If your vehicle, covered by original warranty, exhibits a substantial defect, which the automaker can`t eliminate within a reasonable number of repair attempts, it should be replaced or repurchased. According to the California Lemon Law, the manufacturer must make the car a safe operating vehicle, offer a replacement or refund the repurchase to satisfy its obligations. The title of the vehicle repurchased by automaker due to unfixable problems gets permanent “lemon law buyback” notation and can`t be avoided no matter how many repairs have been made.
Vehicles branded with lemon law buyback title can still be sold at the dealerships but car dealers must disclose their status to potential customers. They are also entitled to provide the complete history of the defects and all repair attempts as well as to tell which problems have been successfully fixed. If the dealer fails to do it, the buyer can sue the dealership for auto fraud.
Car replacement remedy is optional. It happens only in the case when both the automaker and the vehicle owner agree on a replacement. The customer cannot compel the automobile manufacturer to replace his lemon car if it doesn`t want it, and a car maker in its turn can`t force the vehicle owner to accept a replacement.
If both parties opt for replacement then the customer is entitled to a new, nearly identical vehicle (truck, or SUV) that comes with standard warranties usually accompanying ordinary car purchase. The manufacturer is also entitled to pay collateral charges, which usually accompany the sale (license fees, sales tax, etc.) and cover customer`s “incidental damages”, including money spent on repair, rental cars, towing charges, etc.
The vehicle owner is entitled to pay the automaker certain amount of money for using the car branded as lemon, i.e. for the miles put on it until the first repair attempt.
In case the vehicle owner opts to get reimbursement in the form of a refund, the carmaker is entitled to buy back the defective automobile. The buyback amount should include the actual purchase price of the car, including official fees charged by the automaker, compensation for transportation expenses as well as any charges for the options installed by the manufacturer and dealer installed carmaker items. In the meantime, the automaker is not entitled to compensate the vehicle owner for any nonmanufacturer items installed by the dealership, independent mechanic or anyone else. The reimbursement amount should also include any incidental damages caused by the car`s repairs and defects.
Note that the manufacturer can deduct mileage offset, that is to say, miles driven by the owner before the car was actually delivered to the carmaker.
If you suspect you are driving a lemon, or if you have been already offered a lemon law buyback, and you want to know your rights under the California Lemon Law, contact us a call at 818.990.0418 and claim your FREE consultation.