Short Answer: The damages in lemon law cases may include a refund of the purchase or lease price, minus a deduction for use, collateral charges such as registration fees and taxes, and reimbursement of expenses such as towing and rental car costs.
The Lemon Law is a set of regulations that protect consumers who have purchased or leased a defective vehicle. These laws vary from state to state, but generally, they require manufacturers to take responsibility for vehicles that have substantial defects that cannot be repaired within a reasonable number of attempts.
If a vehicle is deemed a “lemon,” the manufacturer may be required to offer various forms of compensation, such as a refund, replacement, or buyback.
In California, the Lemon Law applies to both new and used vehicles and offers strong protections for consumers. If a vehicle has a defect that impairs its safety, use, or value, the manufacturer is obligated to take action, including replacing or buying back the vehicle.
In addition to these remedies, the manufacturer may also be required to reimburse the consumer for collateral charges, such as registration fees and taxes, as well as incidental expenses related to the lemon like towing and rental car costs.
State Lemon Law may also include provisions for civil penalties to be imposed on the manufacturer if they are found to have violated the law. These penalties can vary depending on the state and may include fines or other monetary damages which are in addition to restitution.
Also, with a successful Lemon Law claim, the consumer is entitled to the payment of any outstanding loan balance on the lemon vehicle or remaining lease payments, which must be paid by the manufacturer as part of the compensation award.
Different Types of Damages in CA Lemon Law Cases Explained
Here is a breakdown of the different types of damages and the compensation that may be available in California Lemon Law cases:
- Repurchase/Replacement Damages: If a new or used vehicle has a defect that impairs its safety, use, or value and the manufacturer cannot fix it after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer must either repurchase the vehicle or replace it with a new one that is substantially similar. The damages in this case include the purchase price or lease payments made by the consumer, minus a usage fee.
- Collateral Charges: In addition to repurchase/replacement damages, the manufacturer may also be responsible for collateral charges such as registration fees, taxes, and other charges related to the purchase or lease of the vehicle.
- Incidental and Consequential Damages: These damages may be available if the defect in the vehicle caused the consumer to incur additional expenses or lose money. Examples may include towing fees, rental car costs, and lost wages due to missed work.
- Attorney Fees and Costs: If the consumer prevails in a California Lemon Law case, the manufacturer is required to pay the consumer’s attorney fees and costs.
In California Lemon Law cases, consumers may be entitled to several types of compensation, including repurchase/replacement damages, collateral charges, incidental and consequential damages, and attorney fees and costs.
In addition to the compensation mentioned above, the manufacturer may be required to pay off any outstanding loan balance or lease payments on the lemon vehicle as part of the compensation package. This provision can provide significant relief for consumers who may be stuck with a lemon vehicle that they can no longer afford.
Moreover, in cases where the manufacturer has violated the Lemon Law, civil penalties may be imposed on them. These penalties can vary by state but can include fines or other monetary damages in addition to the consumer’s restitution.
Thus, if you believe that your rights as a consumer have been violated under the Lemon Law, it is critical to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and determine what compensation and penalties may be available in your case.
Example Cases Involving Various Damage Types
Here are a few examples of Lemon Law cases involving various types of damages:
- Our client owned a defective 2020 Ram 1500 pickup truck that had significant structural problems and persistent metallic clanking sounds. Despite several attempts to fix the issues, the problems persisted. We were able to secure a repurchase plus civil penalties for our client. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also paid this client’s attorneys fees and costs.
- A Honda driver had extensive electrical problems with their brand-new 2020 Honda CR-V, and the manufacturer repurchased the vehicle and covered all related expenses. Our firm was able to help the driver obtain a full refund. Honda also paid this client’s attorneys fees and costs.
- Another client had issues with their brand-new 2019 Nissan Rogue’s automatic emergency braking system, with a warning light appearing frequently despite no objects being in front of the vehicle. We secured them a replacement vehicle and the payment of their attorneys fees and costs.
These cases illustrate the various forms of compensation that consumers may be entitled to under the Lemon Law, including cash compensation, refunds, and replacement vehicles. If you believe that you may have a Lemon Law claim, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case.
Contact a Lemon Law Attorney
If you’re dealing with a defective vehicle, you know firsthand how frustrating and stressful the situation can be. Not only can it disrupt your daily routine, but it can also cause significant financial and personal hardships. Fortunately, there are legal options available to you, and an experienced Lemon Law attorney can help you explore them.
At the Lemon Law Experts, we understand the complexities of Lemon Law and how to navigate them effectively. We offer a range of legal services to consumers who have purchased or leased a lemon vehicle, including a consultation to help you understand your rights and the compensation that you may be entitled to.