Barnes and Farrell, California Lemon Law Attorneys

The Best Way to Protect Your Rights Under the California Lemon Law

The beauty of proving a California Lemon Law case is that the lemon vehicle’s repair history is usually documented. A repair order is provided to the customer when the vehicle is dropped off at the repair facility. A repair invoice is provided to the customer when the repairs are completed and the vehicle is picked up. Because repair orders and repair invoices will usually be the strongest evidence in a case, it is important the information on these documents is accurate. Accurate documentation is the best way to prove a lemon case and to protect one’s California Lemon Law rights.

The repair order should provide a written explanation of the customer’s complaint with the vehicle. In addition, the repair order should indicate the date the vehicle was delivered for repair and the vehicle’s current mileage. It is important to carefully read the complaint that is indicated on the repair order to verify the complaint has been accurately written down. If not, have the service advisor re-write the complaint. An accurate description of the complaint helps the service technician to properly diagnose and fix the problem. If the complaint is not fixed, an accurate description provides strong evidence in a potential future case.

The repair invoice should be carefully read when the vehicle is picked up after the repairs are completed. The repair invoice should describe the complaint with the vehicle as well as the repair that was actually performed to fix the complaint. In addition, any replacement parts that were installed on the vehicle should be indicated on the repair invoice. The current mileage and the date the vehicle was picked up should be indicated on the repair invoice as well. If any of these items are inaccurate, ask the service advisor to re-do the repair invoice so it is accurate.

As manufacturers and service facilities have become more knowledgeable concerning the California Lemon Law, they may be reluctant to accurately record a customer’s complaint on the repair order or invoice. This is especially so if a vehicle is being delivered for repeat repairs. Service writers may change the wording of a complaint so it does not appear to be the same complaint the vehicle was previously delivered for repair of. As such, the more a vehicle is delivered for repairs, the more scrutiny one should use in reviewing the repair orders and repair invoices for accuracy.

The bottom line – make sure repair orders and invoices are complete and accurate. These documents may ultimately provide the best evidence in a California Lemon Law case.

One Response to “The Best Way to Protect Your Rights Under the California Lemon Law”

  1. January 9th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Matthew C. Kriner says:

    Great information! Thanks!