If you suspect that your vehicle is a lemon, there is a good chance that you have taken your vehicle in for repairs at least once or twice while you still had your warranty. But what if you still had to go in for repairs over and over after your warranty expired? Alternatively, what if your dealership charged you for a repair that should have been covered by your warranty? What does the California Lemon Law allow you to do in that case?
You may already know that under the California Lemon Law, owners and lessees of defective vehicles can get cash compensation, a replacement vehicle or a refund for their vehicle. On top of that, the auto manufacturer has to pay for their attorneys’ fees and costs if the vehicle is found to be a lemon. However, some owners and lessees of lemon cars, trucks, or other vehicles may be eligible to receive other damages related to expenses they’ve incurred.
If you paid for any out-of-pocket repair expenses for your vehicle, you may be able to get these expenses reimbursed by your auto manufacturer under the California Lemon Law. Make sure you retain a copy of your repair orders. These work orders are essential to any lemon law claim.
Table of Contents
- How Repairs Relate To The Lemon Law
- If You Paid For Repairs Out Of Pocket
- Other Expenses Covered By Your Compensation
- Consult A Lemon Law Attorney
How Repairs Relate To The Lemon Law
To prove that your vehicle has a substantial defect, you will need documents proving that your vehicle could not be repaired within a reasonable number of repair attempts. Some of these repair attempts will likely need to occur during the warranty period for you to have a potential claim. You should receive a repair order (also known as a service order or work order) at the end of each repair visit. These repair orders will have the date and time of the repair visit, an itemized list of the repairs performed, along with their costs, and the concerns you reported.
If the repairs were covered by the warranty, that means they were at least partially covered by the auto manufacturer. However, it is very likely that some of these repair attempts were paid for out of pocket. If you were made to pay for these repairs yourself, or if these repairs occurred outside of the warranty period, it’s worth saving evidence of these repairs anyway.
If You Paid For Repairs Out Of Pocket
On top of your cash compensation, replacement vehicle or lemon law refund (see How To Calculate A Lemon Law Buyback), you may have your out-of-pocket repair expenses reimbursed. That does not guarantee that all of your out-of-pocket repair expenses will be reimbursed. Whether or not you get these expenses paid back to you will depend on the circumstances of your case.
Regardless, we recommend that you save your repair orders for every repair you received on your vehicle. Your repair orders will help construct a timeline of your vehicle defects. If you are not sure which repair orders indicate your vehicle’s defects, we recommend that you get a consultation with a lemon law attorney. Lemon law consultations are free to the consumer, and you can get a free and thorough review of your documents.
Other Expenses Covered By Your Compensation
Extra costs you incurred for your defective vehicle may be referred to as “incidental damages.” These damages include your out-of-pocket repair expenses. Depending on your situation, your incidental damages may include fees for rental cars, towing expenses, and other costs incurred for your lemon car.
If you are not sure what expenses can be reimbursed for your lemon law, consult a lemon law attorney. You pay nothing for this consultation. If your lemon law claim is unsuccessful, you pay nothing for your legal representation.
Consult A Lemon Law Attorney
If you have more questions about how lemon law compensation may work in your particular case, consult a lemon law attorney to discuss the specifics. However, keep in mind that, in the beginning of the process, a lemon law consultation can only offer an estimate of what your compensation might be. These estimates are not a guarantee of an outcome. At the end of your consultation, you may be requested to submit documents such as proof of ownership or lease, repair orders, and other documents showing expenses related to your vehicle defect.
To get a free lemon law consultation today, call our 24/7 toll-free number: 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.