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The Lemon Law Process: Getting A Refund For Your Lemon in California

If you are the original purchaser of a lemon, you are entitled to a refund of the following:

  • Your down payment and any monthly payments you’ve made.
  • The balance of your loan.
  • Collateral charges, i.e. sales tax, finance charges, and prorated registration and service contracts.
  • Rental car, tow truck, and any other expenses that are a direct consequence of your lemon.

If you leased a lemon in Los Angeles, California, you are entitled to:

  • Your down payment.
  • Your monthly lease payments.
  • All remaining lease payments.
  • Collateral charges, i.e. sales tax, finance charges, and prorated registration and service contracts.
  • Rental car, tow truck, and any other expenses that are a direct consequence of your lemon.

Getting A Replacement Vehicle

During the lemon law process in California, if you choose to replace your lemon, your replacement vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be essentially identical to your lemon at the time you purchased or leased it.
  • It must include the same service contract.
  • It must include any and all factory or dealer enhancements that came with the purchase of your lemon, i.e. undercoating.

You will still be reimbursed for rental cars, tow trucks, and any other expenses that are a direct consequence of your lemon, and the manufacturer will be held responsible for sales tax and license and registration fees for your new vehicle.

Let us know if you think you have a lemon on your hands and would like to utilize lemon law in order to get a replacement for you vehicle. While the laws can be intricate, we specialize in consumer protection laws and have an efficient, streamlined process when it comes to getting our clients the settlement they deserve and walking them through the lemon law process.

Our Los Angeles Lemon Lawyers at Lemon Law Now Handled Following Cases:

White Car Cutoff
Two White Cars

Lemon Law Process for Used Cars

If you suspect that your used vehicle might be a lemon, or simply want more information about California used car lemons laws, reach out to our Los Angeles office immediately. In order to make the lemon law process as quick and painless as possible, make sure you are requesting and keeping thorough and proper documentation of all your repair attempts and interactions with the service people and managers at your dealership.

Starting the Lemon Law Process for Used Cars

Starting the lemon law process for used cars can be daunting, but we’re here to help. If you have a used car that you think is a lemon, the first step is to contact Shainfeld Law so that we can perform a free evaluation of your situation and determine what the next steps are in the used car lemon law process. The reason why it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side is that manufacturers will often fight against lemon law claims, and our lemon law lawyers are experienced enough to deal with these manufacturers in a way that will earn you maximum recovery.

While we feel confident that we can get you the settlement you deserve for your lemon, there are some helpful hints and tips that you can take into account when starting the used car lemon law process. Taking these steps helps ensure a quick, painless, and rewarding process. Remember, we utilize lemon laws in such a way that we insist that the manufacturer cover your legal fees, so you’ll never pay out of pocket for our legal services. There’s no reason not to pursue your claim.

In California, you may also be protected by law if you think that you may have been deceived by your dealership in regards to the state your car was in when you purchased it. If you think the dealership withheld information about prior repairs or issues before you purchased the vehicle, or you think your vehicle may have been improperly certified, there are laws that are in place to protect you.

The Lemon Law Buyback Process

When a manufacturer has tried unsuccessfully to repair your vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts, the California lemon law buyback process can be initiated. When your vehicle qualifies for under California lemon buyback law, the manufacturer has one of two options. The first is to offer a replacement vehicle, and the second is to buy back the defective vehicle. Furthermore, you may be eligible to receive compensation for incidental damages due to defects related to the vehicle; it’s best to speak with a qualified lemon law attorney to find out more about this process.

California lemon buyback law also stipulates that should you opt for a replacement vehicle, that the manufacturer is required to cover all taxes, registration, and relevant state motor vehicle information updates that accompany a traditional vehicle sale.

If you purchased the vehicle or consumer item in question and it has qualified as a lemon, your buyback will consist of:

  • Your monthly payments and down payments contributed towards the purchase of the vehicle
  • Additional charges incurred, including sales tax, finance tax, registration and any prorated service orders towards correcting the issue
  • Incidental charges, including tow truck expenses or rental car costs
  • Payments towards loan balances
  • If you are not the original owner, your payments will go towards your purchase price of the vehicle

If you leased a vehicle that qualifies as a lemon, your buyback procedure will consist of:

  • Lease payments and any down payments
  • Additional charges associated with vehicle purchase, including sales tax and registration
  • Incidental charges, including towing expenses and rental vehicle fees
  • Payment that covers any additional obligations as specified in the lease

For purchased vehicles, the lemon law buyback process further consists of calculating mileage offsets and determining compensation for other components related to the lemon, such as if there was an accident caused by a defective vehicle.


Car White Shield Cutoff Right in California

Mileage Calculator

Usage Deduction


Mileage Offset Lemon Law Calculator

The calculation used to determine the mileage offset is fairly straightforward. The calculation takes the mileage on the car’s first attempt to repair the warranty defect, minus the mileage at the time the vehicle was purchased. The number is then divided by 120,000 and multiplied by the purchasing price of the vehicle. In the end, this value is reduced from the reimbursed amount. California lemon law also states that the manufacturer should cover incidentals, including rental vehicle charges, towing fees, and repair expenses.

