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California Lemon Law

California Civil Code Section 1793.2, 1793.22, 1794

1793.2. (a) Every manufacturer of consumer goods sold in this state and
for which the manufacturer has made an express warranty shall:

(1) (A) Maintain in this state sufficient service and repair facilities
reasonably close to all areas where its consumer goods are sold to carry
out the terms of those warranties or designate and authorize in this state
as service and repair facilities independent repair or service facilities
reasonably close to all areas where its consumer goods are sold to carry
out the terms of the warranties.

(B) As a means of complying with this paragraph, a manufacturer may enter
into warranty service contracts with independent service and repair facilities.
The warranty service contracts may provide for a fixed schedule of rates
to be charged for warranty service or warranty repair work. However, the
rates fixed by those contracts shall be in conformity with the requirements
of subdivision (c) of Section 1793.3. The rates established pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 1793.3, between the manufacturer and the independent
service and repair facility, shall not preclude a good faith discount
which is reasonably related to reduced credit and general overhead cost
factors arising from the manufacturer’s payment of warranty charges direct
to the independent service and repair facility. The warranty service contracts
authorized by this paragraph shall not be executed to cover a period of
time in excess of one year, and may be renewed only by a separate, new
contract or letter of agreement between the manufacturer and the independent
service and repair facility.

(2) In the event of a failure to comply with paragraph (1) of this subdivision,
be subject to Section 1793.5.

(3) Make available to authorized service and repair facilities sufficient
service literature and replacement parts to effect repairs during the
express warranty period.

(b) Where those service and repair facilities are maintained in this
state and service or repair of the goods is necessary because they do
not conform with the applicable express warranties, service and repair
shall be commenced within a reasonable time by the manufacturer or its
representative in this state. Unless the buyer agrees in writing to the
contrary, the goods shall be serviced or repaired so as to conform to
the applicable warranties within 30 days. Delay caused by conditions beyond
the control of the manufacturer or his representatives shall serve to
extend this 30-day requirement. Where delay arises, conforming goods shall
be tendered as soon as possible following termination of the condition
giving rise to the delay.

(c) The buyer shall deliver nonconforming goods to the manufacturer’s
service and repair facility within this state, unless, due to reasons
of size and weight, or method of attachment, or method of installation,
or nature of the nonconformity, delivery cannot reasonably be accomplished.
If the buyer cannot return the nonconforming goods for any of these reasons,
he or she shall notify the manufacturer or its nearest service and repair
facility within the state. Written notice of nonconformity to the manufacturer
or its service and repair facility shall constitute return of the goods
for purposes of this section. Upon receipt of that notice of nonconformity,
the manufacturer shall, at its option, service or repair the goods at
the buyer’s residence, or pick up the goods for service and repair, or
arrange for transporting the goods to its service and repair facility.
All reasonable costs of transporting the goods when a buyer cannot return
them for any of the above reasons shall be at the manufacturer’s expense.
The reasonable costs of transporting nonconforming goods after delivery
to the service and repair facility until return of the goods to the buyer
shall be at the manufacturer’s expense.

(d) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), if the manufacturer or
its representative in this state does not service or repair the goods
to conform to the applicable express warranties after a reasonable number
of attempts, the manufacturer shall either replace the goods or reimburse
the buyer in an amount equal to the purchase price paid by the buyer,
less that amount directly attributable to use by the buyer prior to the
discovery of the nonconformity.

(2) If the manufacturer or its representative in this state is unable
to service or repair a new motor vehicle, as that term is defined in paragraph
(2) of subdivision (e) of Section 1793.22, to conform to the applicable
express warranties after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer
shall either promptly replace the new motor vehicle in accordance with
subparagraph (A) or promptly make restitution to the buyer in accordance
with subparagraph (B). However, the buyer shall be free to elect restitution
in lieu of replacement, and in no event shall the buyer be required by
the manufacturer to accept a replacement vehicle.

