When you buy a motorcycle, whether from a previous owner or from a dealer, you expect it to work properly. Having to repair the vehicle over and over again should make you a little suspicious. Not working properly after a number of consecutive repair attempts is a clear sign that you are dealing with what is commonly known as a “lemon”. We know there are specific consumer laws regarding lemon cars in California, but does the law also cover lemon motorcycles?

Yes, motorcycles are within the scope of the California Lemon Law. If you have had repeated warranty repairs or spent too much time at the repair shop, you should call a lemon law attorney for further assistance. The California law that covers motorcycles, trailers, and boats is a little different than the law that covers automobiles. Under the California Lemon Law, motorcycles are covered by Civil Code section 1793.2(d)(1) which covers “consumer goods”.

Consumer goods are covered by the lemon laws if they are sold with a written warranty and are purchased for personal or household use. Like cars, consumer goods must undergo a reasonable number of repairs before being declared “lemons.” But, unlike cars, a manufacturer can buy back the product or replace it to meet its obligations under the California lemon law. The good news is that the defect found does not have to “substantially impair use, value, or safety,” which means you can get your money back for even some minor defects.

Typical defects compromise the safety of riding a motorcycle, making lemon cases stronger than the case for cars. It is important to collect as much repair documentation as possible. They will support your claim and allow you to resolve it faster. It is also very helpful to keep a record of incidents during the operation of the motorcycle. Sales documentation and warranties provided at the time of sale can once again make a claim stronger and easier to obtain a refund.

Owners of defective lemon motorcycles can apply for a replacement motorcycle or a full buyback. The latter will include:

• Full price of the motorcycle or monthly payments and down payment

• Registration fees

• Sales tax

• Incidental damages

• Vehicle rental cost and towing reimbursement

• Attorney’s fees

However, a small amount of money can be calculated and deducted from the buyback costs. The amount of money is based on the mileage the motorcycle was driven before the first problem.

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