Barnes and Farrell, California Lemon Law Attorneys

Posts Tagged ‘Martinez v. Kia Motors America’

UPDATE – YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE POSSESSION OF THE VEHICLE TO QUALIFY FOR CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW REMEDIES

In a previous post, it was noted that a California appeals court held in Martinez v. Kia Motors America, Inc.  that the California Lemon Law does not require a California consumer to have possession of the vehicle to qualify for the California Lemon Law restitution (repurchase) remedy.  The case was appealed to the California Supreme Court by Kia.  In addition, the automobile manufacturers requested that the Supreme Court depubish the Matinez opinion.  If the opinion were to be depublished, it would no longer establish legal precedence nor would it be binding legal authority in relation to the California Lemon Law.  This office, via letter, requested that the California Supreme Court not depublish the Martinez opinion because it was properly decided.  Good news!  The California Supreme Court refused to accept the case for appeal and refused to depublish the opinion.  As such, Martinez  is now binding legal authority.  This opinion is extremely important for California consumers.  This is so because manufacturers will not be able to delay providing a consumer with a California Lemon Law restitution (repurchase) remedy in hopes that the consumer will get rid of the vehicle thereby extinguishing his/her California Lemon Law restitution right.  If you believe you may have, or have had, a lemon vehicle, give us a call and we will be happy to provide you with a  free consultation.

YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE POSSESSION OF THE VEHICLE TO QUALIFY FOR CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW REMEDIES

On March, 2, 2011, the Forth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal ruled in Martinez v. Kia Motors America, Inc.that the Califonia Lemon Law (Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act) does not require California consumers to have possession of a lemon vehicle in order to qualify for California Lemon Law remedies. In Martinez, the consumer was denied warranty coverage by a Kia. The vehicle was repossessed by the lender and the consumer thereafter filed a lawsuit against Kia claiming restitution remedies under the California Lemon Law. Kia argued on appeal that in order to qualify for California Lemon Law restitution remedies, the consumer must have possession of the vehicle. The court disagreed observing that the specific language of the California Lemon Law does not require that a California consumer have possession of the lemon vehicle in order to qualify for California Lemon Law remedies.  The consumer need only prove the basic elements of a California Lemon Law claim in order to be entitled to damages.  Once the basic California Lemon Law claim elements are met, the manufacturer has an immediate duty to provide the consumer California Lemon Law remedies.  Therefore, any California consumer who does not have possession of a lemon vehicle may nevertheless be entitled to California Lemon Law damages.