The must-have automobiles in America­—SUVs and crossover SUVs—only continue to rise in popularity, comprising a 50% share of auto sales in the U.S. in 2020. When a recent client purchased their certified pre-owned 2017 crossover SUV, they were thrilled to have a vehicle that could accommodate their busy family’s lifestyle. And since they bought it certified, they were confident it was a smart buy. Sadly, that did not turn out to be the case.

Within the first week of owning the car, problems started to arise. They went back and forth to the dealer to fix engine trouble three times and transmission issues four times. The family was spending more time at the repair shop than they were at their kids’ soccer games. When the owner came to us, they were fed up with this lemon. Fortunately, we were able to arrange for a buyback that put them back in the driver’s seat of a reliable, trouble-free vehicle.

Costs covered with a buyback

When you file a California Lemon Law claim, the manufacturer has 30 days to respond. One of four settlement options from the manufacturer include: a replacement vehicle, a buyback of your vehicle, or a cash settlement and you retain ownership of the vehicle, or nothing.

In the case of my crossover SUV client, the best outcome for them was a buyback. The California Lemon Law stipulates that a buyback settlement includes a refund of all cash spent to buy the vehicle and any additional expenses that were incurred during the time of ownership, such as:

  • Down payment
  • Monthly payments
  • Balance of the loan
  • Interest
  • Taxes
  • Costs incurred while vehicle was under repair (e.g., rental car or other transportation costs and towing expenses)

The objective of the California Lemon Law buyback solution is to make the owner of the vehicle whole again.

Costs not covered with a buyback

Your settlement claim should outline all the above expenses making sure to turn over every stone of expense you incurred. However, you are responsible for the usage fee, which is the mileage you placed on the car during the time you owned it using the first repair visit. This fee is calculated using a formula to determine the value of the miles driven on the car before the mechanical issues began.

Expediting your settlement

Whether you receive a buyback settlement like our client described here, or choose one of the other options, it is important to retain paperwork of all auto repairs and other out-of-pocket expenses. Good record-keeping can help your California Lemon Law attorney negotiate the best settlement on your behalf.

Think you have a claim? Looking for a lemon lawyer near me ? Get a free, no-obligation case evaluation from Sotera L. Anderson, California Lemon Law Attorney here or call 1-855-96-LEMON, or (858) 247-0050. Visit our website for more information.