To protect consumers, the Song Beverly and Tanner Acts (aka Lemon
Law) were enacted to require that manufacturers repurchase or
replace vehicles with serious auto defects expeditiously.
When first enacted, the legislature required that the
manufacturer pay the reasonable attorney’s fees of the consumer.
In recent years, a cottage industry of plaintiff’s firms have
begun to exploit this provision increasingly by delaying case
resolution to run up excessive attorneys’ fees and collect larger
shares of awards.
Reforms are needed to ensure customers and manufacturers are
incentivized to resolve claims quickly. There needs to be a
clear, direct path from consumers to the auto manufacturer, and
greater utilization of the state’s third-party dispute resolution
program, supervised by the Department of Consumer Affairs.