Hyundai Lemon Law Buyback
Hyundai Motor Company, a household name in the world of automobiles, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul. Hyundai, meaning 'modernity' in Korean, has been aptly named, symbolizing its commitment to producing innovative, high-quality vehicles for the global market. Since its inception in 1967, Hyundai has been reshaping the automotive industry's landscape with its cutting-edge technology, sophisticated designs, and outstanding performance.
Hyundai's Recent History
Hyundai began as a construction firm under the leadership of Chung Ju-Yung in 1947 and eventually stepped into the automotive industry with the establishment of the Hyundai Motor Company two decades later. Their first model, the Cortina, was released in 1968 in collaboration with Ford. However, Hyundai truly entered the global stage with the launch of the Excel model in the mid-1980s, gaining substantial popularity in the United States due to its affordability.
Today, Hyundai is the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the world, with an extensive lineup of vehicles ranging from compact cars to SUVs. Known for its reliable, feature-packed cars with high safety ratings, Hyundai continues to win consumer trust worldwide. The company's constant pursuit of innovation is evident in its bold foray into electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, asserting its place at the forefront of future mobility solutions.
However, like any other automobile company, Hyundai also faces the issue of occasional manufacturing defects, leading to a vehicle being branded as a 'lemon'. Recognizing the need to address such instances, Hyundai offers a Lemon Law Buyback program to try and ensure customer satisfaction and trust in the brand remains unshaken.
What Sets the California Lemon Law Apart?
The California Lemon Law, also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, is one of the most consumer-friendly lemon laws in the United States for several reasons:
California's lemon law covers not just new cars but also used and leased cars. It also includes cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, and even boats, provided they are sold with a written warranty or still under the manufacturer's original warranty.
Under California law, if the manufacturer or its authorized repair facility cannot repair a substantially impairing defect to the use, value or safety of a new or used vehicle to conform to its written (express) warranties after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer must promptly replace, refund or repurchase it.
Time Frame and Mileage:
The defects must during the original manufacturer's warranty which is typically five years or 60,000 miles for the basic limited warranty and ten years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain warranty. However, this doesn't mean that problems that arise after this period cannot qualify.
Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts:
While there is no specified number, California courts have found that 2 to 4 repair attempts may be enough, depending on the severity of the defects.
Strong Consumer Protections:
If you win your case under the California Lemon Law, the manufacturer is required to pay for your attorney's fees. This provision allows consumers to seek legal representation without fear of incurring unaffordable legal costs.
The law presumes that the buyer or lessee has allowed a reasonable number of attempts to fix the vehicle if, within 18 months of delivery of the vehicle: the same problem has been attempted to be repaired two or more times (for a safety-related defect) or four or more times (for a non-safety related defect), or the vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days.
It is important to remember that while California's Lemon Law is robust, navigating it can still be a complex process. Therefore, it is always recommended to seek the advice of an experienced lemon law lawyer who can help you navigate through the legal process.
What is the Hyundai Lemon Law Buyback Program?
The Hyundai Lemon Law Buyback Program is a proactive measure introduced by Hyundai to address their vehicles that may be classified as 'lemons.' A lemon refers to a new car that has significant manufacturing defects affecting its safety, value, or utility. Any vehicle, regardless of make or model, can potentially become a lemon.
Under this buyback program, Hyundai may choose to repurchase or replace vehicles that qualify as a lemon under state laws. It's important to note that not all defective vehicles qualify. To be deemed a lemon, the vehicle generally must have a substantial defect that is covered by the warranty and could not be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts, as defined by the specific state's lemon law.
In the event of a buyback, Hyundai typically reimburses the vehicle owner for the purchase price, including taxes and fees, minus a deduction for use. Alternatively, the owner may choose to have their lemon vehicle replaced with a comparable new vehicle.
What Qualifies for a Hyundai Lemon Law Buyback?
For a Hyundai vehicle to qualify for the Lemon Law Buyback program, it must meet certain criteria, which are usually defined by each state's specific lemon laws.
However, the following general conditions are typically required:
The Vehicle is Covered Under a Warranty: The car must be a new or used vehicle that was sold or leased with a manufacturer's warranty.
