When you purchase a vehicle with manufacturer defects, you can’t simply take it back to the dealership with a receipt and receive a refund no questions asked. It’s not like taking an item back to Walmart.
Fortunately, there are laws to protect consumers in these situations.
Lemon law exists across the country to protect consumers that inadvertently purchase defective vehicles. But each state has its own set of rules as to what qualifies as a “lemon”.
California is one of the most consumer-friendly states in the eyes of lemon law – extending to used vehicles in addition to new ones.
But what about supercars and sports cars?
The short answer is yes, but the vehicle must meet certain qualifications to be eligible for legal benefits.
Let us explain.
What is California Lemon Law?
California lemon law – or the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act – extends to both new and used vehicles. If a CA consumer purchases or leases a vehicle with manufacturer defects, it must meet the qualifications of California lemon law to be eligible for compensation. These are as follows:
- The original or dealership warranty was active when the defect was first reported to the manufacturer or dealer;
- The defect substantially impairs the vehicle’s safety, functionality, or value;
- The defect was not caused by driver error, neglect, or abuse;
- The manufacturer’s certified technicians have been given a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defect. This is usually at least two attempts, but may be only one attempt in certain situations; or
- The vehicle has been out of service for repairs for 30 or more total days.
If the vehicle meets the qualifications above, the consumer will need to contact a to begin the claims process.
What Classifies as Super Cars and Sports Cars?
Supercars and sports cars are both classified as high-performance vehicles, but there are some key differences between the two.
Sports Cars: Sports cars are luxurious cars typically designed with agility, speed, and handling as the focus. They usually have two doors, although some models may have four, and they often have a more sporty and sleek design compared to regular cars.
Sports cars are generally more accessible and affordable than supercars, but they are still more expensive than the average car. Examples of sports cars include the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Porsche 911.
Supercars: Supercars are a step above sports cars regarding performance, technology, and price. These cars are typically the absolute pinnacle of what is achievable in a road-legal car. Most are exorbitantly expensive and offer extreme performance specifications.
They often use the latest and most advanced technology, both in their engines and in their construction. Supercars are usually limited in production numbers, making them more exclusive. Examples of supercars include the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 488, and McLaren P1.
Even though both sports cars and supercars are performance-oriented, the term “supercar” is typically reserved for the most elite (and expensive cars) on the market.
Are The Rules of California Lemon Law Different for Supercars and Sports Cars?
Nope, not at all. California lemon law applies to all types of personal vehicles sold with a manufacturer or dealership warranty – cars, trucks, SUVs, sports cars, and supercars.
The most important factor is the warranty terms for supercars and sports cars. Most are good for 3 years/36,000 miles – but this varies from brand to brand.
We strongly advise you to report the defect as soon as you notice it, even if it seems minor. For one, driving around with a defective vehicle is extremely dangerous for you and other drivers. Second, if the warranty is expired when you report the defect, you will not receive benefits under California lemon law.
Keep in mind, once the defect is first reported within the terms of the warranty, you will be covered under CA lemon law – even if the warranty expires during the repair process.
What to do if Your Supercar or Sports Car is Defective?
If your supercar or sports car meets the qualification of California lemon law, your next step is to contact a CA lemon law attorney to file a claim.
The manufacturer’s representatives will likely try to dissuade you from hiring a lemon lawyer. This is because auto manufacturers have no intention of providing fair compensation for selling/leasing a defective vehicle.
The most common approach is to advise arbitration. They may tell you it’s a “cheaper and faster” alternative to filing a lemon law claim. What they don’t tell you is arbitration almost always favors the manufacturer over the consumer. This is because the arbitrators are paid for by the auto brand – and may be biased in their decision.
The manufacturer may try to advise you on several different alternatives to filing an official lemon claim – don’t take the bait. Most of these will result in a lowball settlement.
Filing a lemon law claim through the court system is the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
Owning a sports car or supercar is a big adrenaline rush – there’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with manufacturer defects. The good news is the law is on your side. It’s important to understand that filing a lemon law claim will not cost you anything out of pocket. Manufacturers are required to pay for all legal costs and attorney fees as part of the settlement.
Due to this, lemon law attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. This means they make a percentage of the total settlement AFTER they win the case. You pay nothing upfront.
Hopefully, this post has given California consumers a better idea about the laws, their options, and the path to seeking compensation.