Current through the 2021 Legislative Session
Section 1794 - Action by buyer for damages and other legal and equitable relief(a) Any buyer of consumer goods who is damaged by a failure to comply with any obligation under this chapter or under an implied or express warranty or service contract may bring an action for the recovery of damages and other legal and equitable relief.(b) The measure of the buyer's damages in an action under this section shall include the rights of replacement or reimbursement as set forth in subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2, and the following:(1) Where the buyer has rightfully rejected or justifiably revoked acceptance of the goods or has exercised any right to cancel the sale, Sections 2711, 2712, and 2713 of the Commercial Code shall apply.(2) Where the buyer has accepted the goods, Sections 2714 and 2715 of the Commercial Code shall apply, and the measure of damages shall include the cost of repairs necessary to make the goods conform.(c) If the buyer establishes that the failure to comply was willful, the judgment may include, in addition to the amounts recovered under subdivision (a), a civil penalty which shall not exceed two times the amount of actual damages. This subdivision shall not apply in any class action under Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure or under Section 1781, or with respect to a claim based solely on a breach of an implied warranty.(d) If the buyer prevails in an action under this section, the buyer shall be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including attorney's fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the buyer in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action.(e)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, if the buyer establishes a violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2, the buyer shall recover damages and reasonable attorney's fees and costs, and may recover a civil penalty of up to two times the amount of damages.(2) If the manufacturer maintains a qualified third-party dispute resolution process which substantially complies with Section 1793.22, the manufacturer shall not be liable for any civil penalty pursuant to this subdivision.(3) After the occurrence of the events giving rise to the presumption established in subdivision (b) of Section 1793.22, the buyer may serve upon the manufacturer a written notice requesting that the manufacturer comply with paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2. If the buyer fails to serve the notice, the manufacturer shall not be liable for a civil penalty pursuant to this subdivision.(4) If the buyer serves the notice described in paragraph (3) and the manufacturer complies with paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 1793.2 within 30 days of the service of that notice, the manufacturer shall not be liable for a civil penalty pursuant to this subdivision.(5) If the buyer recovers a civil penalty under subdivision (c), the buyer may not also recover a civil penalty under this subdivision for the same violation.Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1232, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 1993.