Woman driving defective car

Product Liability & Lemon Law: What Are the Differences?

When you buy a “lemon,” it means that you bought a car that needed multiple repairs soon after purchase. The car started out bad and was unlikely to get better. Product liability is a different concept, in that you might not realize the vehicle has a defect until it causes a collision. 

If a problem with your car or truck caused you to get injured, a personal injury attorney could help you seek compensation from the responsible party. Let’s talk about product liability and lemon law: what are the differences?

Lemon Laws

Your shiny new car started making a clunking sound soon after you bought the vehicle. The dealer repaired the car under the warranty. A few months later, the same weird sound started again. The dealer fixed it but warned that the warranty would not cover repeated repairs. You continued to have problems with the car, paying out of your pocket for the same problems multiple times on a relatively new car.

Congress passed lemon laws to make automakers and dealers take financial responsibility if they manufacture or sell you a defective vehicle. Depending on the circumstances, they will have to repair or replace the car. You will have to provide evidence like repair records and show that you took good care of your car and did not neglect or abuse it.  

Product Liability

Some vehicle defects are annoyances but not safety issues. A product liability case involving vehicles can arise when the car has a dangerous defect that causes or contributes to an accident. You might not have had the defect worked on by the dealer or even know of the problem’s existence. 

For example, defective airbags do not tend to show any indication of a flaw until the airbag explodes, injuring or killing the driver. A defective tire might look perfectly normal until the tread suddenly strips off and sends the car careening out of control. 

Whatever the defect is, you will need to keep the vehicle because your primary evidence is a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Do not allow the insurance company to total the car and sell it for scrap. You might need to secure the car by paying the insurer the salvage value until your personal injury claim gets resolved.

Damages in Products Liability Defective Vehicle Claims

The manufacturer of the automotive part or vehicle can be liable for the harm their defective product caused. In the instance of a car accident in which a defective car or part caused or contributed to the crash, the at-fault party could have to pay money damages for the injured person’s medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, disfigurement, and other losses from the collision. If a car defect caused the death of your close relative, we might be able to go after additional compensation on behalf of the legal beneficiaries. There is not much time to preserve the evidence and take legal action in these situations, so you will want to talk to a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Get in touch with our office today, we offer a free consultation.