A “lemon” is a tasty fruit, but it also has another meaning: It’s a motor vehicle with problematic defects. In the case of a lemon, the defects are so extensive and severe that they can’t be resolved — or, they can’t be fixed in a reasonably affordable manner.

Fortunately, if you get stuck with a lemon, you are protected in most cases. Lemon laws protect consumers who inadvertently purchase a seriously problematic vehicle. They usually apply to vehicles that continue to be dangerous or defective after three or four attempts to repair them in the dealership.

What’s the remedy for a lemon law car?

When lemon laws apply to a vehicle you purchased, the buyer typically receives a complete replacement or refund of the “lemon” with a different car. Consumers usually have a choice between these two options.

Keep in mind that time and mileage limits will apply to most vehicles that are deemed to be lemons. Therefore, it’s important to understand how the law applies to your particular situation to avoid getting blocked by one of these limitations, which could bar you from being able to get a refund or replacement for your lemon.

Another important point to consider regarding lemon laws applies to lemons that were purchased with a vehicle loan. You’ll need to contact your lender to notify the bank that you plan to seek a lemon law claim because the process could affect your loan, especially if you will receive a replacement car. Your financial institution will advise you how they organize these kinds of situations to ensure you handle everything correctly.

What’s wrong with your lemon?

Sometimes car dealerships and car manufacturers will try to say that you don’t have a lemon. Therefore, vehicle owners may want to get clarity on their cases by researching California lemon laws before they move forward with a claim. This understanding will help the owners of lemons approach their claims in a way that has the highest chance of success. If successfully navigated, your lemon law claim will turn your “sour face” into a happy one in no time at all.