The Vehicle Has a Substantial Defect: The car must have a significant defect or issue that affects its safety, value, or usability. Minor or cosmetic defects typically don't qualify under the lemon law.
The Defect Isn’t Due to Abuse: The problem with the car must not be the result of the owner's misuse or alteration of the vehicle.
The Manufacturer Had a Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts: The specific definitions of "reasonable attempts" may vary from state to state, but generally, this means the same problem has been repaired two to three times or more without success, or the car has been in the repair shop for a cumulative total of 30 days or more for any number of problems.
The Defect Occurred Within a Certain Time or Mileage Limit: The defect must generally occur within the specific warranty period after purchase.
How Does the Hyundai Lemon Law Process Work?
Navigating the Hyundai Lemon Law process requires several steps, which can vary slightly depending on the specific laws in your state. Here is a general guide to help you understand what to expect:
1. Identify the Problem and Get it Documented:
The first step is to identify and report any defects to a Hyundai dealership or authorized repair facility as soon as they arise. Make sure the issue is documented thoroughly each time. Keep a copy of all paperwork including repair orders and invoices. These documents will serve as evidence of the defects and the repair attempts.
2. Allow Hyundai to Attempt Repairs:
Hyundai must be given a reasonable number of attempts to repair the problem. The definition of "reasonable attempts" can vary by state, but typically it means that the car has undergone several repair attempts for the same issue without successful resolution.
3. Contact Hyundai’s Consumer Affairs:
If the defect persists after several repair attempts, contact Hyundai's Consumer Affairs. You can explain the situation and ask for a resolution under the lemon law. They may arrange further repairs, or if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon, initiate the buyback process.
4. Initiate the Lemon Law Buyback Program:
If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon under your state's law, Hyundai will typically offer to either repurchase the vehicle (less a reasonable allowance for use) or replace it with a comparable new vehicle.
5. Consult with a Lemon Law Attorney if Necessary:
If you encounter difficulties during the process, or if Hyundai disputes your claim, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney who specializes in lemon law cases. In many cases, if you win your lemon law claim, Hyundai will be required to cover your attorney's fees.
Remember, while Hyundai should aim to provide a fair resolution for all lemon law cases, understanding the process and your rights can make the process smoother and more efficient.
Types of Hyundai Vehicles Covered by the Lemon Law
The Hyundai Lemon Law Buyback Program applies to Hyundai vehicles covered under the manufacturer's warranty. This generally includes:
New Vehicles: All new Hyundai vehicles sold or leased with a manufacturer's warranty are covered under the program. This includes all models, from sedans like the Elantra and Sonata, to SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe, and even luxury models under the Genesis marque.
Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles: Used Hyundai vehicles that are sold with a manufacturer-certified pre-owned warranty are also eligible. This can be particularly relevant for late-model used cars or cars that have been leased.
Demonstrator or Executive Vehicles: These are new cars that have been used for test drives or have been driven by dealership employees but are still sold as new with a manufacturer's warranty. These vehicles are also covered under the program.
Leased Vehicles: If you've leased a Hyundai vehicle and it's covered by the manufacturer's warranty, it's also included in the program.
It's important to note that the Hyundai Lemon Law Buyback Program only applies to cars that have been sold or leased with a manufacturer's warranty. It does not generally apply to vehicles sold "as is" without a warranty, vehicles not used for personal, family, or household purposes, or vehicles that have been abused or not properly maintained by the owner.
Common Hyundai Lemon Defects
While Hyundai is known for producing reliable and durable vehicles, like all manufacturers, it can occasionally produce vehicles with defects. Here are some of the most common defects that have been reported in Hyundai vehicles, which could potentially qualify them as lemons under certain conditions:
Engine Issues: Problems with engines, including engine failure, stalling, or excessive oil consumption, are among the most serious and common issues reported in some Hyundai models.
Transmission Problems: Some Hyundai owners have reported issues with the transmission, including rough shifting, transmission slipping, or the vehicle going into limp mode.
Electrical System Defects: Issues with the electrical systems can range from problems with the infotainment system, navigation, and backup cameras, to malfunctioning power controls for windows and doors, and even issues with battery drain.
Brake System Defects: Issues with brakes, such as ABS failure, excessive brake wear, or brake noises, can potentially qualify a vehicle as a lemon if they can't be resolved after multiple attempts.
