An Overview of California Consumer Protection Law

An Overview of California Consumer Protection Law

California has some of the most robust consumer protection laws in the country. These laws are meant to protect individuals like you. They protect you against vehicle fraud, financial elder abuse, deceptive trade practices, and so much more. A dedicated consumer protection attorney understands these laws and how to protect your rights from violations.

This overview of California consumer protection laws can help you understand what protections you are afforded under the law. It also outlines how a California consumer law attorney can help when your rights are violated. The Conn Law, PC, team has decades of experience working for our clients. We are here to protect your rights and seek compensation on your behalf.

California Lemon Laws

California Civil Code Section 1793.22 protects consumers from the purchase of a “lemon” car. This is a car with a major defect or a set of recurring issues the dealer or a mechanic cannot fix. The law is designed to give you peace of mind when you buy a car. You know that the law protects you if you buy a car that cannot reasonably be fixed.

If the car is unable to conform to the express warranties after several repairs have been attempted, the car is likely considered a lemon. California law does not define the number of repair attempts necessary, but some general guidelines include:

  • If the problem could cause death or serious injury if the vehicle is driven, two or more unsuccessful attempts to repair it will likely render the car a lemon.
  • If the repair is for a recurring problem, four or more attempts to repair it may render the car a lemon.
  • If the car has been out of service for more than 30 days, it may be considered a lemon (the 30 days do not have to be consecutive).

Consumers have until the car is 18 months old or reaches 18,000 miles from the date of purchase, whichever is first, to return the car when it is determined to be a lemon.

Many dealers will attempt to avoid accepting a returned car, even when it is clearly a lemon. This is where a consumer protection law attorney can help. We know how to fight back against these tactics to protect your rights.

Auto Finance Issues and Auto Dealer Fraud

An automobile is a substantial purchase. Dealers may take advantage of this with deceptive practices or fraudulent activity. Our attorneys know how to help you with auto dealer and finance issues such as:

  • Undisclosed damage to vehicles
  • Sale of unsafe motor vehicles
  • “Certified pre-owned” fraud
  • Lemon laundering (hiding the fact that a car was previously determined to be a lemon)
  • Motorcycle “credit card” financing
  • Deceptive financing schemes like yo-yo financing
  • Wrongful repossession

California Deceptive Trade Practice Laws

Deceptive trade practice laws seek to prevent false claims, disinformation, and other fraudulent tactics from luring a consumer into buying a particular product or service. California has laws that specifically forbid false advertising and other fraudulent practices. A common fraudulent practice is changing the odometer to make it appear as though a car has fewer miles on it than it actually does. This violates the law, and remedies may be available in an appropriate case.

When these types of actions do occur, you may be owed compensation from the responsible party. Compensation may include reimbursement for your losses and other fines associated with violations of the law. A dedicated consumer practices attorney understands the nuances of these laws and how to help you fight back against these deceptive practices.

Consumer Privacy Rights Laws

California prioritizes protecting consumersprivacy rights. In the modern age, consumers’ privacy is more difficult to protect, but it’s even more important than ever before. The digital era makes it easier for scams and identity theft to occur on a grand scale. Our firm is dedicated to protecting you from:

  • Illegal disclosure of credit reports: Consumers are generally protected from unauthorized disclosure of their credit reports. Releasing the credit report without proper authorization or for an impermissible purpose may violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA). This may result in civil penalties and criminal sanctions.
  • Violations of internet privacy rights: Starting in 2020, the state enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This greatly expands California consumers’ privacy rights when using the internet.
  • Disclosure of credit card information: The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) imposes strict limitations on what information may be contained on a receipt. This is an effort to prevent the reverse engineering of your credit card number to protect you against identity theft.
  • Illegal robocalls: Robocalls are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous. They are often scams, and those who violate the law could face penalties between $500 and $1,500 for every illegal robocall made.

Financial Abuse of Consumers

Several laws protect California consumers from different types of financial abuse. Many tricks are used to fool consumers into buying something they do not want or need. The state also protects you from products that do not meet what was advertised. Vulnerable people such as the elderly or those for whom English is a second language are often targeted by these deceptive tactics.

Our attorneys can help you enforce rights such as those protected by the:

  • California Translation Act: This law protects the diverse population of California, many of whom do not speak English as a native language. The law requires that consumer contracts be written in certain languages, such as Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese, and more. If a contract translation is not provided, the consumer is often permitted to cancel the contract.
  • Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act: Elderly and disabled adults often cannot protect themselves from financial abuse. The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act helps protect them from this kind of abuse and provides remedies for victims.

Contact a Consumer Protection Law Attorney in California for Help

The consumer protection lawyers at Conn Law, PC, represent consumers on many different issues. We know how to face unique challenges and fight back against violations of your consumer rights.

Contact us today to request a free evaluation for your case. We look forward to speaking with you.

February 9, 2023