California Lemon Law Protects Military SB234

Prior to being relocated and stationed in California, Navy Lieutenant Nathan Kindig, of Arkansas, bought a brand new 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup truck in Washington State. He was then deployed to work as a physician’s assistant in Iraq.

However, soon after his first tour in Iraq, Kindig’s experience with his new truck soured. He was driving with his family to Arizona when the truck overheated.  He had to borrow his dad’s car and was stranded without his vehicle for a week while he waited for the dealership to repair the pickup truck. His problems only got worse over time as the vehicle continued to overheat.

After multiple attempts to repair it, a local California dealer told him it was not repairable and he was now the owner of a lemon. The manufacturer, DaimlerChrysler, told Kindig he was not protected under California Lemon Laws, but if he had bought the car here he would have been protected.

His experience helped pave the way to a new amendment to California Lemon Laws. Indeed, California Senator Ellen Corbett’s (D-San Leandro) introduced a bill SB-234 in 2007 to amend the California Lemon Law that passed and became law in January 2008.

“Soldiers who serve our nation and protect our freedoms deserve the full protection of our laws when their vehicles are seriously defective,” said Corbett. “California has one of the most comprehensive lemon laws in the country, and we need to make sure that our military personnel are covered.”

Military Personnel Who Work in California Covered Under California Lemon Law

Since the 2008 amendment, military workers who bought or leased their cars out-of-state are covered under California Lemon Laws if their defective vehicle is under warranty and has recurring problems just like anyone else here.

Under the 2008 amendment to the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act – California’s Lemon Law — all military workers who are stationed in California are protected if they file the claim while they are here and their vehicle’s manufacturer sells cars here.

Lemon Laws were enacted to protect consumers whose motor vehicle is still covered by their manufacturer’s warranty if there are repeated problems that affect the vehicle’s use, value or safety and the problem is unfixable. The manufacturer may either repurchase or replace the motor vehicle, but the choice is up to the consumer.

Kindig eventually was given some restitution from DaimlerChrysler after his story gained notoriety. Now this new amendment is available to protect the roughly 160,000 military service members who are stationed here in California that purchased or leased their vehicles in another state and moved to California to pursue their career.

Johnson Attorneys Group — 800-235-6801 — Call for Help

If you are in the military and believe you are the owner of a lemon, Johnson Attorneys Group supports you and is here to offer a free case evaluation at 800-235-6801. There is no cost to hire a California Lemon Law Attorney as the manufacturer pays attorneys fees.

James Johnson ESQ

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