What is The California Lemon Law Repurchase Formula?

If you purchased or leased a vehicle only to discover that it has a chronic defect, you’re not necessarily out of luck. You may have a legal remedy. You can file a lemon law claim.  If it is successful, one option is to require the manufacturer to buy back the clunker. How is the dollar amount determined? Your pay-out will be calculated based on the California lemon law repurchase formula. However, you’ll need a great lawyer from a reputable law firm to help you set the ball rolling.

Why Choose Neale & Fhima?

Get A Lawyer to Walk You Through California Lemon Law Buyback

At Neale & Fhima, our experienced team of lawyers is well-versed in everything regarding the lemon law Repurchase Formula; hence, we can help you out of the sticky situation and ensure that you get what’s yours. We have about a 99% success rate on our cases and have dealt with numerous clients in similar situations.

Our extensive research process and resilience help us get justice for our clients to the best of our abilities. With our fantastic track record of success in handling lemon law cases, it goes without saying that we are the ones for the job.

A consultation with us is free, and our fees and costs are paid for by the auto manufacturer. It really does not get easier than this. We will explain the details of the lemon law process to you, litigate your case to trial if needed to get you a successful result.

In a nutshell, you will want to choose us and work with us on your case for the following reasons: 

  • A different approach by valuing client relationships and working hard to get them the results they want
  • Our over forty (40) years of combined experience
  • Skillful and highly knowledgeable attorneys that win cases for our clients
  • Complete understanding of the law, statutes, interpretations, and how it all works
  • Free initial consultation to lessen uncertainty and financial burden on our prospective clients.

How We Can Help You Out with Your Lemon Law Case

It is not enough to know your rights — you still need someone who knows the ins and outs of the law and how to keep you protected. Our helping you includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Solidifying Your Legal Claims: We ensure you have all the necessary information, documentation, and requirements to push your claim forward.
  • Avoiding Surprises from Manufacturers: Some of these automobile manufacturers try to make surprise responses or shock clients with random information. However, we have gone up against them repeatedly and already know their methods play by play. They are unable to spring up anything impactful on your claim as we already have the upper hand.
  • Resilient and Swift Resolution of Your Case: Long proceedings and dragged-out settlements are not our style. We endeavor to get things done in time. You wouldn’t need to stress yourself as we do the majority of the work for you and keep the pressure on until the case is resolved.
  • We Ensure You Get the Best Result Possible: Sometimes dealers and manufacturers try to under-remedy the situation with the wronged customer, and that can lead to many arguments, long and strenuous delays, inappropriate lowball offers, and back and forth pitches. However, their tactics are ineffective and cannot work against our experienced attorneys. We make negotiations in your favor and ensure the terms of the agreed settlement are met.
  • We Will Litigate Your Case in Court if Necessary: If the auto manufacturer refuses to favourably resolve and settle your claim, we will not hesitate to litigate your case to trial if needed.

If you need to find out more about how we can help, feel free to call us for an initial consultation at 949-661-1007.

How Much Can I Get for My Lemon?

The California Lemon Law Repurchase Formula Can Help You Calculate Your Compensation.

When you successfully prove you have a lemon, California statutes lay out a lemon law repurchase formula that a manufacturer must follow when buying back your vehicle. The automaker, manufacturer, or dealer must refund the following to you:

  • Down payment
  • License and registration fees
  • Sales tax
  • Monthly payments made
  • Collateral costs incurred
  • Rental car costs.
  • Incidental and Consequential Damages

If you purchased the vehicle with a loan from a bank or lending institution, the manufacturer must pay off the balance of the loan directly to the bank. The manufacturer is also required to pay your legal fees if you hire an attorney to represent you in a lemon law claim.

If the sales tax, license, or registration fees were prorated into your monthly car payments, then you’ll be reimbursed only for what you’ve paid so far. The dealer must also reimburse you for any expenses and costs you incurred while your car was being repaired for a lemon law claim, such as rental transportation or lodging if you’re stranded.

The manufacturer must also pay any prepayment penalties, finance charges, or termination charges you incurred or will incur as a result of selling the car back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer is not required to reimburse you for any optional upgrades, such as an aftermarket spoiler or stereo you installed in the car. However, they must reimburse you any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred that are incidental to the vehicle’s defect.

The manufacturer or dealer is legally allowed to deduct a “mileage offset” based on the number of miles you’ve already driven in the defective vehicle. The mileage offset formula includes:

(Cash price of the vehicle) MULTIPLIED BY (# of miles when you first presented the car/truck/SUV for repair) DIVIDED by 120,000 miles.

For example, if the price on the sales contract for your vehicle is $50,000, and you first brought the vehicle to an authorized dealership for repair of the defect when the odometer read 15,000 miles, then the mileage deduction would be $6,250.

($50,000 MULTIPLIED BY 15,000 miles) DIVIDED BY 120,000 miles = $6,250.

Always double-check the mileage figure used by the dealer. Some dealers may use a later mileage (after multiple repair attempts) as the basis for their calculations rather than the mileage from the date you first presented the problem. An error with the mileage deduction reduces the amount of money you will receive under the California lemon law repurchase formula.

California Lemon Law Repurchase Formula for Leased Vehicles

If you leased your vehicle rather than purchased it, the process and formula is essentially the same.

