Ending up with a defective Nissan or Infiniti vehicle is an aggravating experience, to say the least. Depending on the issues with your vehicle, owning a lemon can also be dangerous if it causes an accident to you, your passengers, or innocent bystanders. That’s why California lemon laws allow you to return a vehicle when it has a defect that compromises its safety, usage, or value. But saying you can file a lemon claim and actually doing so are two separate things.
How do I know that my car is a lemon? How do I file a lemon claim? What if the manufacturer refuses to reimburse me? These are just some of the questions that are probably going through your mind right now. In this article, we will educate you on the basics of a California lemon claim, and what to do if your demands are not taken seriously by Nissan.
If you’re in need of guidance on a Nissan or Infiniti lemon claim, contact Guardian Lemon Law Group.
- Take your car back to the dealership or an authorized repair center.
Ideally, you should take your car back to the dealership where you made the purchase or signed the lease agreement. If that’s not possible, ask Nissan for an authorized repair center in your area. Keep in mind that you are legally required to work with a “representative” of the company (the dealership, for example), and not someone like your local mechanic. Furthermore, make sure to avoid making any repair attempts on your own. Doing so will most likely invalidate your warranty, which will prevent you from seeking damages through a lemon claim.
- Allow a reasonable number of repair attempts.
What does this mean? Generally, a manufacturer has 2 to 4 attempts to try and fix a substantial defect with your vehicle before you can take legal action. Essentially, the magic number is 4, unless the defect is significant enough to cause injury or fatality. For example, issues with your brakes must be resolved in no more than 2 attempts, while 4 or more attempts should be given for paint defects. Regardless of the number of attempts, you can proceed with a lemon claim if your car has been at the repair center for 30 days or more (does not need to be consecutive).
Don’t worry if you’re uncertain as to whether you meet the requirements for a lemon case. We can advise you in this area, along with all your other concerns, during a free case review.
- Gather evidence to support your claim.
To demand compensation from Nissan, you will need various forms of proof, such as invoices, repair orders, receipts, and any paperwork between you and the manufacturer or dealership. That includes your purchase or lease agreement and the original warranty for your vehicle. Emails and texts also count as evidence, so make sure to keep those as well. Last, gather anything related to out of pocket expenses, like towing service receipts, rideshare confirmations, and medical bills.
- Seek legal advice from an experienced lemon law attorney.
Finally, you’ve arrived at the point where you’re ready to file an official lemon claim. As for how you should proceed, this is where things get rather confusing. If you’ve researched the claims process on our own, you’ve probably run into a lot of conflicting information. Certain sources will tell you that arbitration is the best option, while others say you should go to trial. Frankly, there are a few different ways to resolve a lemon law case, and the right method for you depends on your personal circumstances. For help on determining the best course of action for your claim, please take some time to speak with one of our lemon attorneys.
Restitution from a Successful Lemon Law Case
Now that’s we’ve gone over the process of filing a lemon claim, you are probably wondering about the losses you can recover if you succeed in a lawsuit against the manufacturer. The main portion of your settlement will be one of two things:
- A full refund of the purchase or lease price of your Nissan vehicle, plus collateral costs (sales tax, finance charges, registration / license fees, etc.).
- A new, defect-free replacement vehicle that must be comparable in value to your original purchase model.
No matter which option you select, the manufacturer has the right to deduct an “offset” for the time you drove the car prior to the first repair attempt. The formula to calculate mileage offset is provided by the California lemon law, so this is a relatively simple process.
Aside from a refund or replacement vehicle, you can also be reimbursed for out of pocket costs and medical expenses (if you got into an accident that was caused by your car’s defect). If injuries or fatality are involved, you may have grounds for a personal or wrongful death lawsuit, which are extremely complex legal actions. We have attorneys that are experienced in both personal injury and lemon law cases, who are able to bring you justice for all the losses you’ve suffered. Contact Guardian Lemon Law for a full explanation of your rights and legal options.
Average Value of a Nissan Lemon Claim
Claimants often come to us with questions about the average case value of a lemon lawsuit, but what they’re really asking is “How much is my lemon case worth?” This is something that can only be answered after a thorough investigation of the issues with your vehicle. Of course, the price of your vehicle is a major factor in the valuation of a lemon settlement. However, your out of pocket costs, injuries from an accident, the level of negligence by the manufacturer – these are just some of the elements that will determine what you can receive from a lemon claim. If we had to give a range of values for these cases, we would say that your settlement will probably fall between $25,000 and $150,000, but this is just an estimate. Again, speaking with a knowledgeable lemon lawyer is the best way to find out what your own case is worth.
How long does it take to Settle a Lemon Case?
Due to circumstances that are unique to each case, it’s hard to say how long it takes to settle these claims on average. Based on cases we’ve handled over the years, the majority of lemon settlements are recovered within 3 to 6 months. Sometime, we can achieve resolution in just 30 days, but other cases will take longer – perhaps a year or more, depending on the legal actions that are necessary to bring you justice. For example, if we cannot negotiate a settlement directly with the manufacturer, we will need to file a lawsuit and prepare for the possibility of taking your case to trial.
Statute of Limitations to File your Claim
The statute of limitations for lemon claims in California is 4 years, beginning from the date that you knew about the defect that classified your vehicle as a lemon. What does this mean? Does the SOL start from the first repair attempt on your car, or after multiple attempts were made and you were 100% sure that your car is a lemon? We can help you with this dilemma or any other questions you have during a free consultation. No matter what, you should speak with a lawyer right away to ensure that your lawsuit is filed on time. If you miss the deadline to file your lawsuit, you will most likely lose the right to demand compensation from the manufacturer.
Free Second Opinion
Those with active lemon cases often find themselves in need of a second opinion. This is a free service at our law firm, and we find that many of these clients have issues with their attorneys. Sometimes, these are personality conflicts that can be resolved with a private conversation. Other times, a lawyer’s incompetence or lack of commitment puts the client at risk of losing their case. If you have any questions or concerns about your claim, don’t hesitate to come and see us. Many people are afraid that they’ll be pressured to switch lawyers, but this is not the case with us. Our goal is to educate you and help you make an informed decision. For a free second opinion on an active lemon claim, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Guardian Lemon Law is Here for You
While there are laws in place to protect you as a customer, navigating the legal process is easier said than done for the average person. The attorneys of Guardian Lemon Law are here for you with our many years of experience in the recovery of California lemon settlements.
Strong and aggressive legal representation is the key to succeeding in these cases. That’s precisely what we can offer you, along with a Zero fee guarantee that protects your finances. Let’s face it; finances are a huge source of stress when you’re dealing with repairs, can rentals, and other expenses associated with trying to get your car back on the road. That’s why you pay nothing from the moment you walk through our doors. Our fees are paid by Nissan along with your settlement award, which means we don’t make a penny unless you do.
Contact us right away to learn about your legal options from one of our lemon experts.