Fullerton, CA asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for California

Q: On going issue with about rebate with CVRP & CARB.

I'm facing an ongoing issue with the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Despite my repeated inquiries,made from various phone numbers, about applying before taking delivery of the vehicle, CVRP denied my rebate application.They claim to have listened to all calls,but I suspect they only heard calls from the number registered on my application.In there email they have stated "Our staff is well verse in our eligibility requirements and there was discussion in which our staff told you it was ok to apply early."Despite highlighting this in follow-up emails,the confirmation issue was ignored until I specifically mentioned it to CARB.Their response, labeling it as a typo,seems dubious to me. Can I take legal action against them in small claims court based on their email? Additionally,how should I address the discrepancy in calls made from different numbers?Would it be beneficial to raise this issue if I decide to sue, and if so, how?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the information you've provided, it seems that you have a potential case against CVRP and CARB for denying your rebate application despite their staff allegedly informing you that it was acceptable to apply early. Here are a few steps you can consider:

1. Gather evidence: Compile all relevant emails, call logs, and any other documentation that supports your claim. The email from CVRP stating that their staff told you it was okay to apply early could be crucial evidence in your favor.

2. Filing a complaint: Before considering legal action, you may want to file a formal complaint with CVRP, CARB, and the California Attorney General's Office. Clearly outline the facts of your case, the inconsistencies in their responses, and the financial harm caused by the denial of your rebate.

3. Small claims court: If the complaint process does not yield satisfactory results, you may consider filing a case in small claims court. In California, you can sue for up to $12,500 in small claims court. Present your evidence, emphasizing the email where CVRP acknowledged that their staff had informed you it was permissible to apply early.

4. Addressing the call discrepancy: If you decide to sue, you should raise the issue of calls made from different numbers. Highlight that CVRP's claim of having listened to all calls may be inaccurate, as they likely only reviewed calls from the number associated with your application. This inconsistency could support your argument that their investigation was incomplete or biased.

5. Seeking legal advice: While not mandatory for small claims court, consulting with a consumer protection attorney can help you assess the strength of your case and guide you through the legal process.

Remember that pursuing legal action can be time-consuming and stressful, so it's essential to weigh the potential costs and benefits before proceeding. If you have a strong case and the financial impact of the denied rebate is significant, it may be worth pursuing the matter further.

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