(A) In the case of replacement, the manufacturer shall replace the buyer’s
vehicle with a new motor vehicle substantially identical to the vehicle
replaced. The replacement vehicle shall be accompanied by all express
and implied warranties that normally accompany new motor vehicles of that
specific kind. The manufacturer also shall pay for, or to, the buyer the
amount of any sales or use tax, license fees, registration fees, and other
official fees which the buyer is obligated to pay in connection with the
replacement, plus any incidental damages to which the buyer is entitled
under Section 1794, including, but not limited to, reasonable repair,
towing, and rental car costs actually incurred by the buyer.

(B) In the case of restitution, the manufacturer shall make restitution
in an amount equal to the actual price paid or payable by the buyer, including
any charges for transportation and manufacturer-installed options, but
excluding nonmanufacturer items installed by a dealer or the buyer, and
including any collateral charges such as sales tax, license fees, registration
fees, and other official fees, plus any incidental damages to which the
buyer is entitled under Section 1794, including, but not limited to, reasonable
repair, towing, and rental car costs actually incurred by the buyer.

(C) When the manufacturer replaces the new motor vehicle pursuant to
subparagraph (A), the buyer shall only be liable to pay the manufacturer
an amount directly attributable to use by the buyer of the replaced vehicle
prior to the time the buyer first delivered the vehicle to the manufacturer
or distributor, or its authorized service and repair facility for correction
of the problem that gave rise to the nonconformity. When restitution is
made pursuant to subparagraph (B), the amount to be paid by the manufacturer
to the buyer may be reduced by the manufacturer by that amount directly
attributable to use by the buyer prior to the time the buyer first delivered
the vehicle to the manufacturer or distributor, or its authorized service
and repair facility for correction of the problem that gave rise to the
nonconformity. The amount directly attributable to use by the buyer shall
be determined by multiplying the actual price of the new motor vehicle
paid or payable by the buyer, including any charges for transportation
and manufacturer-installed options, by a fraction having as its denominator
120,000 and having as its numerator the number of miles traveled by the
new motor vehicle prior to the time the buyer first delivered the vehicle
to the manufacturer or distributor, or its authorized service and repair
facility for correction of the problem that gave rise to the nonconformity.
Nothing in this paragraph shall in any way limit the rights or remedies
available to the buyer under any other law.

1793.22

(a)This section shall be known and may be cited as the Tanner Consumer
Protection Act.

(b) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been
made to conform a new motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties
if, within 18 months from delivery to the buyer or 18,000 miles on the
odometer of the vehicle, whichever occurs first, one or more of the following
occurs:

(1) The same nonconformity results in a condition that is likely to cause
death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven and the nonconformity
has been subject to repair two or more times by the manufacturer or its
agents, and the buyer or lessee has at least once directly notified the
manufacturer of the need for the repair of the nonconformity.

(2) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times
by the manufacturer or its agents and the buyer has at least once directly
notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the nonconformity.

(3) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of nonconformities
by the manufacturer or its agents for a cumulative total of more than
30 calendar days since delivery of the vehicle to the buyer. The 30-day
limit shall be extended only if repairs cannot be performed due to conditions
beyond the control of the manufacturer or its agents. The buyer shall
be required to directly notify the manufacturer pursuant to paragraphs
(1) and (2) only if the manufacturer has clearly and conspicuously disclosed
to the buyer, with the warranty or the owner’s manual, the provisions
of this section and that of subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2, including
the requirement that the buyer must notify the manufacturer directly pursuant
to paragraphs (1) and (2). The notification, if required, shall be sent
to the address, if any, specified clearly and conspicuously by the manufacturer
in the warranty or owner’s manual. This presumption shall be a rebuttable
presumption affecting the burden of proof, and it may be asserted by the
buyer in any civil action, including an action in small claims court,
or other formal or informal proceeding.