The lessee is reimbursed for fees (sales tax, registration, license), incidental damages (i.e., rental car and towing costs you incurred as well as penalties or early termination charges), any base monthly payments you’ve made up until the time of repurchase, the value of your deposit or trade-in amount, and the value of your security deposit. The same mileage deduction formula explained above applies to leased vehicles.

Can I Get a Replacement Vehicle Instead of a Buyback?

The California Lemon Law Buyback Formula is Not Your Only Option.

Yes, if you don’t want the repurchase (buyback) option as a remedy for your successful lemon law claim, you can request a replacement vehicle from the manufacturer. Under the replacement option, the manufacturer will take possession of the defective vehicle and provide you with another vehicle of a similar make and model. Some consumers prefer this option.

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act

California’s powerful lemon law is designed to protect consumers. Also known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon law states that if you purchase a defective vehicle, you are legally entitled to a refund, or the vehicle can be replaced at the manufacturer’s expense. The California lemon law repurchase formula is used to calculate how much the manufacturer will pay you in the buyback.

But first, according to legal guidelines, you must prove that your vehicle is a lemon. It’s not enough to provide anecdotal evidence by saying your car always breaks down. To qualify for lemon law protection, you must show that a “reasonable person” would agree that the defect “substantially impairs” your vehicle’s …

  • Use,
  • Value, or
  • Safety.

Use” generally refers to how often and why you use your vehicle. For example, substantially impaired use could be something like your car’s leaky fuel system means it’s not reliable enough to drive on long family vacations for fear of being stranded because you ran out of gas. Or a particular type of defect my impair the quality of your use of your vehicle.

An example of compromised “value” could be a defective paint job that will reduce the resale value of your car or truck and, therefore, diminish your financial investment. Many different types of defect can substantially impair the fair market value of a car, especially if the vehicle has a lengthy repair history.

An example of a vehicle with compromised “safety” could be one with anti-lock brake or transmission or engine defect that can cause a collision. A vehicle with impaired safety doesn’t mean you’re in imminent danger – it simply means that under certain circumstances, the defect could potentially be harmful to you.

Next, you must demonstrate that you gave the auto manufacturer or its authorized dealer a reasonable number of attempts to get the defect repaired.. Remember, to qualify for lemon law protection, you must have given an authorized dealer or repair facility an opportunity to fix your car – not just a neighborhood mechanic, your brother-in-law, or yourself.

The number of repair attempts required by law can vary – sometimes two, sometimes three, four, or more – but the general idea is that you provider the manufacture opportunities to repair the vehicle.  A skilled and experienced California lemon law attorney can advise you about the number of repair attempts required in your particular situation. Be sure to save all receipts, work orders, spare parts, and other documentation from each repair attempt because these will support your legal claim.

Once your attorney files a claim and proves your case, you have two remedies to choose from:

1. Repurchase

The manufacturer will take possession of the vehicle and issue you a refund of the purchase price based on the lemon law buyback formula.

2. Replacement

The manufacturer will take possession of the vehicle and provide you with a new one. It must be an identical or substantially similar vehicle. The manufacturer will pay the registration and taxes on the new vehicle, but you will not receive a refund of fees or finance charges paid on the original vehicle. This option requires the consent of both parties.

In some circumstances, we may be able to negotiate an additional option called a “cash and keep.” This would allow you to retain possession of the vehicle and receive a cash payment to compensate for the defect.

Lemon Law Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for filing a lemon law claim in California is four (4) years from the date a consumer knew or should have known that the vehicle was a lemon. This does not mean that if you have had your vehicle for more than 4 years, you cannot bring a lemon law claim.

Our attorneys at Neale & Fhima have successfully “lemoned” vehicles that are over 10 years old. If you have purchased or leased a lemon, you’ll want to start the buyback process as soon as possible. After the statute of limitations has passed, a judge may dismiss your case but don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have questions about the statute of limitations. Collect copies of your repair bills, work orders, and receipts, and get yourself a skilled lemon law lawyer.

Call Neale & Fhima Today

If you’ve purchased a chronically defective car, truck, or SUV and are at your wits’ end, give Neale & Fhima a call. We can file a legal claim on your behalf and help you calculate the amount you’re entitled to under the California lemon law repurchase formula.

You don’t have to stay stuck and aggravated, spending all your time in the repair shop. Whether you choose a buyback or a replacement vehicle, we can help you find a solution.

If you purchased a defective car or truck and feel frustrated and overwhelmed, a skilled and experienced lemon law attorney can assess your situation and explain your legal options. For a free initial consultation, contact Neale & Fhima at 949-661-1007

Attorney Aaron Fhima

Attorney Aaron Fhima is a trial attorney who has secured numerous settlements and verdicts against large corporations and some of the largest auto manufacturers in the world. Representing consumers and injury victims throughout the state of California, Aaron’s practice areas include personal injury, and lemon law litigation. Aaron has a long record of success taking on large defense firms; and he doesn’t hesitate to take cases to trial when necessary to enforce his clients’ rights.


    99% SUCCESS

    Lemon Law Lawyer

    At Neale & Fhima, we have extensive experience helping clients file successful Lemon Law claims and our services are covered by the manufaturer.


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