Lemon Appliances and Toothbrushes?

As a California consumer, you expect all items you purchase to work and to conform with any information included on the label. Sadly, many products do not work as intended. This is sometimes a mere inconvenience for consumers, but in other cases, malfunctioning products can cause considerable harm to unsuspecting individuals. Others simply desire replacement or refund, or to hold problematic manufacturers accountable. California's strong lemon law grants such consumers this valuable opportunity.

Typically, when consumers picture lemon laws, they think of malfunctioning vehicles. Because vehicles are so expensive and problems can prove deadly, they are most frequently at the center of lemon law cases. However, in California, the scope of local lemon law legislation extends far beyond motorized vehicles. The state's consumer protection efforts cover a wide array of objects, including appliances, electronic devices, and more. Read on to learn more about California's lemon law and the surprising variety of products it covers:

California Lemon Laws: The Basics

California boasts one of the strongest lemon laws in the country. Officially known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the state's powerful lemon law can be viewed in CA Civil Code Section 1790-1795.8.

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act indicates that goods sold at retail in the state of California are automatically covered by implied warranties of merchantability, unless sold 'as is' and clearly marked as such. By default, the state's manufacturers must guarantee that products are in working order, adequately packaged and labeled, and fully compliant with all promises included on the label.

How California's Lemon Law Covers Appliances

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act applies to all products purchased by consumers for personal or family use and covered by either implied or express warranties.

Examples of objects covered by California's lemon law include:


  • Wheelchairs
  • Scooters
  • Hearing aids
  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • Mobile devices
  • Bicycles.


Items need not be medically necessary to qualify. Even kitchen appliances and electric toothbrushes could lie at the center of a valid lemon law case. To qualify, the item must have been purchased for personal or household use and not have been labeled for purchase 'as is.' Items covered by express warranty must be repaired within a reasonable number of attempts, replaced, or refunded.

California's lemon law provides specific provisions for select devices, as outlined below:

Hearing Aids

In addition to the implied warranty inherent in the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the legislation also necessitates express written warranties for hearing aids. The first page of each hearing aid warranty must include specific language outlined in the Act.


California's lemon law mandates that all new and used wheelchairs be covered by express written warranties. For new wheelchairs, the warranty must be valid until one year after the date of delivery. Used or refurbished wheelchairs must be covered by warranty for at least sixty days.


Unfortunately, many manufacturers and consumers fail to understand the full extent of their rights and responsibilities under both federal and state-based lemon laws. The more you know about the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and how it applies to non-vehicle products, the less likely you are to be taken advantage of by California manufacturers.


Eager to learn more about California's lemon law and how it could help you recover the costs of your purchase? Call Neale & Fhima LLP at 888-506-0899 to schedule a free consultation.

From the Author: Lemon Appliances