What am I entitled to under the California Lemon Law?
Depending on the nature and history of the problems involved, the extent of the efforts to resolve them and the response of the manufacturer and dealers, these cases can result in the recovery of actual damages, a civil penalty equal to two times actual damages, attorney's fees, costs and expenses.
If your vehicle is a "lemon," you are entitled to repurchase or replacement. In a repurchase, you are entitled to get back your down payment (or lease inception fee), government fees, trade-in equity, license fees and all the monthly payments you have made up to the date of settlement. You are also entitled to towing reimbursement, as well as rental car expenses you personally paid during your warranty repair visits. The manufacturer pays off the existing loan (or lease), you turn the vehicle back in to the car dealership, and you get your Lemon Law refund check. If a replacement vehicle is elected, you take a replacement vehicle in lieu of a repurchase. This is known as an exchange of collateral. Your loan remains the same, and you exchange your present vehicle for new one with the same equipment.
In any Lemon Law action, the manufacturer is entitled to an offset for mileage based on the odometer reading at the first time you had your vehicle repaired for a recurring problem. There is a specific formula for calculating this offset, which your California Lemon Law attorney will discuss with you. We have been successful in many cases in getting manufacturers to waive the offset for use or significantly reducing the offset amount deducted from our client's recovery. This is where an experienced attorney can make the difference in a few hundred dollars to several thousand deducted from your Lemon Law Refund.