California Lemon Laws for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

As gas prices continue to soar and concern for the environment grows, more and more drivers are shifting their focus hybrid and electric vehicles. While prices for these kinds of vehicles are on the higher end, many consumers have found that savings on gas and low emissions proved to be worth the premium. However, with new all of this new technology and the added benefits, there is still a possibility that a hybrid or electric vehicle buyer may be purchasing a “Lemon”. Thankfully, lemon laws for hybrid and electric vehicles exist for this very reason.

The Difference Between a Hybrid and Electric Vehicle

According to Green Car Reports, a hybrid is a vehicle which uses two power trains — a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The aim is to reduce fuel consumption by using smaller, more energy efficient engines. These engines, with the help of electricity, require less fuel and often improve the automobile’s overall performance. An electric vehicle requires no gasoline and instead uses a rechargeable battery to power it’s engine.

Lemon Laws for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

When you buy or lease a hybrid and it continuously experiences glitches, even after several attempts to fix it, it is likely you have a “Lemon” — a vehicle that has persistent and prohibitive mechanical problems which the authorized dealer consistently fails to restore.
Luckily, there is a law that helps protect consumers from vehicles with serious defects, specifically those that impair the use, value, or safety of the automobile. Under California Lemon Law, a company that is unable to repair a vehicle is required to conform to the manufacturer’s express warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts to replace or repurchase the vehicle. This applies throughout the duration of the vehicle manufacturer’s original warranty period.

Why Go Hybrid/Electric?

In California, the percentage of buyers leads the nation, with 9 of the top 15 hybrid-concentrated cities in the U.S. In San Francisco alone, nearly 10% of vehicles purchased are hybrid or electric, which is the highest in the country. California, Oregon, and the cities of Seattle and Tucson are essentially accountable for about 30% of all hybrid sales in the U.S.
Despite the promising incentives and advantages, more technologically advanced vehicles come with a higher likelihood of defects and non-conformity. According to Clean Fleet Report, the hybrid has distinctive qualities that differentiate it from other kinds of cars. These differences, which all users must keep an eye on, including its charging necessities and large power cells that power the electric motor, as well as unique braking, cooling, and many other on-board electronic components.

Contact a Lemon Law Attorney at Sweet Lawyers

If you think your vehicle is a lemon, first attempt to resolve the issue with the dealership in a civil manner. Clean Fleet Report recommends that buyers secure copies of every repair invoice with each visit to the manufacturer. Document the Service Reports for your vehicle as evidence to support your Lemon Law claim if the process repairing the vehicle is unsuccessful. For more information on California Lemon Laws, please contact us today.
Lemon laws for hybrid and electric vehicles are in place for a reason. Hybrids drivers are entitled to the same consumer rights as users of a gasoline or diesel vehicles. If you have purchased a lemon and have questions on what steps to take, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law Attorney for assistance.
At Sweet Lawyers, we have a proven track record of success. We have settled thousands of cases and will fight to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing unless we are able to recover a settlement for you. Give us a call today at (800) 369-4424.


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