You hate to admit it, but after repeated issues with your vehicle, it’s time to acknowledge that your car is a lemon. This is a frustrating experience, especially when you’ve purchased a luxury vehicle. Considering how much you paid for your car, a reoccurring defect that makes it unsafe or inoperable was the last thing you expected. So, what are your rights when you’ve found yourself with a defective Mercedes?
Fortunately, owners of warranty-covered vehicles are protected under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, better known as the California lemon law. You may be aware of this already, but what is the process of filing a lemon complaint with the court? How can you prove that you are eligible for compensation? Should you get a lawyer or try to handle the claims process on your own? These are just some of the questions that are probably floating through your mind right now.
To help you understand your legal rights, we will outline the basic steps you will need to take in order to receive compensation from the manufacturer. However, the actual process of filing a claim is quite complicated unless you have extensive knowledge of the state’s lemon law. While legal representation is not required, it’s in your best interest to seek guidance from an experienced California lemon lawyer. Guardian Lemon Law is here to assist you if you are suffering due to a defective car that Mercedes-Benz is unable to fix. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us at your earliest convenience.
Step 1: Take your Car back to the Dealership as Soon as Possible.
Make sure to bring your car back to the dealership or an authorized repair center as soon as you notice any problems that are covered by your warranty. Please don’t take it to an unauthorized repair shop or try to fix the issue on your own. Why is this so important? First, the manufacturer is not responsible for any issues with your car that they were unaware of. Second, repair attempts by anyone other than an authorized mechanic will most likely invalidate your car’s warranty. Without a valid warranty or proper notice to the manufacturer, you will not be allowed to proceed with a lemon claim.
Step 2: Give the Dealership a “Reasonable” Number of Chances to Resolve the Defect.
What counts as a reasonable number of repair attempts depends on the specific issue with your car. If the defect is so serious that it’s likely to cause injury or death (brake failure, defective air bag, etc.) the problem must be resolved by the second repair visit. For less serious issues, you should allow at least 4 repair attempts before you move forward with a lemon complaint. You can also file a lemon claim if your car has been in the repair shop for over 30 days due to a defect that’s covered by your warranty.
Step 3: Gather Evidence to Support your Claim.
When it comes to evidence in a lemon case, we always say, the more the better. Make sure to save any paperwork or documents related to your vehicle, including receipts, purchase orders, invoices, and diagnostic reports. Keep the original purchase or lease agreement as well, along with the warranty, in a safe place. Additionally, download any digital media associated with your case, including emails, screenshots, and service confirmations onto a secure device or USB. You should also keep records of medical bills, proof of lost wages, and other evidence if the issues with your car led to an accident.
Step 4: Seek Legal Advice from an Experienced Lemon Attorney.
Once you’ve done all the prep work and gathered the necessary evidence, it’s time to proceed with the filing process. This sounds easy in theory, but in reality, the lemon claims process is rather complicated. Most likely, you will come across conflicting information from one source to another, leaving you with more questions than answers. Rest assured that our lawyers are with you every step of the way. Together, we will come up with the best legal strategy for your case. After that, our lawyers will do all the work of fighting for your rights and bringing you the settlement you deserve.
All it takes is a phone call to our office. If you’re in need of a lemon lawyer in the Los Angeles area, contact us for a free case evaluation.
Restitution from a Successful Lemon Case
There are various damages that can be recovered if you prevail in a lemon lawsuit against Mercedes- Benz. You are entitled to 1) a refund of the purchase of lease price of your vehicle, plus collateral costs like sales tax and license/ registration fees; or 2) a new, replacement vehicle of “substantially” equal value. Keep in mind that no matter which option you choose, the manufacturer has the right to deduct your approximated usage of the vehicle prior to the first repair attempt, known as a mileage offset deduction.
As previously mentioned, you may also have out of pocket expenses, which you can include in your claim. In the worst case scenario, you may have suffered injuries from an accident that was caused by your vehicle’s defect. This would entitle you to a personal injury claim against the manufacturer for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Frankly, there’s a lot of ground to cover on this subject, which we are happy to discuss with you during a free case review.
Lemon Lawsuit: Frequently Asked Questions
By now, you should have a good sense of your rights and legal options under the California lemon law. Of course, this is general information that will not address all the concerns you have about your case. That’s why we invite you to contact us for a free consultation with one of our lemon law attorneys. Between now and then, here is some information that may be useful to you:
What is the average case value of a lemon lawsuit?
This is the most popular question we receive at our law firm. We want to stress that there’s no such thing as an “average” lemon case settlement, since there are too many factors that are unique to each individual claimant. On the lower end of the spectrum, a Mercedes lemon claim may be worth around $40,000 to $75,000. However, claims involving the most expensive models can easily exceed $150,000 based on the consumer’s out of pocket costs. If the vehicle’s defect can be traced to an accident that resulted in one or more injuries, the value of a claim will jump significantly. With these cases, damages in excess of $500,000 are not unheard of.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Resolving your case and recovering your payment can take around 30 days to over 1 year, depending on the complexities that are involved. It’s our goal to reach a settlement with the manufacturer within 3 to 6 months, but the process may be longer when serious damages involved. For example, if you had an accident that was caused by a defective Mercedes, the legal actions we will need to undertake are more complicated, and thus, it will take longer to achieve the results you’re looking for.
What is the statute of limitations for a lemon claim in California?
According to the state’s lemon law, consumers have 4 years to sue an auto manufacturer if it turns out that they were sold a lemon. But the laws are not so clear regarding when the statute of limitations begins. There are various answers to this question based on the type of lemon claim you are filing. It’s essential to determine the correct starting date for your claim. If you are past the 4-year window that applies to your situation, the courts will most likely bar you from seeking damages from the manufacturer. Calling us right away and initiating a lemon claim is the best way to preserve your rights and receive the compensation you deserve.
Can I get a second opinion on a pending lemon claim?
Yes, if you have a lawyer that’s representing you already, we are happy to offer a free second opinion on your case. Most of the claimants that come to see us are unhappy with the lack of attention they’re getting from their attorney. As a result, their case is stuck in limbo with no resolution in sight. Others are concerned about the actions their lawyer is taking and wonder if their case is on the right track. We are happy to offer guidance and support based on our many years of experience as lemon law attorneys. What you do with our advice is completely up to you. The consultation is free of charge, so there’s nothing to lose by scheduling a second opinion with us.
Contact Guardian Lemon Law Group
When you drove off the lot with your new Mercedes, you had every expectation that you were leaving with a fully functioning vehicle. In the event there are problems with your vehicle, the manufacturer should make things right by offering you a fair settlement. Unfortunately, getting the resolution you’re entitled to can be difficult without extensive knowledge of the law or legal process. With our lemon experts by your side, you can succeed in a lawsuit for a defective Mercedes.
No matter how much work we put into your case, you won’t have to worry about paying us. Under the lemon law, it’s the manufacturer that pays for legal fees, not you. If we don’t win your case, you won’t lose a penny thanks to the Zero fee guarantee. Under this policy, we only get paid if you get paid.
If you’re ready to learn about the legal actions that are available to you, call us right away to speak with a Mercedes-Benz lemon law attorney.