Your car may be considered a lemon if it has a manufacturing problem or defect that is substantially impairing your car’s use, value or safety, and your auto manufacturer or dealership couldn’t repair the vehicle after being given a reasonable number of chances.
If you pursue a lemon law claim and your vehicle is found to be defective, you may be eligible to receive a vehicle replacement or a vehicle repurchase, otherwise known as a lemon law buyback.
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Under the California Lemon Law, if you choose to accept a replacement vehicle, the auto manufacturer has to replace the vehicle with a “new motor vehicle substantially identical to the vehicle replaced.” The replacement vehicle has to be accompanied by all express and implied warranties that usually come with that specific vehicle type.
The auto manufacturer is also on the hook for any sales or use tax, license fees, registration fees and other official fees associated with what would otherwise have been a vehicle purchase. In addition, the auto manufacturer is also on the hook for incidental damages such as reasonable repair, towing, rental car costs and other expenses you incurred due to the defective vehicle.
The vehicle owner is only liable to pay the auto manufacturer an amount directly attributable to use by the owner before the owner first brought the vehicle to the auto manufacturer or its dealership for the defect.
Vehicle owners and vehicle lessees are both eligible for a vehicle repurchase, or a lemon law buyback.
If you choose restitution under the California Lemon Law, the auto manufacturer has to pay you an amount equal to the actual price paid or payable by you – including charges for transportation and manufacturer-installed options. This amount does not include non-manufacturer items installed by you or the dealership. However, this does include collateral charges, such as sales or use tax, license fees, registration fees and other official fees. Not only that, this includes incidental damages such as reasonable repair, towing and rental costs.
The amount of restitution owed to you may be decreased by an amount known as the mileage offset. This offset is determined by multiplying the vehicle price paid or payable (including charges for transportation and manufacturer-installed options) by the mileage during your first repair visit, divided by 120,000.
To better understand how to calculate a lemon law buyback, read Lemon Law Buyback Calculation.
Consult a Lemon Law Attorney Today
If you choose to pursue a lemon law claim, hire a lemon law attorney to ensure that you have the best possible chance of getting a replacement or repurchase of your vehicle. An experienced lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights, discuss the particulars of your case and guide you throughout the process.
If you are unsure whether your vehicle is a lemon, pursue a lemon law consultation. The services of a lemon law attorney do not cost you anything out of pocket, and that includes the initial consultation. Learn how to prepare for a lemon law consultation or a claim, and then call our lemon law firm at 877-222-2222.
Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2016–Present vehicle models only. However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states. To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our California Lemon Law Guide for more information.