The last situation any car owner wants to deal with is a lemon. Owning a lemon can cause trouble in your everyday life, and subject you to repeated maintenance and repairs.
Purchasers are able to fall back on their local lemon laws for protection against these damaged vehicles. In several scenarios, a California Lemon Law Buyback may be the best option for the disposal of the problematic car, truck, or SUV; allowing you to move on with your life.
The California Lemon Law protects individuals who buy a car, truck, or SUV under warranty. If the vehicle develops a significant defect, you may be entitled to a California Lemon Law Buyback. The vehicle is only eligible for a buyback if the manufacturer cannot service or repair the defect in a reasonable number of attempts.
What Is A ‘Lemon Law’ Buyback?
A Lemon Law buyback car is a car, truck, or SUV that has been recovered by the manufacturer, on or after January 1, 1996, due to specified warranty or product defects. The vehicle must be registered in the manufacturer’s name prior to reselling the vehicle to a member of the general public.
Automobile Replacements Under the Lemon Law
One of the most important aspects to know regarding the California Lemon Law’s replacement remedy is that it is solely optional for both the purchaser and the vehicle manufacturer. A lemon law replacement occurs only when both groups agree on a replacement, as opposed to an automotive buyback. You cannot force a distributor to offer a replacement if they choose not to, and a manufacturer can’t force you to accept a replacement vehicle. Each of the two parties can only insist on a lemon law buyback if they choose to do so.
If both parties come to terms on a replacement, then the manufacturer must replace your deficient vehicle with a new, significantly identical car, truck, or SUV. Furthermore, the replacement vehicle must be delivered to you with all of the warranties that traditionally accompany that type of new vehicle. In layman's terms, your warranty period restarts. Under California’s Lemon Law, when a manufacturer provides you with a replacement car, the manufacturer must also pay all of the collateral charges that are accompanied by the sale. This consists of any sales tax, license fees, registration, and other official fees. The manufacturer cannot force you to pay any of these amounts. The manufacturer must also pay any “incidental damages” brought on by your vehicle’s defects and repairs. Incidental damages are mentioned in greater detail as we continue.
Vehicle Buybacks Under California’s Lemon Law
When a manufacturer rebuys your vehicle under California’s Lemon Law, they must pay you the buyback amount less a “mileage offset.” The buyback amount will include the entire amount “paid or payable” for your car. In other terms, the manufacturer must give you enough money to compensate you for your initial down payment and all of your monthly payments towards the vehicle and also pay off the vehicle’s loan. It is not, however, expected to pay any late fees or other additional penalties that a purchaser may have accumulated under his or her auto loan agreement.
The money the manufacturer should pay must include compensation for any transportation charges that you paid out when you purchased the automobile, along with any charges for manufacturer-installed accessories and manufacturer items installed by the dealership. The distributor is not required to reimburse you for any non-manufacturer items that were installed by you, the dealership, or anyone else. It is, however, required to compensate you for any registration fees, license fees, sales tax, and other official fees that you paid when you bought the vehicle, along with any incidental damages caused by the vehicle’s defects or repairs.
From this amount, the manufacturer is entitled to deduct a mileage offset. The mileage offset is adjusted by deciding which of the vehicle’s repair attempts is the first repair for the problem that caused your car to become a lemon. The mileage on the car at the first repair attempt (less any miles that were on the vehicle when you purchased or leased it) is then divided by 120,000 and then multiplied by the automobile’s purchase price.
Recovery of Incidental Damages Under California’s Lemon Law
Regardless of whether a manufacturer replaces or purchases back your defective vehicle, the distributors must also pay you for any incidental damages that you suffered as a result of your automobile’s defects and repairs. Basically, the manufacturer is obligated to pay you for any damages or harm that was clearly and directly caused by the vehicle’s defects. Although California’s lemon law statute does not allow you to reclaim money for the exhaustion or emotional distress caused by your vehicle’s numerous repairs, you can receive compensation for any repair expenses, towing charges, rental or other replacement vehicle charges, cab fare, etc. that you paid out of your wallet. If you are an hourly wage employee, then you can also recover any wages that you may have lost from having to take your car, truck, or SUV to and from the repair facility, and you can also receive damages for pain and suffering and personal injury if your vehicle’s defect(s) resulted in you being physically injured.
The Lemon law is some tricky business. While there are many concepts that appear simple, there are several small details that can make the process appear confusing.
A vehicle buyback is the most typical remedy when it comes to a lemon vehicle. If this is your goal, the most important thing to do is get started with the lemon law claim right away. If you have a strong feeling that something is not right with your new or used vehicle, schedule a consultation with a lemon law lawyer or law office today and get more information!