As off-road vehicles, ATVs are not specifically covered under the California Lemon Law. However, some provisions of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act may apply to your ATV, protecting you from the fallout of purchasing a lemon. Because the process of determining whether or not you have a case against the manufacturer of your ATV is more complex than it is with passenger cars, it is critical that you contact an experienced attorney to handle your case.
At Johnson Attorneys Group, we are prepared to consult about and prosecute your ATV lemon case to the fullest extent of the law. Read on to learn more about ATVs and the California Lemon Law, common issues that occur with ATV lemons, and how you can seek compensation with the help of Johnson Attorneys Group.
ATV's & the California Lemon Law
In California, the Lemon Law only provides protection for “new motor vehicles,” a term that does not include motor vehicles that are not registered under the California Vehicle Code. ATVs are not registered under this Code because they are operated exclusively off-road, or off of the highways. This means that, technically, ATVs are not covered by the Lemon Law.
However, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act also provides protection more generally for consumer goods that come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Because of these provisions, if you purchase an ATV that has a defect, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer in the form of a refund, replacement, or other type of settlement.
Common Issues with ATV Lemons
Similarly to motorcycles, ATVs present a more severe safety hazard than passenger cars when they are found to have defects. Thousands of people seek treatment each year because of an ATV accident, and although many of these accidents are caused by driver negligence, a significant portion of ATV accidents are the direct result of safety defects. Safety defects in ATVs can be categorized into three main types:
- Manufacturing Defect: A variety of defects can occur during the ATV manufacturing process, from flawed systems to faulty parts. If your ATV has a manufacturing defect, this can easily result in an accident with serious consequences to the operator.
- Design Defect: In addition to manufacturing defects, ATV lemons frequently have design defects. When ATV rollovers occur, it can most often be attributed to a defect in the way the ATV was designed.
- Warning Failure: Finally, ATV manufacturers are required to provide proper warning to consumers about the potential dangers that can occur with ATV use. If the manufacturer fails to provide this warning, they can be held liable for any damages or injuries that occur as the result of their negligence.
ATV Safety Laws
To ensure that you have a viable case against the manufacturer of your ATV lemon, it is important that you follow the safety laws governing ATV use in the state of California. In this state, all ATVs must be both registered and titled. Although ATVs are not registered under the California Vehicle Code, they still must be registered as off-road vehicles and should have a numbered plate. Registration should be renewed on a yearly basis. If you operate your ATV on public lands, you must wear a helmet. ATVs cannot be operated on highways except to cross them, and passengers are only allowed on ATVs designed to carry a passenger.
ATV use also has age limits in California. If you are under the age of 18, you cannot operate an ATV unless you or an accompanying adult has obtained the appropriate safety certificate. In addition, if you are under the age of 14, you cannot operate an ATV unless you are being supervised by a parent, guardian, or another authorized adult who has a safety certificate. If you are operating an ATV outside these legal boundaries, it can interfere with your legal case against the manufacturer of an ATV lemon.
Choose Johnson Attorneys Group
At Johnson Attorneys Group, we know that prosecuting your ATV lemon case can be complex. However, with a team of attorneys experienced in consumer law, we are here to guide you through the process and help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.