In California, a New Lemon Law to Protect Used-Car Shoppers

Governor Jerry Brown signed a new California Lemon Law, which is the first of its kind in the nation, requiring new and used car dealers to check their used vehicles against a federal government database and mark them with a red warning sticker if they find a serious problem.

In an interview with Christopher Jensen, at The New York Times, Rosemary Shahan, the president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that lobbied for the law, said the law would save consumers money and make them safer by warning them of vehicles that may have histories of severe damage.

The bill, AB 1215, was introduced by the Democratic State Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, who represented the San Fernando Valley.  This bill, which went into effect in July 2012, requires dealers to begin running a used vehicle’s identification number through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.  The general public can access this system, for a small fee.

There is a charge to the consumer for this service; a portion of the law allows dealers to charge more for document fees. The previously capped amount of $55.00 for what new car dealers could charge in document fees has been increased to $80.00. For used cars, the old cap of $45.00 can now be as much as $80.00.  However, these fees can be negotiated between you and the dealership.

Proponents of this new law say that it gives Californians added protection when it comes to buying an automobile.

To read the entire article posted on The New York Times, click here.

If you think that you have a lemon, please call us toll free at (855) 59-LEMON for a free case evaluation today!

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Debbie Horowitz

Deborah L. Horowitz, an attorney who has been licensed in California to practice law for over 15 years, has dedicated her entire legal career to protecting consumer rights. She has settled over 8,000 lemon law cases and achieved excellent results for her clients.