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Lemon Law Buyback Process

How Does the Lemon Law Buyback Process Work?

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California Lemon Law Process

How Does the Lemon Law Buyback Process Work?

Buying or leasing a defective vehicle is not all that uncommon. Fortunately, states like California have  lemon laws protecting customers who fall victim to making a down payment on a faulty car. Below we review how consumers can take advantage of the lemon law buyback process to address the situation.

What Is the Lemon Law?

Lemon laws are state and federal protection laws for customers who buy or lease defective vehicles. Those who are eligible for a lemon law claim can receive a replacement vehicle or the money that they invested in the defective vehicle back.

If you are considering the lemon law buyback process, first you should know if your vehicle qualifies. 

Does My Vehicle Qualify for Lemon Law?

The Song-Beverly Act set a presumptive guideline to determining how an automobile purchase is defined as a lemon.

There are a few basic rules that the courts follow to determine if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. If your vehicle meets one of the following criteria within 18 months of delivery to you (the buyer or lessee) or 18,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, then you may be entitled to a lemon law buyback.

  • You must have had a defect or defects covered by the new manufacturers warranty. This means that the issues must have been covered by the basic warranty, the power train or some other warranty that came with the vehicle. 
  • The issues have to be substantially impairing. What does substantially impairing mean? This basically means it’s a serious issue that gives you concern about your ability to use and enjoy your vehicle. Examples include: Check engine light, breaking problems, engine issues, vehicles shaking, vehicles not driving right etc. Anything of that sort can qualify a vehicle as a lemon.
  • Your vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 days because of repairs to multiple warranty issues. The 30 days don’t have to be consecutive. The problems must be covered by the warranty and reduce your vehicle’s value, safety, or use, and are not caused by your own abuse of the vehicle.
  • You have to give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to try and fix the vehicle. This means at least two attempts. Owner’s manuals and manufacturer agreements can specify that an owner notifies them, in writing, about the problem. Be sure to check your original documentation to ensure that you’re in compliance with the rules outlined in your warranty (for example, paint is chipping and crumbling away). If you’ve had defects covered by your warranty that you’ve presented two or more times, that are serious problems, we invite you to give us a call today to learn more about us and how we can help at no cost to you. All of are services are covered by the automakers, not by you!

    Your vehicle does not fall within the criteria of lemon law if it is sold “as is.” Your vehicle also is outside the statutes of lemon law if it is not covered in the manufacturer’s warranty, or your warranty has expired. Even if your vehicle is not considered a lemon, you still may be entitled to cash compensation. Consult an expert legal professional about the ramifications of your warranty and how to approach the intricacies of your particular case.

    Filing A Lemon Law Claim

    Filing a lemon law buyback claim is not as difficult as many people think, but you need to know what to do if you want to avoid making any mistakes in the process. Here is a brief guide on how to make a lemon law buyback claim:

    1. Hire A Lemon Law Attorney

    Going through this process without a lawyers can hinder your lemon law buyback process. Experienced lemon law attorneys have the knowhow and expertise to successfully file a California lemon law buyback claim.

    Manufacturers and liable parties will do everything they can to avoid paying what the customer deserves. With a seasoned California lemon law attorney, you’ll chances of winning increase significantly.

    2. Ask the Vehicle’s Manufacturer to Repair the Vehicle

    As mentioned above, a successful California Lemon law buyback process will depend on if you already submitted a down payment and asked the vehicle’s manufacturer to repair it two or more times.

    Start by taking the vehicle to an authorized dealership and explain its problems to the manufacturer. If they can fix it, then you have nothing to worry about and can drive away with your vehicle. If they’re unable to fix the issue after two or more attempts the lemon vehicle is eligible for a California lemon law buyback.

    Keep records the repair attempts and collect evidence of the damage the vehicle has if you want to qualify. As for lemon law claims, you are not eligible if you don’t have a record of the vehicle’s warranty, issues, and repair attempts.

    3. File The Lemon Law Claim

    Ask your lawyer to open a lemon law case. Your attorney will tell the manufacturer you want a buyback or a replacement vehicle. The manufacturer may argue that it’s not a lemon vehicle and that you are not eligible for a buyback.  Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf and set the grounds of your claim to prove that you are eligible according to California lemon law.

    Recovering Compensation for a Defective Vehicle

    If your vehicle or commercial goods have been repaired a reasonable number of times but they still don’t meet the requirements stated in your manufacturer’s warranty, then your vehicle is a lemon, and you are deserving of a replacement or refund.

    If your vehicle or good doesn’t fall within the specifications of lemon law, then you may be able to receive cash reimbursement due to the diminishing value of your vehicle or good. In California, the lemon law applies to new or used vehicles that fall within the warranty.

    Asking the Vehicle’s Manufacturer to Repair the Vehicle

    Start by taking the vehicle to an authorized dealership and explain its problems to the manufacturer. If they can fix it, then you have nothing to worry about and can drive away with your vehicle. In case they aren’t able to fix the issue after two or more attempts the lemon vehicle is eligible for a California lemon law buyback.

    Keep records the repair attempts and collect evidence of the damage the vehicle has if you want to qualify. As for lemon law claims, you are not eligible if you don’t have a record of the vehicle’s warranty, issues, and repair attempts.

    How Long Does the Lemon Law Process Take?

    Normally, lemon law proceedings take three to six months, and they’re rarely resolved within 30 days. Manufacturers are supposed to act forthwith to replace or repair your vehicle or consumer good, but unfortunately, most of them don’t. If the manufacturer refuses to repair or replace your vehicle or product, then it will take even longer, because they’ll have to be ordered to do so through litigation.

    Does the Manufacturer Need to Pay My Legal Fees?

    California Lemon Law doesn’t specifically state that your manufacturer has to pay your legal fees, but your warranty may include legal fees. California Lemon Law states that “other official fees” should be included in the repayment, and this may include your legal fees. If you have any questions, you can consult a legal professional to help you review your manufacturer’s warranty and case.

    Should I Hire an Attorney to Deal With My Lemon Law Case?

    It’s not absolutely necessary to hire an attorney to help you arbitrate or litigate your lemon law case. However, hiring a legal expert with experience in lemon law cases will help you ensure that you get all that you can. Even though you can represent yourself, going to trial without the legal backing of an attorney may prevent you from getting the compensation that you desire.

    Hiring an attorney will reduce the amount of runaround you face. An attorney will be able to communicate with your manufacturer’s lawyers on your behalf and reduce the amount of time that you may have to wait for your buyback or replacement vehicle. If your manufacturer’s warranty covers your legal fees, it would behoove you to work with a reliable and credible lemon law attorney.

    Schedule a free consultation by completing our contact form or calling (310) 627-2665.

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