(c) If a qualified third-party dispute resolution process exists, and
the buyer receives timely notification in writing of the availability
of that qualified third-party dispute resolution process with a description
of its operation and effect, the presumption in subdivision (b) may not
be asserted by the buyer until after the buyer has initially resorted
to the qualified third-party dispute resolution process as required in
subdivision (d). Notification of the availability of the qualified third-party
dispute resolution process is not timely if the buyer suffers any prejudice
resulting from any delay in giving the notification. If a qualified third-party
dispute resolution process does not exist, or if the buyer is dissatisfied
with that third-party decision, or if the manufacturer or its agent neglects
to promptly fulfill the terms of the qualified third-party dispute resolution
process decision after the decision is accepted by the buyer, the buyer
may assert the presumption provided in subdivision (b) in an action to
enforce the buyer’s rights under subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2. The
findings and decision of a qualified third-party dispute resolution process
shall be admissible in evidence in the action without further foundation.
Any period of limitation of actions under any federal or California laws
with respect to any person shall be extended for a period equal to the
number of days between the date a complaint is filed with a third-party
dispute resolution process and the date of its decision or the date before
which the manufacturer or its agent is required by the decision to fulfill
its terms if the decision is accepted by the buyer, whichever occurs later.

(d)A qualified third-party dispute resolution process shall be one that
does all of the following:

(1) Complies with the minimum requirements of the Federal Trade Commission
for informal dispute settlement procedures as set forth in Part 703 of
Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as those regulations read
on January 1, 1987.

(2) Renders decisions which are binding on the manufacturer if the buyer
elects to accept the decision.

(3) Prescribes a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days after the decision
is accepted by the buyer, within which the manufacturer or its agent must
fulfill the terms of its decisions.

(4) Provides arbitrators who are assigned to decide disputes with copies
of, and instruction in, the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission’s
regulations in Part 703 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations
as those regulations read on January 1, 1987, Division 2 (commencing with
Section 2101) of the Commercial Code, and this chapter.

(5)Requires the manufacturer, when the process orders, under the terms
of this chapter, either that the nonconforming motor vehicle be replaced
if the buyer consents to this remedy or that restitution be made to the
buyer, to replace the motor vehicle or make restitution in accordance
with paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2.

(6)Provides, at the request of the arbitrator or a majority of the arbitration
panel, for an inspection and written report on the condition of a nonconforming
motor vehicle, at no cost to the buyer, by an automobile expert who is
independent of the manufacturer.

(7)Takes into account, in rendering decisions, all legal and equitable
factors, including, but not limited to, the written warranty, the rights
and remedies conferred in regulations of the Federal Trade Commission
contained in Part 703 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as
those regulations read on January 1, 1987, Division 2 (commencing with
Section 2101) of the Commercial Code, this chapter, and any other equitable
considerations appropriate in the circumstances. Nothing in this chapter
requires that, to be certified as a qualified third-party dispute resolution
process pursuant to this section, decisions of the process must consider
or provide remedies in the form of awards of punitive damages or multiple
damages, under subdivision (c) of Section 1794, or of attorneys’ fees
under subdivision (d) of Section 1794, or of consequential damages other
than as provided in subdivisions (a) and(b)of Section 1794, including,
but not limited to, reasonable repair, towing, and rental car costs actually
incurred by the buyer.

(8)Requires that no arbitrator deciding a dispute may be a party to the
dispute and that no other person, including an employee, agent, or dealer
for the manufacturer, may be allowed to participate substantively in the
merits of any dispute with the arbitrator unless the buyer is allowed
toparticipate also. Nothing in this subdivision prohibits any member of
anarbitration board from deciding a dispute.

(9)Obtains and maintains certification by the Department of Consumer
Affairs pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 472) of Division
1 of the Business and Professions Code.

(e)For the purposes of subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2 and this section,
the following terms have the following meanings:

(1)"Nonconformity" means a nonconformity which substantially
impairs the use, value, or safety of the new motor vehicle to the buyer
or lessee.