Fuel System Problems: Some Hyundai models have reported fuel system problems, including issues with the fuel pump, fuel gauge, or fuel injection system.
Airbag and Safety System Defects: Any defects related to the vehicle's safety systems, like malfunctioning airbags, seat belts, or stability control systems, are serious and may potentially qualify a vehicle as a lemon.
Recent Hyundai Recalls
While Hyundai is committed to the production of exceptional and secure vehicles, like any other automobile manufacturer, there may be instances when a recall is necessary due to certain issues that arise. In such cases, it is crucial to take prompt action and have an authorized Hyundai dealer perform the necessary repairs. Neglecting to address these recall concerns may compromise the safety of both the driver and passengers inside the vehicle.
Here's a closer look at some recent Hyundai vehicle recalls:
Hyundai Fire Risk Recall: In 2023 Hyundai has so far issued recalls for more than 570,000 vehicles, urging owners to park their vehicles outside and away from homes and other structures because the tow hitch harnesses can catch fire while they are parked or being driven. The affected vehicles include model years 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz, 2019-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2021-2023 Santa Fe Hybrid, and 2022-2023 Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid.
Hyundai Engine Recall: In 2020, Hyundai recalled over 400,000 vehicles, including certain 2016–2018 Santa Fe, 2017–2018 Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Santa Fe, 2014–2015 Tucson, and 2018–2019 Tucson vehicles due to engine issues. The recall was due to a manufacturing error that could cause the engine to fail or catch fire.
Hyundai Brake Fluid Leak Recall: In 2020, Hyundai recalled certain 2013–2015 Santa Fe Sport vehicles due to a brake fluid leak issue that could potentially cause an engine fire.
Hyundai ABS Recall: In 2019, Hyundai recalled certain 2015–2016 Veloster, 2012 Santa Fe, 2011–2013 Sonata Hybrid, and 2016 Sonata Hybrid vehicles due to issues with the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) that could cause an electrical short and potentially lead to an engine compartment fire.
Hyundai Door Latch Recall: In 2021, Hyundai recalled certain 2019–2020 Elantra, 2019–2021 Kona, and 2019–2021 Veloster vehicles due to a lower door latch issue that could allow the door to open while driving.
These recalls highlight the importance of staying informed about potential issues with your vehicle. If your vehicle is recalled, Hyundai will typically notify you and offer to repair the problem at no cost. However, if you experience repeated problems with a recalled component that cannot be satisfactorily repaired, this could potentially qualify your vehicle as a lemon under your state's lemon law.
Why Choose The Beck Law Office to Represent You?
If you live in California and you think you may have a lemon on your hands, it is crucial that you seek the counsel of an experienced lemon law attorney who specializes in lemon law and is well-versed in the state's unique lemon law regulations. Auto manufacturers and dealerships often resort to misleading tactics to confuse consumers, therefore it is important to seek legal representation that is knowledgeable and can protect your consumer rights, which you are legally entitled to.
The Beck Law Office is a reputable California-based lemon law firm with over a decade of experience in successfully representing clients in lemon law cases. Our proficient team of attorneys is deeply familiar with California's lemon law rules and is adept at recognizing and countering the tactics that manufacturers and dealerships may employ to sidestep their obligations.
We serve clients across California, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Riverside, and other cities throughout the state. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that you receive the compensation and justice you deserve.
Our Promise To You
At Beck Law Office, our practice is centered around the needs and concerns of our clients. Recognizing the complexity and potential stress of lemon law cases, our goal is to provide empathetic and consistent support to each of our clients throughout the entire journey. We aim to alleviate your stress and ensure a seamless experience.
Furthermore, our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, implying that our compensation is directly tied to the success of your case. This means that we don't charge any legal fees unless we successfully win your claim. This commitment alleviates the financial pressure associated with pursuing a lemon law case and our clients can rest assured that we dedicate our resources and skills to ensuring the most favorable outcome for every case.
Contact Us Today
If you require the expert advice of an experienced lemon law attorney, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and a no-obligation case evaluation.
Our team is dedicated to aiding you in securing the justice you deserve and ensuring this is done in a prompt, amicable, and efficient manner.
We are passionate about serving our clients and are ready to provide you with the legal advice you require to navigate the complexities of your lemon law case.