What Is the Average Lemon Law Settlement in California?

The Average Lemon Law Settlement in California

California’s Lemon Law allows consumers to hold manufacturers accountable and get their money back when they have been sold a defective motor vehicle.

California law says a car may qualify as a “lemon” if it experiences defects under warranty that cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of attempts. The California Lemon Law requires manufacturers to replace or buy back vehicles with serious problems that develop while the car is under warranty. Consumers are also entitled to claim compensation for repair attempts and incidental losses caused by the vehicle breaking down.

At The Barry Law Firm, our attorneys focus solely on California Lemon Law cases. We pursue claims for California consumers at no cost to our clients. California law also requires manufacturers to pay the car owner’s attorneys’ fees as part of a Lemon Law settlement. A skilled Lemon Law attorney is ready to assist you.

Estimating Your Lemon Law Settlement

An owner of a defective vehicle might wonder what to expect from pursuing a Lemon Law claim in California. You might ask what the average Lemon Law settlement in California is and whether your car qualifies.

Lemon Law settlements vary widely, depending on the type of car and its age our goal as Lemon Law attorneys is to help you recover all of your losses. How much that will be depends on:

  • The purchase price of your vehicle or the cost of your lease.
  • The down payment made on your vehicle.
  • Your car loan and how many loan payments you have made.
  • Sales tax, finance charges, out-of-pocket repair costs, and registration fees.
  • Incidental costs, such as the cost of towing, a rental car, and public transportation.

If you have receipts, you may be able to estimate the Lemon Law compensation you can reasonably demand. But you’ll usually fare better if you are working with an experienced Lemon Law attorney who knows how to prepare a solid claim and negotiate aggressively with the car’s manufacturer for everything you deserve to recover.

What’s Required of a Lemon Law Claim?

To pursue a Lemon Law claim in California, you must be experiencing problems with a new or used vehicle that is under warranty and have given the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the problem.

You may pursue a Lemon Law claim if:

  • The vehicle was purchased or leased in California. Members of the armed forces stationed or residing in California can file claims regardless of where they purchased or registered their vehicles.
  • The vehicle’s issues have not been resolved after a reasonable number of attempts.
  • The problem with your vehicle started while still covered by the warranty — an original new-car warranty or a certified pre-owned warranty.

A reasonable number of attempts to repair a vehicle is generally considered to be two or more attempts for a serious problem that could cause injury or death, four or more repair attempts for other problems, or if the dealership has held the car for a total of more than 30 days in an attempt to repair it (not necessarily consecutive days.) Speak with a California Lemon Law attorney about the Lemon Law claims process.

The Lemon Law Claim and Settlement Process

In most cases, after you have made a reasonable number of repair attempts, your option is to file a Lemon Law lawsuit against the vehicle’s manufacturer.

A lawsuit will hinge on the ability of your lawyer to document your vehicle’s problems and your repair attempts. It is good practice to save vehicle repair records. That is especially important if a problem is not properly fixed.

It is also good practice to engage experienced attorneys who can navigate the legal process and pursue a Lemon Law lawsuit. For example, after filing a lawsuit, your attorney can subpoena the dealership or others to provide service or repair records.

Potential Outcomes of a Lemon Law Claim

If we can help you prove your claim, a Lemon Law settlement may provide you a:

  • Buyback. The manufacturer may agree to refund your down payment and monthly payments made on the vehicle and take it off of your hands. The total paid to you may be adjusted according to the mileage you have put on the vehicle and any damage to the vehicle.
  • Cash settlement. The manufacturer may agree to refund the money you have spent on repairs and incidental costs, compensate you further for your time and annoyance, and let you keep the vehicle. A consumer might agree to this if the vehicle’s defect has finally been corrected, such as in cases that lead to recalls and manufacturer repairs, or if the defect is not a safety or performance issue.
  • Replacement vehicle. This is a possible but less likely outcome. Typically, a settlement will be reached after a new model year has begun, making a potential replacement vehicle more expensive than the one it would replace.

Contact Our California Lemon Law Attorneys

California’s Lemon Law protects consumers who have purchased or leased cars that turn out to be defective. Making things right requires a lawsuit in many cases. That makes it important to work with an experienced Lemon Law lawyer. The Barry Law Firm has dedicated its legal practice to California Lemon Law claims. An experienced Lemon Law attorney can help you demand payment for the losses you have incurred because of a defective vehicle.

Quit bumping heads with the dealership or manufacturer about a vehicle that cannot be fixed. Contact The Barry Law Firm today to discuss whether you have a Lemon Law case. We’ll manage your Lemon Law claim from start to finish at no cost to you. Phone 424-688-9516 or reach out online now.




The Barry Law Firm

11845 W Olympic Blvd Suite 1270

Los Angeles, California 90064

Phone: 310-684-5859

Free Consultation: 877-536-6603