(2)"New motor vehicle" means a new motor vehicle that is bought
or used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. "New
motor vehicle" also means a new motor vehicle with a gross vehicle
weight under 10,000 pounds that is bought or used primarily for business
purposes by a person, including a partnership, limited liability company,
corporation, association, or any other legal entity, to which not more
than five motor vehicles are registered in this state. "New motor
vehicle" includes the chassis, chassis cab, and that portion of a
motor home devoted to its propulsion, but does not include any portion
designed, used, or maintained primarily for human habitation, a dealer-owned
vehicle and a "demonstrator" or other motor vehicle sold with
a manufacturer’s new car warranty but does not include a motorcycle or
a motor vehicle which is not registered under the Vehicle Code because
it is to be operated or used exclusively off the highways. A demonstrator
is a vehicle assigned by a dealer for the purpose of demonstrating qualities
and characteristics common to vehicles of the same or similar model and
type.

(3)"Motor home" means a vehicular unit built on, or permanently
attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, chassis cab, or van,
which becomes an integral part of the completed vehicle, designed for
human habitation for recreational or emergency occupancy.
(f)

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no person shall sell, either
at wholesale or retail, lease, or transfer a motor vehicle transferred
by a buyer or lessee to a manufacturer pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision
(d) of Section 1793.2 or a similar statute of any other state, unless
thenature of the nonconformity experienced by the original buyer or lessee
is clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the prospective buyer, lessee,
or transferee, the nonconformity is corrected, and the manufacturer warrants
to the new buyer, lessee, or transferee in writing for a period of one
year that the motor vehicle is free of that nonconformity.

(2) Except for the requirement that the nature of the nonconformity be
disclosed to the transferee, paragraph (1) does not apply to the transfer
of a motor vehicle to an educational institution if the purpose of the
transfer is to make the motor vehicle available for use in automotive
repair courses.
[EFFECTIVE 1/1/2001. Amended September 26, 2000 (Bill Number: SB 1718)
(Chapter 679).] [Previously Amended September 21, 1999 (Bill Number: AB
1290) (Chapter 448).] [Previously Amended July 12, 1999 (Bill Number:
SB 966) (Chapter 83).]

1794.

(a) Any buyer of consumer goods who is damaged by a failure to comply
with any obligation under this chapter or under an implied or express
warranty or service contract may bring an action for the recovery of damages
and other legal and equitable relief.

(b) The measure of the buyer’s damages in an action under this section
shall include the rights of replacement or reimbursement as set forth
in subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2, and the following:

(1) Where the buyer has rightfully rejected or justifiably revoked acceptance
of the goods or has exercised any right to cancel the sale, Sections 2711,
2712, and 2713 of the Commercial Code shall apply.

(2) Where the buyer has accepted the goods, Sections 2714 and 2715 of
the Commercial Code shall apply, and the measure of damages shall include
the cost of repairs necessary to make the goods conform.

(c) If the buyer establishes that the failure to comply was willful,
the judgment may include, in addition to the amounts recovered under subdivision
(a), a civil penalty which shall not exceed two times the amount of actual
damages. This subdivision shall not apply in any class action under Section
382 of the Code of Civil Procedure or under Section 1781, or with respect
to a claim based solely on a breach of an implied warranty.

(d) If the buyer prevails in an action under this section, the buyer
shall be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum
equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including attorney’s
fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been
reasonably incurred by the buyer in connection with the commencement and
prosecution of such action.

(e) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, if the buyer
establishes a violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section
1793.2, the buyer shall recover damages and reasonable attorney’s fees
and costs, and may recover a civil penalty of up to two times the amount
of damages.

(2) If the manufacturer maintains a qualified third-party dispute resolution
process which substantially complies with Section 1793.22, the manufacturer
shall not be liable for any civil penalty pursuant to this subdivision.

(3) After the occurrence of the events giving rise to the presumption
established in subdivision (b) of Section 1793.22, the buyer may serve
upon the manufacturer a written notice requesting that the manufacturer
comply with paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2. If the
buyer fails to serve the notice, the manufacturer shall not be liable
for a civil penalty pursuant to this subdivision.

(4) If the buyer serves the notice described in paragraph (3) and the
manufacturer complies with paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section
1793.2 within 30 days of the service of that notice, the manufacturer
shall not be liable for a civil penalty pursuant to this subdivision.

(5) If the buyer recovers a civil penalty under subdivision (c), the
buyer may not also recover a civil penalty under this subdivision for
the same violation.