Driving a Lemon? Learn How to Get Your Money Back

You found out that you are driving a lemon. Your first reaction is panic but there is no need for that. Your chances of getting your money back are high because you are protected by consumer laws. There are federal and state lemon laws that will protect you and compensate you for any damage.


Get a Refund or a Replacement Car

There are two ways you can be compensated by the manufacturers.

  1. Get a refund
  2. Get a replacement car.


The procedures differ based on the specific states but in all states, you must first give the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to repair the defective vehicle. This means when your vehicle exhibits a defect you must take it to the manufacturer’s authorized dealer and ask them to repair it. If the issue repeats or various issues come up, you must keep taking the vehicle back to a manufacturer’s authorized dealer. The idea is that you give them a few reasonable chances to fix the vehicle. If they fail after a few attempts, that is when the law allows you to get an attorney and seek a refund. Note that the law is very specific about this – you cannot take the car to your friend who is a mechanic or just ignore the issue and then claim that the vehicle was bad all along. There has to be documentation of the repair visits to the dealer. The idea is that all cars can have issues but after you allow the car to be fixed several times but they fail that is when you get to seek your refund. 


A Lawsuit or an Arbitration?

In most cases, the manufacturers will prefer to go through arbitration. Moreover, they may claim that it is required by law. You should know that under the California lemon law statute, arbitration is a strictly voluntary method of resolving a lemon law claim and consumers are free to accept or reject an invitation to arbitrate.

That is not what the manufacturer will tell you! If they persuade you to go for arbitration, in many cases, they will select the program for you. This puts the manufacturer in an advantageous position and most probably you will have little chance of winning the case. This is why we advise against arbitration and this is why we advise against trying to resolve a lemon law claim with the manufacturer without an attorney. The CA lemon law mandates that the manufacturer pays both your refund and your attorney’s bill. This makes it free for you to have an attorney handling your case rather than doing it alone. 


Contact The Margarian Law Firm

At our law firm, we provide free consultations to all potential clients. Contact The Margarian Law Firm today. Each case is unique. We will assess and advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your case for free. 

If it turns out that you do have a good case, we will agree to represent you without charging you a penny out of pocket. We will make the manufacturer pay you a refund plus pay our fees and costs. We take upon ourselves the full risk of a loss – meaning if we ever lost a case, the client would not owe us anything. It has never happened but it sure is good to know that you do not have to worry about any downside risks. 

Call us at (818) 553-1000 to determine whether you have a case and, if so, how much we can get refunded for you!

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