GM Tops List for Commonly-Sued Vehicle Manufacturers in California Lemon Law Claims

GM Tops List for Commonly-Sued Vehicle Manufacturers in California Lemon Law Claims

Mar 3, 2023

General Motors faces one lawsuit under California’s lemon law for every 78 vehicles it sells in the state, according to the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG).

In collaboration with the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) Foundation and Frontier Group, CALPIRG examined more than 34,000 lemon lawsuits filed in California state courts between 2018 and 2021. The report reveals that some auto manufacturers face a higher number of lemon lawsuits per vehicle sold than others.

According to the report, the five automakers who saw the highest number of lemon law cases per vehicle sold between 2018 to 2021 were:

General Motors: 1 case per 78 vehicles sold
Jaguar Land Rover North America: 1 case per 83 vehicles sold
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA): 1 case per 107 vehicles sold
Nissan North America: 1 case per 115 vehicles sold
Ford Motor Company: 1 case per 148 vehicles sold

By contrast, Toyota Motor Sales saw the fewest lemon lawsuits per vehicle sold, with only one court filing for every 2,029 vehicles. General Motors vehicles were 26 times more likely to be the subject of a lemon lawsuit than Toyota vehicles from 2018 to 2021.

Approximately seven million new vehicles were registered in California during this period. Fewer than one-half of one percent of those new vehicle registrations appeared in lemon law claims filed in state courts during that time.

Yet that 0.5 percent doesn’t include every vehicle that falls under the lemon law. For instance, these numbers don’t reflect the lemon law claims that were settled without filing a lawsuit. Nor do they reflect lemon claims that were settled in arbitration – a popular alternative among automakers but one that can result in less favorable outcomes for vehicle owners.

“Instead of attacking California’s auto lemon law, auto manufacturers like GM, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan, Ford, and Kia should concentrate on improving their vehicle quality and customer service,” says Rosemary Shahan, president of the CARS Foundation. Vehicle owners that suspect they have a lemon on their hands can benefit from the experience of a California lemon law attorney.

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