Our California Attorneys Can Help You with the Lemon Law Buyback Process
When you’ve bought a new or used vehicle or leased a vehicle that’s turned out to be a lemon, you may be able to force the manufacturer buyback your vehicle through the California Lemon Law. This process protects consumers from being stuck with cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans that are faulty. If you’ve been in and out of the shop with your vehicle since you drove it off the showroom floor, or if ongoing issues popped and the dealership is having difficulty repairing the vehicle, don’t waste more time and money at the dealership. It’s to your benefit to find out whether your vehicle is eligible for buyback. It may be under California’s lemon law.
Our skilled California lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima LLP can help you understand whether your vehicle qualifies for buyback or replacement under the lemon law. If so, we will work hard to help you get out from under the headache of your defective vehicle. We have years of experience assisting California drivers with their lemon law claims. Call us at (888) 407-2955 so we can get started helping you get relief in your lemon law case.
Overview of the California Lemon Law Buyback Process
California’s lemon law is designed to safeguard consumers. It aims to put consumers into the financial position they would have been in had the vehicle defect not occurred.
If the defect in your new, used or leased vehicle can’t be repaired by the manufacturer or dealer after a reasonable number of attempts, your vehicle may be a lemon under the law. Your vehicle may be eligible for the lemon law buyback process.
What is a reasonable number of attempts? Here are general guidelines as described by the California Department of Consumer Affairs:
- The problem isn’t fixed after four or more attempts.
- Two unsuccessful repair attempts have been made for a problem that could cause death or serious injury.
- The vehicle has been in the repair shop for more than 30 days for problems covered under warranty.
As noted above, these are guidelines. Every situation is different, and the California lemon law is complex. Your vehicle may fall within these guidelines and not be eligible, or outside of them and still be eligible.
The lemon law gives you protection as long as the issues occurred while the vehicle is under warranty. In some situations, though, you still could get lemon law relief even if the car is outside the warranty period. You could have a claim even if only the first attempt to repair the vehicle occurred during the warranty.
Remember, too, that it isn’t unusual for vehicle manufacturers to try to dispute claims that their vehicles are lemons. They may try to blame owners for problems or even deny that a problem exists.
If you believe your car or other vehicle is a lemon, it’s highly advisable to get the help of an experienced lemon law attorney. Our lawyers understand all the intricacies of lemon law and will stand up for your rights. Call us today at (888) 407-2955 to schedule a free consultation.
What is the Lemon Law Buyback Value?
When the manufacturer buys your vehicle back, you are typically reimbursed for the entire amount you paid for your vehicle. This means you would receive enough compensation to pay you back for your down payment and all monthly payments you’ve made, including sales tax and interest charges, as well as pay off the loan on the vehicle.
Note, however, that the manufacturer is not required to pay for your late fees or other related penalties you could have incurred while you had the car loan. Also, if your vehicle’s problems didn’t start right away, there will be a mileage-use reduction for the number of miles you drove the vehicle before the problems started happening.
Here is how the mileage-use reduction works:
Sample CA Lemon Law Buyback Price Calculation
- The consumer purchases a vehicle for $50,000
- Mechanical problems begin when the odometer reads 10,000.
- The dealership is unable to make the repairs after reasonable attempts.
- The consumer may sell the vehicle back to the manufacturer for $45,833.
In this example, the use-reduction results in the consumer’s receiving $4,167 less than the purchase price. This represents the value of the 10,000 miles of usage prior to the defect’s becoming apparent. How is this calculation made? Divide the odometer reading at the time the mechanical problems begin by 120,000, then multiply it by the purchase price.
How Do I Get Started with the Lemon Law Buyback Process?
Going through a lemon law buyback is complicated. When you notice issues with your vehicle, take your car to an authorized dealership for repair right away. You must give the manufacturer’s dealership a reasonable opportunity to repair the lemon vehicle. This generally means the dealership must have attempted to fix the vehicle at least two times.
To start the lemon law buyback process in California:
- Be sure to keep good records of all repair attempts – One of the most important parts of the lemon law buyback process is to keep careful records of all repair attempts on your car. If you do not have good records of the warranty work performed, or pictures or video of the defect when it occurs, this can delay your buyback process. Save copies of all work orders, emails, text messages, pictures and video relating to the lemon car. If the car dealer is too busy to work on your vehicle, get documentation that shows you tried to have work done that day.
- Consult with a lemon law attorney — It is smart at this stage to speak with a California lemon law attorney. Consulting with an attorney about your claim offers you major benefits. The lemon law filing process is complicated. The experienced attorneys at Neale & Fhima will make sure every step of your lemon law claim is handled properly before taking further action. Your attorney will also deal with the remaining complex steps of the lemon law buyback process. They will also litigate the claim if negotiations with the company break down.
- File your claim — At this time, your lawyer will inform the auto manufacturer of your lemon law claim and that you want a buyback. The complaint will include supporting information regarding the lemon vehicle and will show that you are eligible for California lemon law benefits.
Manufacturers often try to deny a claim based on incorrect assertions or incorrect interpretations of the law. Even if they concede that you have a valid claim, they may try to pay you as little as possible. This is when having a lemon law attorney on your side to negotiate your claim can be especially important.
Our attorneys know auto manufacturer tactics and will work toward ensuring that you get all you are owed for the buyback of your lemon.
Is Your Car a Lemon? Talk to Our California Lemon Law Attorney
Paying your hard-earned money for a new vehicle that has defects is upsetting. Even worse, some lemon vehicles have serious mechanical problems that can put your safety in jeopardy. The attorneys at Neale & Fhima have been successful in obtaining many California lemon law settlements against auto manufacturers. You can request a free consultation by calling us at (888) 407-2955 or completing our online contact form. You can rely on us to stand with you against the auto manufacturer who has wronged you and work hard toward getting you reimbursed for your lemon.
Additionally, sometimes vehicle manufacturers repair and resell cars that were bought back under the lemon law. If you have bought such a vehicle and are worried about the possibility of the manufacturer’s voiding the warranty, contact us to learn your rights under the law.
What Is Lemon Law Buyback versus Replacement?
If your car is found to be a lemon, you have the choice of a buyback or of receiving a replacement vehicle. If you decide on a replacement, it should be the same vehicle but without problems. In cases where an exact replacement can’t be found, you should be offered a comparable vehicle.
With your replacement vehicle, you must also get a new vehicle warranty. Also, your taxes, licensing and other new vehicle fees should be covered by the manufacturer.
How Long Does Lemon Law Buyback Take?
When your vehicle doesn’t run properly, you want the problem resolved quickly. So how long does lemon law buyback take? The answer to that question is that it depends. Strong claims can take shorter time. But if the manufacturer isn’t willing to work with you, negotiations can take months or longer.
Our attorneys will ensure that your claim is as strong as it can be, right from the beginning. And if your claim is denied we will put all of our lemon law experience to work in representing you against the manufacturer.
Get Help from an Attorney Who Understands the Lemon Law Buyback Process
Don’t be stuck with a car or other vehicle that is unreliable. When you’ve paid your hard-earned money, you should be able to rely on your vehicle to get you where you need to go. And you should never be worried for your safety in a vehicle that has potentially deadly defects.
If your car qualifies under California’s lemon law, we won’t back down in working to get your vehicle repurchased or replaced. Call us at (888) 407-2955 for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose and possibly much to gain.