs your jet ski’s value, safety, or usability.
  • The manufacturer was given a reasonable number of repair attempts.   
  • The issue with your vehicle is not the result of an accident or neglect (for example, not changing the oil or using improper cleaning methods).

Make sure to take your jet ski back to the original dealership or an authorized repair center. Trying to fix it yourself or taking it to a local mechanic may invalidate your right to a lemon claim, as the manufacturer has to be given enough chances to fix the problem. For most defects, 4 repair attempts are allowed before a watercraft is classified as a lemon. On the other hand, defects that are likely to cause a serious accident must be resolved in no more than 2 attempts. You can also go by the number of days your jet ski has spent in the repair shop. If it’s been in the shop for 30 days or more, you can proceed with a lemon case.

Even with these guidelines, there may be special circumstances that can make you question your eligibility for a jet ski lemon claim. To learn more about your rights under California’s jet ski lemon law, contact us at your earliest convenience.

What Steps do I need to take if I end up with a Lemon Jet Ski? 

Even if you meet all the eligibility requirements, it’s essential to take the right steps and protect your right to compensation as the owner of a lemon jet ski. Here is a list of the actions you should take:

Stop using your jet ski.

We know it’s hard to refrain from using something that you really enjoy. However, it can be dangerous to you, as well as innocent bystanders, to keep operating a vehicle with a major defect. Furthermore, you do not want to exacerbate the existing defect or cause new problems, which can take away your right to sue the manufacturer.

Make sure to check your warranty. 

Keep in mind that the recurring defect with your jet ski must be covered under an active warranty. If the defect is covered, thoroughly review the terms of your warranty to ensure that you are in compliance.  

Speak with the manufacturer. 

Many people think they can skip this step if they’ve contacted the dealership. But please take the time to call the manufacturer and let them know about the issues you are having. This way, they can’t deny your claim later by saying that they were never told about the jet ski’s defect. 

Collect evidence.

Keep a detailed record of all the paperwork, such as invoices and diagnostic reports. You should also save any emails, letters, etc., between you and the manufacturer or dealership. If you can, try to jot down notes during phone conversations or right after speaking with the mechanic or a company representative.

Seek legal advice.

Unjust claim denials or low settlement offers are not uncommon when you’re dealing with a watercraft manufacturer. A lawyer experienced in jet ski lemon laws can fight for your rights and bring you the payment you’re entitled to.

What can I Receive from a Jet Ski Lemon Case? 

Your right to compensation as the owner of a lemon jet ski is guaranteed under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Under this law, manufacturers are required to resolve any issues that are backed by an active warranty. If they cannot do so after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer has the right to demand: 1) a full refund of the purchase or lease price; or 2) a new replacement jet ski of equivalent value.

We can’t say one choice is better than the other, but there are pros and cons to each option that you should be aware of. One of our lawyers will go over these terms with you during a free consultation and help you make the best decision for you and your family. You should also speak with an attorney if you’ve suffered an injury that was caused by your jet ski’s defect. Bodily injuries or death from a lemon jet ski may be grounds for a personal injury claim. These lawsuits are very complicated, so please seek help from an experienced accident injury lawyer at our office.

What is the Average Value of a Lemon Jet Ski Settlement? 

Frankly, there are too many factors that are specific to each case for us to come up with an average value for jet ski lemon lawsuits in general. Some of our cases are settled for around $25,000, while others brought in settlements of $500,000 or more. A major factor in your case value is the purchase price of your jet ski, which can range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. But you are also entitled to collateral costs (sales tax, finance charges, etc.) and out of pocket costs for expenses you’ve incurred due to the issues with your jet ski.

A civil penalty is another form of payment that may apply to your case. If the manufacturer commits a direct violation of the state’s lemon law, they can be ordered to pay you double the amount of your actual damages. That means if your settlement is $25,000, you could be awarded an additional $50,000 from a civil penalty payment. On top of this, you may have suffered bodily injuries from an accident that was caused by your jet ski’s defect. As a result, you may be owed medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and a variety of other damages.

As you can see, there are numerous complications that can affect the value of your lemon case. If you’re interested in obtaining maximum payment from a jet ski lemon claim, please take some time to speak with one of our attorneys.

Statute of Limitations for a Lemon Lawsuit

In California, you have 4 years to file a lawsuit if your jet ski turns out to be a lemon. If you exceed the statute of limitations, you will lose the ability to sue the manufacturer for monetary damages.

When does the 4-year window start? Essentially, the clock starts ticking from the time you knew about or should have known about the defect that qualifies your jet ski as a lemon. Due to the vague nature of these guidelines, many people go by the first time they took their vehicle in for repairs. But the starting point for the statute of limitations in your case may be different. We can help you determine the correct SOL based on your personal circumstances.

How long do these Cases take to Settle?

Here at Guardian Lemon Law, our goal is to negotiate your settlement and bring you the payment you deserve within the first 3 to 6 months of filing a lemon claim. The settlement process can be faster in some cases, but certain complications can add weeks or months to the overall timeline. That’s why we are honest about the fact that one or more years may be required, especially if an accident is involved. These are only estimates at the end of the day. Once we learn the details of your case, we can approximate a better timeline for how long it may take to settle your claim.

Free Second Opinion

Are you in need of a second opinion on your existing lemon claim? You’re not alone, based on the number of people that come to us with concerns about their case. Some of these cases are on the right track, but others are being handled by incompetent attorneys. We can help you redirect your claim towards a favorable outcome, but there is no pressure to do anything beyond meeting with us for a free consultation. To schedule a free second opinion with one of our lemon experts, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

The Lemon Law Attorneys of Guardian

Are you the owner of a jet ski that keeps breaking down from the same defect? This is a frustrating experience, but the law is on your side if you find yourself with a lemon jet ski. Unfortunately, many consumers struggle to get justice from the manufacturer, which is where we can be of help. Our lawyers have recovered over $500 million for California lemon owners. We are more than ready for the challenge of taking on your case and bringing you every penny of the settlement you are owed.

All our clients receive the Zero fee guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about legal fees. We only get paid by winning your case, and at that point, it’s the manufacturer that’s paying for our expenses. No matter the outcome, your finances are never at risk when you sign on with our law firm. A California lemon law attorney is ready to speak with you, so contact us right away for a free case review.

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