Does the California Lemon Law Cover ATVs?

An all-terrain vehicle is a great way to enjoy outdoor adventures, but these vehicles are prone to defects and malfunctions, just like any other form of motorized conveyance. As a result, your ATV may spend far more time in the repair shop than it should, which may have you asking, “Does California’s lemon law cover ATVs?”

The state’s lemon law does not specifically refer to ATVs, but there are protections you can rely on through the Song-Beverly Warranty Act. This legislation covers consumer goods that are backed by a warranty and sold throughout California. Furthermore, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law pertaining to warrantied goods, which can protect you for items not covered under California’s lemon law. However, there are complexities with both of these laws, which you will need to understand to navigate the claims process for a defective ATV. An experienced lemon law attorney can assist you at our office, so please contact us for a free consultation.

How do I Prove that my ATV is a Lemon?

This is a very important question, as you will need to supply clear and strong evidence to succeed in a lemon claim against the manufacturer. First, you must have purchased your ATV directly from the manufacturer or a dealership. Then, you must verify that the problem you are having is covered under an active warranty. In addition, the defect has to be a serious issue, meaning it negatively impacts the vehicle’s usability, safety, or value. Examples of serious ATV defects include:

  • Electrical wiring issues
  • Steering problems
  • Defective seatbelts
  • Battery dying or draining too fast
  • Poor acceleration
  • Weak or insufficient roll bars
  • Tire blowouts
  • Broken fuel gauge
  • Unstable / weak frame
  • Unstable floorboard
  • Problems with the brakes
  • ATV won’t shift or go into gear

As soon as you experience a significant problem with your ATV, make sure to contact the manufacturer so they can be given a chance to make things right. Not calling the manufacturer and taking it to your local mechanic or trying to repair it yourself can invalidate your right to compensation. To protect your right to an ATV lemon claim, make sure to take it to an authorized dealership and keep a record of all invoices, service write-ups, etc., that are related to your vehicle’s defect.

Remember that the manufacturer gets several tries to rectify the issue with your ATV. The number of attempts can vary based on the defect’s potential to cause injury or death. Brake failure, for example, is something that the manufacturer must fix in one or two attempts. For less serious issues, the manufacturer must be given at least 4 attempts. Another standard you can go by is the number of days your ATV has spent in the shop. If it’s been in for repairs for at least 30 days (does not need to be consecutive) due to the same problem, that can also qualify your ATV as a lemon.

What are my Rights if my ATV turns out to be a Lemon?

The Song-Beverly Warranty Act is a powerful form of legal protection for California consumers. Prior to this law, vehicle owners faced an uphill battle against manufacturers, even if they had an active warranty. Now, a manufacturer must resolve any defect that’s covered under the warranty within a reasonable number of attempts. If they fail to do so, the consumer is entitled a replacement ATV or a full refund of what they paid for the vehicle.

It’s important to discuss each of these options with an attorney. A refund, also known as a repurchase by the manufacturer, should include any finance charges or fees that were assessed by dealership, like sales tax and shipping. If you choose a replacement vehicle, on the other hand, it has to be similar to the original model. Due to the subjective nature of the word “similar,” it’s easy for claimants to be taken advantage of by the manufacturer. The lemon lawyers of Guardian can ensure that you receive a new, defect-free ATV that’s of comparable value to your original vehicle.

Finally, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim if your ATV’s defect resulted in an accident. This way, you can recover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you have suffered as a result of your injuries. We can help you receive every penny you are entitled to, so please give us a call at your earliest convenience.

Statute of Limitations on California Lemon Claims

Owners of defective vehicles have four years to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer under the state’s lemon law. The four-year window begins on the date that you knew or should have known that your ATV was a lemon. Don’t worry if you’re confused about this, as it can mean different things based on your circumstances. We can help you figure out exactly when the statute of limitations began on your case and how much time you have to file a claim for compensation.

Average Value of an ATV Lemon Case

Due to the number of factors that are involved, it’s very challenging to come up with an average value for an ATV lemon claim. The contract price of your ATV is one of the biggest factors, which will probably range between $5,000 and $15,000. However, you may be eligible for additional compensation, like a civil payment if the manufacturer willfully violated the state’s lemon law. The penalty can be two times the value of your damages, meaning if your claim is worth $10,000, you would receive an additional $20,000. Additionally, you may have a case for bodily injuries if the issue with your ATV caused you to have an accident. How much you can obtain from an ATV accident claim will depend on the severity of your injuries.

As you can see, the value of a lemon settlement varies greatly from case to case. For an approximate value of your own lemon law claim, contact our attorneys for a free case review.

How long does it take to get Paid on these Cases?

Some lemon claims will settle in just 30 days, while others can take one or more years. There are many complications that can add to the timeline of a lemon case, though it’s always our goal to settle your claim within the first few months. However, much of the timeline depends on the manufacturer’s cooperation and how fast they can respond to our requests. As a general rule, you can expect that claims involving injuries will take the longest to resolve, especially cases with head injuries, serious burns, and other long-term complications.

Second Opinion on Active Lemon Claims

The lemon attorneys of Guardian offer second opinions if you have a pending case against an ATV manufacturer. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to end up with an attorney who doesn’t see you as a priority. At this point, you may be frustrated by their lack of communication or how long it’s taking to settle your claim. We are happy to review your case and offer an honest assessment of your legal options, which may include switching to another lawyer. However, this is completely up to you, and the consultation is free of charge no matter what you decide. Contact us today for a second opinion from one of our attorneys.   

Speak to a California Lemon Law Attorney

Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of lemon owners just like you, and we are more than ready for the challenge of taking on your case. Getting compensation for a defective ATV should be a straightforward process, but we know the games that manufacturers can play in order to save themselves money. You can count on us to fight tirelessly for your rights and bring you the funds you are entitled to.

Our core principles include the Zero fee guarantee, which means you pay nothing upfront to retain one of attorneys. We pay all the costs associated with your case and wait to recover our fees from the party you are suing. Essentially, we don’t make a single penny unless we win your case, so you can rest easy knowing that your finances are never at risk. Our lemon attorneys are here for you 24/7, so contact us to learn more about your rights and legal options.

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