The California Lemon Law’s Buyback Remedy


WHAT IS A “BUYBACK” UNDER THE CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW?

Under the California lemon law statute, if a vehicle manufacturer is unable to repair a defect in a car or truck that is still under warranty within a “reasonable number” of attempts, then the manufacturer is required to buyback the vehicle.

See this link for a thorough discussion of the California Lemon Law’s Basic Rules, including a discussion of what qualifies as a “defect” and what constitutes a “reasonable number” of repair attempts.

How Much Money Will You Get From a California Lemon Law Buyback?

If you are entitled to a California lemon law buyback, then California Civil Code Section 1793.2(d)(2)(B) states that the buyback must include payment for (1) all the money paid for the car or truck, (2) the license and registration fees, and (3) the amount of any California sales tax paid in the vehicle purchase or lease.

In most cases this means that if you financed a vehicle purchase (or leased an automobile), then you will be reimbursed for your down payment, refunded all of your monthly payments, and be repaid the unused portion of your current registration. The manufacturer will then repay the outstanding balance due on the loan. Doing a buyback in this manner satisfies the Civil Code’s requirements because all of the items for which you are entitled to be reimbursed under the California lemon law’s buyback remedy (e.g., sales tax, registration and licensing fees, etc.) are included in the down payment, your monthly payments, and the outstanding loan balance.

See this link for a more detailed discussion of Monetary Recovery Under the California Lemon Law.

What is Not Included in a California Lemon Law Buyback?

California Civil Code Section 1793.2(d)(2)(B) makes clear that if a consumer is entitled to a California lemon law buyback he or she is not entitled to be reimbursed for any money spent installing non-manufacturer aftermarket alterations and accessories. For example, this means that if you had your vehicle raised or lowered (or installed any non-manufacturer options or equipment), you will not be entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of those alterations or improvements.

What If I Don’t Want a California Lemon Law Buyback?

The California lemon law statute permits consumers who bought or leased lemon vehicles to choose from among several remedies other than a buyback. However, most consumers will find that the buyback remedy is usually the most attractive option.

Follow this link if you would like to read a more thorough explanation of the Types of Recovery Under the California Lemon Law.


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