Buying a new vehicle is an exciting moment, but discovering your car is a lemon can quickly sour the experience. Fortunately, California’s Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers who unknowingly purchase or lease defective vehicles. If your car qualifies as a lemon, you may be entitled to a refund. Here’s what that might include:
1. Purchase/Lease Price
The law may entitle you to a full refund of the purchase or lease price of your lemon vehicle. This refund can include everything you’ve paid up front: any down payment, the trade-in value of your previous vehicle, taxes, and any additional fees associated with the purchase or lease. Essentially, this aims to put you back in the financial position you were in before the purchase.
2. Loan Payments
If you financed your vehicle, you’re not left out. You might be eligible for a refund of the loan payments you’ve made thus far. This includes both the principal and the interest you’ve paid. The goal is to ensure you’re not paying for a defective vehicle that you can’t use reliably.
3. Manufacturer's Deduction
However, the refund isn’t always the full purchase price. The manufacturer can deduct a reasonable amount for your use of the vehicle before the defects became apparent. This is often referred to as the “offset” and is calculated based on the mileage at the first repair attempt (the point when you officially recognized the problem) divided by 120,000, then multiplied by the purchase price of the vehicle. This ensures the manufacturer isn’t paying for mileage where the vehicle was presumably working correctly.
4. Collateral Charges
The law also considers the collateral charges related to the vehicle. You may be entitled to a refund of sales tax, registration fees, and any other government fees you incurred because of the purchase or lease. These are often significant amounts and can add up, so their inclusion is crucial in ensuring you’re fully compensated.
5. Incidental Expenses
Sometimes, the defects in your vehicle lead to additional costs. If you’ve had to pay for towing, rental cars while your vehicle was unusable, or even repair costs you covered out of pocket, these might be reimbursable under California Lemon Law. These are considered reasonable incidental expenses directly related to the vehicle’s defects.
6. Consulting with an Attorney
Navigating lemon law claims can be complex and intimidating. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in lemon law cases can be a game-changer. They can help ensure you receive the maximum refund you’re entitled to under California law. Plus, under California Lemon Law, your attorney fees and costs are covered, so consulting a specialist won’t cost you extra.
Contact An Expert California Lemon Lawyer Now
While discovering your vehicle is a lemon is frustrating, California’s Lemon Law ensures you’re not left bearing the financial burden of a manufacturer’s mistake. Understanding what you’re entitled to can empower you to take the necessary steps towards getting the refund you deserve. Remember, each case is unique, and the specific refund components can vary. Don’t navigate this process alone; seek legal assistance to guide you through to a fair resolution. Your journey to compensation is just a well-informed step away.