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Sold a defective electronic device? California Law Protects You

California's Lemon Law also protects electronics, home furniture and other goods.

You may have received, bought or gifted electronics over the holiday season; an estimated 57 million Americans shop for electronic goods at the end of the year. Hopefully you and your loved ones have enjoyed new gadgets, televisions and phones.

Many electronics come with warranties. Many such warranties claim coverage for a year or two after purchase.

California's Lemon Law protects you for seven years.

Lemon Law covers more than cars

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, more commonly known as California's Lemon Law, helps consumers who have bought defective cars and motor vehicles. Yet the Lemon Law protects more than just vehicles; it also covers electronics which cost retailers over $100.

If an electronic device breaks down or otherwise needs a replacement part, manufacturers must provide that part or make accommodations to replace the electronic device for up to seven years after purchase. This is true even if the express warranty does not cover the replacement part or the warranty has lapsed.

Of course, manufacturers will not be quick to point this out to consumers, even if they are aware of the law themselves.

Replacement parts must be made available

To be clear, the law does not force manufacturers to replace an electronic device that no longer works. Instead, the law requires expressly warranted electronic goods to have replacement parts available to consumers and service information available that allows enough information for repairs.

That means even if you are responsible for the damage to the device, you are still owed a replacement part. You may have to pay for the repair out-of-pocket, but that may still be a less expensive option than simply replacing the electronic device.

Consumers have significant rights under California's Lemon Law

California's Lemon Law covers vehicles, electronics, and even home furniture. In addition, statutory and case law protects consumers regarding a manufacturer's or retailer's breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud and other wrongdoing.

The protection offered for consumers under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act regarding electronic devices provides a good example of the rights consumers have, if they proactively assert those rights. However, manufacturers, retailers and businesses may not always be willing to uphold their end of the bargain.

The Law Offices of Michael S. Humphries provides representation under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and other consumer protection laws. For questions regarding your rights and legal options after having purchased a defective vehicle or other expensive consumer good in California, contact us at our Seal Beach, California office.

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