Does the California Lemon Law Have a Limit on Mileage?

The California Lemon Law, also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, does not have a limit on the number of miles a consumer can drive his vehicle in order to have a claim.  The California Lemon Law protects consumers who have purchased defective vehicles that cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.

While there is no limit on mileage, in order to have a valid California Lemon Law claim, the vehicle’s defects must begin while the original manufacturer’s warranty is still in effect.  The various manufacturers have different time and mileage limitations in their warranties.  Some have bumper to bumper coverage limitations of three years or 36,000 miles, while others have as many as five years or 60,000 miles.  Notably, many manufacturers also offer powertrain warranties that provide even longer coverage on certain powertrain components (e.g. engine, transmission, etc.).  Some powertrain warranties extend as far as 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The California Lemon Law does not specify any mileage limitation to have a claim.  So long as the vehicle is presented for repair of the defects while one of the warranties is in effect, a consumer can have a valid California Lemon Law claim.  The California Lemon Law also allows consumers to continue driving their vehicles while their claim is pending without any penalty.

Mileage does come into play when assessing a California Lemon Law claim because it can impact whether the vehicle’s use, value or safety has been substantially impaired.  Contacting an experienced California Lemon Law attorney is the best way for a consumer to determine whether he has a valid claim.  Ultimately, however, there is no specific mileage limitation under the California Lemon Law.