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A Lemon Law Buyback refers to the process where a vehicle manufacturer repurchases a defective vehicle, or a “lemon,” from the consumer under the provisions of the state’s lemon law. On this page, we explore the ins and outs of the lemon law buyback process in California, including the requirements for a buyback, steps to pursue a claim, and tips for success.
The California Lemon Law, officially known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, is designed to protect consumers who have purchased or leased new or used vehicles with substantial defects that impair their use, value, or safety. If the manufacturer is unable to repair the vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer may be entitled to a buyback or replacement vehicle.
Not all vehicles qualify for lemon law protection in California. To be eligible, a vehicle must:
Commercial vehicles may also be eligible if their gross weight is less than 10,000 pounds and are used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
In California, lemon law protection extends for the duration of the manufacturer’s warranty or 18 months from the vehicle’s delivery date, whichever comes first.
Before pursuing a lemon law buyback, the consumer must give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to fix the vehicle. In California, this typically means:
The first step in pursuing a lemon law buyback is to gather all relevant documentation, including:
Next, the consumer should notify the manufacturer of the vehicle’s defects and request a buyback or replacement. This should be done in writing and sent via certified mail with return receipt requested.
If the manufacturer denies the buyback request or fails to respond within a reasonable time, the consumer should consider seeking legal assistance. Our experienced lemon law attorneys can evaluate the case, provide guidance, and help you negotiate the best possible settlement – all with no out of pocket costs to you.
If a consumer’s lemon law buyback claim is successful, they may be entitled to monetary compensation. This typically includes:
The manufacturer is allowed to deduct a usage fee based on the vehicle’s mileage at the time the defect was first reported.
Alternatively, the consumer may choose to receive a replacement vehicle of similar value and features. The manufacturer is responsible for covering any costs associated with the replacement, such as taxes and registration fees.
The success of a lemon law buyback claim depends on various factors, including:
There are several misconceptions surrounding lemon law buybacks, such as:
To increase the chances of a successful lemon law buyback claim, consumers should:
Understanding the California Lemon Law and the buyback process is essential for consumers facing persistent vehicle defects. By being proactive, staying organized, and seeking legal help when needed, consumers can better navigate the complexities of lemon law claims and secure the compensation they deserve.
What types of vehicles are covered by California’s lemon law?
New and used vehicles purchased or leased in California, primarily used for personal, family, or household purposes, and covered by a warranty are eligible. Some commercial vehicles may also qualify.
How long do I have to file a lemon law claim in California?
The lemon law claim must be filed within the duration of the manufacturer’s warranty or 18 months from the vehicle’s delivery date, whichever comes first.
Can I still file a claim if my warranty has expired but the defects began while it was still in effect?
Yes, as long as the initial defect was reported during the warranty period or within 18 months of the delivery date.
Do I need an attorney to pursue a lemon law buyback claim?
While an attorney is not required, consulting with a knowledgeable lemon law attorney can be beneficial, especially if the manufacturer is uncooperative or the claim is complex.
Get to know the team who will guide you through the process.
Cali Lemon Lawyers by Prestige Legal Solutions, P.C. is California’s leading lemon law firm.
Consumer protection laws in California and nationwide actively protect buyers of vehicles and other consumer goods. They hold a particular importance when purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. The California Lemon Law grants legal rights to those who find themselves with a vehicle that continually fails to function properly, providing a pathway to seek resolution and potential compensation.
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