Service Reports: Can They Be Used as Evidence in a California Lemon Law Case?

To win a California lemon law case, one must take the car in for repairs often and repeatedly for the same basic problem. If your car breaks down, in the same way, all the time or has a problem; you have to take it to your mechanic, even if you are busy, or if the problem only happens occasionally.

Service Reports

You have to keep good records of your repair history. 

Set up a file and keep copies of invoices, work orders, receipts, and the like. Take pictures. Ask for the old defective parts back, if they are small enough to keep, or take pictures both of a distance and a close-up shot if they are too big to store.

You should try to take the car to a dealer offering that company’s models or an authorized service center. This gives the manufacturer notice that your car has problems.

A manufacturer is not required to settle a claim if they have no knowledge of the defect, and the faster, and more often you put that knowledge before their authorized representatives, the better.

In addition, an authorized repair representative will already know the existing problems of other cars and any recalls. They may be able to solve your problem outright or tell you how to do so.

A viable lemon law claim in California can only exist if the manufacturer or their representatives have had reasonable chances to repair the problem. That means you must bring the vehicle in for service and keep records of the results.

Can Service Reports be Evidence?

Yes, service reports can be evidence.

A good service report is a vital piece of evidence in a lemon law case, and you should get a written service report each time you bring the car in for repairs. Each report should correspond to a written work order generated when you brought the car in. The work order should have listed all of your concerns in writing, and the service report should address each of those concerns separately.

It should include the date the vehicle was brought in for service, the dating service completion; its mileage; the customer’s complaints, the mechanic’s record of how those complaints were addressed, and the results.

The actual problem that’s making the car into a lemon must always be in writing on each service report.

An honest mechanic can always forget what was said in a conversation, months or even years after the event, when the issue comes into a courtroom.

A dishonest mechanic can always lie about a conversation. But it’s very difficult to deny a written document generated by the mechanic on their letterhead or form. Such a form can also help stir bad memories if the details have been forgotten.

Always review the service report carefully before you accept it or leave the shop. If it’s wrong, ask for changes to be made before you leave and take the car.

Filing a Claim Under California’s Lemon Law

Filing a claim under California’s lemon law has several procedural issues that must be faced. If you have carefully documented your case with service reports, work orders, and receipts, that will help. There’s also a strict statute of limitations. Consulting a lemon law attorney Los Angeles can help you navigate the complexities of lemon law.

Under the California lemon law buyback, replacement, or cash and keep are all remedies available to car purchasers if they win a lemon law case.

The car purchaser can also be compensated for court costs and attorney’s fees. This means that the consumer can have a refund or swap out a defective car. They can also receive a cash award and retain the original car if the defects can be repaired or are simply cosmetic.

For details, if you have purchased a lemon, consult a lemon law lawyer Los Angeles as soon as possible. An attorney can help you in negotiations with a car company or dealership if you believe you have purchased a lemon. The Kaloustian Law Group is an experienced lemon law attorney Los Angeles area. Contact us today to have a consultation with one of our lemon law lawyers.