Use our handy lemon law calculator to determine the offset: Simply plug in the purchasing price of your vehicle and the mileage at which your car had its first lemon-related warranty repair.

What if I Don’t Have a Lemon?

In this case, the manufacturer pays the consumer a sum of money, while the consumer keeps their car and the car’s remaining warranty stays in effect. If you’re unsure of whether or not your vehicle qualifies as a lemon in California, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to give you a free evaluation of your case and help guide you to the next steps of the lemon law process.

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Contact Shainfeld Law Today

If you’re unsure whether you qualify for a full refund or the lemon law buyback process, give our Los Angeles office a call and we will walk you through the lemon law process and criteria. There are certain criteria that need to be met when it comes to getting the recovery you deserve, and the lemon laws differ from state to state and may apply differently to your specific situation. Our lemon law lawyers are experts in this area of law and can guide you through the steps of the lemon law process.

Related Link:

How the New Car Lemon Law Can Help You
How Long Does the California Lemon Law Process Take to Achieve Results?
What is the California Lemon Law?

Common Lemon Car Manufacturers

Client Testimonials

I spoke directly to Mr. Shainfeld who helped guide me through the lemon law process. He was always responsive to me both via phone and emails. He was prompt and professional. Hopefully I do not have any further issues with my car in the future, but if I do I will contact Shainfeld Law.


Prompt and Professional

Brett and his team was truly amazing to work with. From my very first contact through their chat capabilities on their website to the very last conversation with Brett. Being our first lemon claim for our 2018 Audi e-tron we were intimidated by what the process could be and didn’t know what to expect. Brett and his team made everything so easy to understand and seamless.


Amazing to Work With

I had a great experience working with Brett Shainfeld. Easy to talk to and quick to respond, he explained the process clearly from the first phone call and kept me updated on the progress. Everything was done through email and on the phone which made it fast, easy and very convenient.


Fast, Easy and Very Convenient

Cannot recommend Brett Shainfeld enough. Courteous, professional, quick to respond, and up front with my case and questions. If you think you have any car issues and might consider finding a lemon law attorney, just stop right here and contact Brett. Got me quick results and helped me out with the whole process.


Courteous, Professional, Quick to Respond

Brett is Amazing! Everything done by telephone and never met him and only by speaking to him regarding my case I felt like he was a good friend to speak to. He’s very upfront and down to earth and says it straight up.


Brett is Amazing

I could NOT have selected better representation! Mr. Shainfeld worked quickly and helped us reach a great settlement fairly quickly! I elected to pickup my final settlement check from his office, otherwise I would have never had to set foot in his work space.


Excellent Representation

Thank you so much for all you’ve done and for being so patient with me and all my questions/concerns. Happy to have this behind me and do it so simply. It was a pleasure working with you.


A Pleasure to Work With

Brett has been THE MOST helpful lawyer when it came to dealing with my lemon BMW. His knowledge blows all these other clowns out of the water. Extremely attentive, under promises and over-delivers. Just give him a call!

Most Helpful Lemon Lawyer

Brett was truly amazing to work with. Everything was so easy — from our initial call to the very last conversation.  This was our very first lemon claim (2018 Audi e-tron) and was slightly intimidated by what the process could be and didn’t know what to expect. Brett and his team made everything so easy to understand and seamless. He’s quick, efficient, very reliable. He is super clear up front with the process and quickly answers any questions you have. I would highly recommend Brett if you are looking for lemon law attorney. We couldn’t have done it without him.

Everything Was So Easy

After the torture we went through with our dealership on our Lemon Law car and the subsequent challenge of trying to find a responsive, knowledgeable attorney to represent our case, we were at our wit’s end and highly skeptical when we found Brett Shainfeld. However, we found Brett to be clear, communicative, immediately responsive and confident. He adapted quickly to our preferred mode of communication (electronic or voicemail, rather than live discussions), and consistently kept us informed as to what was happening with our case, as well as what to expect next. And the best part is that he successfully negotiated our case with the manufacturer.

Great Experience

Brett was the best attorney we’ve had the opportunity to work with. If we ever need a Lemon Law attorney again, we won’t hesitate to use Brett. He’s very conscientious, keeping us appraised of what’s going on. If we leave a message or e-mail for him, he’d respond to is in a very timely manner. We will not hesitate to use his services again in the future. We’ll also recommend him to anyone & everyone who needs a good Lemon Law attorney.

Best Lemon Law Lawyer Ever

My lemon law settlement was done in about 2 and 1/2 months. Brett Shainfeld was very professional and answered all my questions through phone calls and emails regarding $ and etc… I’m in San Francisco and he was in southern cal…and everything turned out well.

Excellent Work

Brett, I’d like to thank you for your help throughout my case. During the course of my representation, you and your firm provided me with an unmatched customer service and always immediately responded to my questions. I could not have been any happier with the end result and always felt protected having your firm on my side. Words fall short in describing your firm’s prowess & dedication. I highly recommend your firm to anyone seeking assistance when in comes to consumer protection laws.

I could not have been happier

At Shainfeld Law, you’ll always be speaking with the attorney who will be handling your case

Give us a call 888-567-2279