California Lemon Law Buyback

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    California Lemon Law Buyback Overview

    If you have a defective vehicle that meets requirements under state law, you can begin the California lemon law buyback process. The manufacturer must pay a variety of the charges that you incurred while leasing or making payments on the new vehicle as well as any ancillary costs.

    The California Lemon Law Buyback Process

    There are a number of steps that both you and a car manufacturer must make before you can take advantage of the California lemon law buyback process. The first set of steps revolves around eligibility of the vehicle:

    1. You must either have bought or leased a new car and problems arisen in the first 18 months or 18,000 miles -or-
    2. You may have bought a used car that has not been operated for the same set of months or miles.

    Once you have found that there are significant defects, ones that affect safety or just overall operation of the vehicle, the manufacturer, usually through its dealership, must have the opportunity to try and fix it several times. The number of times is not set, but in the case of non-substantial defects, the California lemon law generally recommends that there be at least four attempts, or two if the condition affects the safety of the vehicle.

    In addition, the repairs under warranty must take the vehicle out of use for at least 30 days, according to the consumer protection statutes. However, none of the above guidelines are hard-and-fast requirements. You may be eligible to begin the California lemon law buyback process even if your car or SUV has not been in the shop that long.

    Consulting with an attorney can help you understand your requirements and whether or not your vehicle is eligible. In addition, they can help you with the following steps of the buyback process:

    1. Collecting documentation of the defect(s) that make your car unusable;
    2. What efforts, if any, the manufacturer and the dealership have made to remedy the problem;
    3. Assessing what next steps you should take, including receiving a replacement vehicle or a cash offer.

    How the California Lemon Law Buyback Works

    There are two options once you file a claim alleging that the vehicle you drive has substantial defects that the manufacturer has been unable to repair. First, the manufacturer may offer to replace the vehicle with the same one as long as it does not have the same defect. However, this may not work for many people, and so the law requires the manufacturer to buy back the car, truck or SUV from you.

    Buybacks vs. Replacements

    For some people, there is little issue with getting a similar vehicle to the one that they had, depending on their needs and the overall vehicle market. Even then, new car owners should understand that the manufacturer must still cover costs involved with a purchase. These include title and registration costs, among others.

    Many people instead wish to see a cash reimbursement for the cost of the vehicle that will cover loan payments, the down payment and any additional fees. However, if you have driven the car or SUV for even a short amount of time, the manufacturer will likely try to subtract a “mileage offset” from the offer it makes to you.

    California law establishes that vehicles have an average lifetime of 120,000 miles. For reference, the average driver will travel 12,000 miles in a year. The calculation for mileage offset is:

    How much you have driven the vehicle, divided by 120,000 with that fraction multiplied by the price of the vehicle.

    So, for example, if you drove your $20,000 vehicle for the average of 12,000 miles, the manufacturer could seek to subtract at least (12,000/120,000) or (1/10) times $20,000. That would equal $2,000. However, some manufacturers will try to seek offsets that are unreasonable based on how safe the vehicle was to drive over certain distances, for example. This is where it’s important to consider legal representation.

    Incidental Damages

    Car manufacturers will seek to reduce the costs involved in the California lemon law buyback process whenever possible. However, if you have been put out while attempting to drive a defective vehicle, you may have faced expenses for towing, obtaining a rental car, cab fare or rideshare costs and even hotel stays depending on where your car, truck or SUV broke down.

    One reason to consider hiring a California lemon law attorney, similarly to the above mileage offset, is to obtain the maximum legal remedy for these incidental costs and avoid arbitration.

    California Lemon Law Buyback FAQs

    What is a lemon law buyback?

    If a manufacturer has been unable to repair your vehicle to fix the defect or it is unsafe to drive, they are required to make a cash offer for the value of the vehicle that covers your loan, taxes and fees minus the mileage you were able to use. “Buyback” refers to the total amount of compensation that you receive.

    How does a car qualify for lemon law buyback?

    While state laws require that issues begin during the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, you may find out the extent of issues after this period. In either case, you may qualify if you have taken your car in for repairs for the same issue between two and four times or had it in the shop for more than 30 days in total.

    What Our Clients Are Saying!

    We have a proven track record winning California Lemon Law Cases. Look at what our clients have to say about our top-leading California lemon law buyback attorneys.

    Karla J. Chatsworth Lake Manor, CA

    My car was just purchased back by the Manufacturer! I am so appreciative of Jacob's experience and thankful to get a redo on a car that just kept going into the shop. He has been very responsive and quick responding to my questions throughout the process. I have a new car that's not breaking, thanks to Jacob! I am so happy, thanks a million!!

    Javier P. Los Angeles, CA

    Jacob and his team are awesome, they keep in contact with me all the time, during this process until I get my check from Ford.

    Patrick D. Torrance, CA

    I bought a Honda civic in 2016, and had problems with the A/C almost immediately. I brought it into Honda's repair shop numerous times, and each time, they would say that nothing was wrong with it. I finally decided to contact Jacob to see what could be done, and it was the best decision I could have made. Jacob was always quick to respond, whether it was through call, text, or email. He also broke everything down into layman's terms since I don't know much about cars or the lemon law process. Last and most importantly, he fought to get me the most out of my situation. In the end, Honda fixed my A/C problem AND they gave me a generous settlement (about 3x more than what I expected).

    Navid P. Los Angeles, CA

    My Mercedes kept having problems and had been in the service station several times. A few times I had to go get a rent-a car which made it hard to fit into my schedule going after work to pick it up and drop it off. After several times of having car problems I decided to call Jacob. Jacob was caring, understanding, extremely knowledgeable, and helped me get a settlement very quickly. He answered all my questions and was extremely helpful. He is the go to attorney if you find yourself in this type of situations. His assistants are also fantastic. Thank you.

    Claire T. Los Angeles, CA

    I bought a new Ford C-Max Energi in 2014. After 36k miles I needed a new transmission. Another attorney I know referred me to Jacob Kashani saying he was "excellent." I immediately contacted Jacob and he explained the Lemon Law process thoroughly. I rejected Ford's first offer of settlement because it wasn't a "buyback" under the Lemon Law Statute. Instead, I asked Jacob to go ahead and file a lawsuit against Ford. He had no problem doing as I requested and, after a few months, Ford did offer to buy back my car, pay off my loan and pay my attorney's fees. I am very pleased with Jacob's handling of my case and how quickly he resolved my case. I would recommend you call Jacob if you are having problems with a new or used vehicle still under the manufacturer's warranty. Don't wait or wonder if you have a case, call Jacob. Also, Jacob's assistant Lavisha is so helpful and pleasant to deal with!

    Sean A. Central LA, West Hollywood, CA

    Jacob Kashani is a knowledgeable, hard working and fierce attorney. I've called Jacob at least 6 times through the last 5 years and he's always had the right answers, as well as creative solutions whether it was pertaining to vehicles or even areas of law outside of his expertise. The three things you want in your attorney is knowledge, creativity, and hard work. Jacob has that!

    Contact a california lemon law Buyback attorney for a free consultation

    Get in touch with the California lemon law buyback attorney at the Law Office of Jacob K. Kashani today. We look forward to working with you to get the maximum compensation for the facts of your case merit.