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Helpful Lemon Law Tips

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Tips for Documenting a Potential Lemon

Documentation, and keeping those documents in a safe place is critical to protecting your rights. When servicing your vehicle, you should always do the following:

  1. Repair Orders / Work Orders

    • Make sure that each and every concern is documented properly (to your description) before signing the Repair Order. If you are bringing your vehicle in multiple times for the same concern, make sure that on each visit you are describing (and that the service writer is writing down) the issue consistently so that you can prove both that the car suffered multiple times from the same nonconformity, and that the dealership had a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the vehicle.
    • If every concern is not documented properly (i.e. ambiguous or summarized,) either have the service writer rewrite the Repair Order or hand-write the concern in yourself before signing. DO NOT sign the order if your concern is not accurately documented.
    • Ask the service writer if there are any Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's) on your vehicle pertaining to your concern or any similar issues. If there are, have the writer notate the TSB on the work order. You may also check to see if there are any Technical Service Bulletins or recalls on our Vehicle Recall Page.
    • Always make sure that the Repair Order has the date and time that you leave your vehicle at the dealership for repair. Vehicles may also qualify as a Lemon by spending an excessive number of days in the repair facility.
    • Never leave the dealership without a copy of your Repair Order. Make sure that it is accurate, that you have signed it, and keep it in a safe place for your record.
  2. Repair Invoices

    • Make sure that the dealership has written down all work performed on your vehicle and check the work completed against the concerns that you brought the vehicle in for.
    • If a concern from your Repair Order was not addressed, ask the dealership to document the reason on your Repair Invoice.
    • If an issue was not repaired because a mechanic could not duplicate your concern, demand that the service manager, shop foreman or service manager take a test drive with you to duplicate the complaint. If the complaint is duplicated on the test drive, have the Repair Order or Invoice show that the concern was duplicated and who verified it on the test drive with you. Always get their name and position at the dealership before leaving.
    • Never leave the dealership without a copy of your Repair Order. Make sure that it is accurate, that you have signed it, and keep it in a safe place for your record.
  3. After You Leave The Service Department

    • If you leave the dealership and experience either the same or a different problem, make sure when you bring the vehicle back to the dealership that a new Repair Order with generated. DO NOT allow the dealer to add the concern onto the old repair order as this practice is often used to show that dealership was not given a “reasonable” number of attempts to fix the vehicle. Instead, always make sure that the new Repair Order has a new Repair Order Number (RO#,) that you sign the new Repair Order and that you leave with a copy.
    • To protect your rights and see if your vehicle may qualify to be replaced or repurchased under the California Lemon Law, you should always contact an attorney. Dealerships and their employees, whether well meaning or not, most often give out erroneous advice that can significantly hurt your consumer rights. You should never rely on an understanding or application of a law by anyone other than an attorney. For accurate and reliable legal advice, please give our firm a call at (888) 536-6628 to discuss whether your vehicle may qualify as a lemon either under the California Lemon Law or the Federal Lemon Law. You may also fill out our Free Vehicle Lemon Law Form to see if your vehicle may be a lemon.
    • In California, Lemon Law Arbitration is not required and a negative ruling could hurt any future legal action that you might bring against a dealership or manufacturer. As a Lemon Law Arbitrator may have very little or no legal training, your consumer rights and the success of your claim could be harmed by arbitration.
    • Remember to make sure that all Repair/Work Orders, Repair Invoices, the Purchase Contract, Supporting Purchase Documentation and any other relevant documents are kept in a safe place that is easily accessible. If an Lemon Law Attorney or the vehicle's manufacturer ask for any documentation that you may have, always give them copies and never the originals.

To speak with a Lemon Law Attorney about your rights, or to see if your vehicle may be a lemon, give us a call at (888) 536-6628 or fill out our Vehicle Lemon Law Form and one of our Attorneys will call you back shortly.

Knowing Your Repair Order and Repair Invoice Rights is the first step towards ensuring that your vehicle will be repurchased or replaced should it qualify under your state's Lemon Law.

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Our automobile Lemon Law Attorneys services to all Los Angeles County residents. We welcome inquiries from Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando, Valencia, and all of greater Los Angeles. Our Los Angeles satellite office is available by appointment as litigation matters may warrant, including attorney-client meetings, depositions, and mediations. Our office is centrally located in downtown Los Angeles, and serves all of Los Angeles County including North County, East County, the South Bay, and Los Angeles County's rural communities.