People who try to negotiate their own lemon law buybacks are surprised when the manufacturer refuses to reimburse them for the entire cost of the vehicle. In the past, certain manufacturers have tried to convince lemon automobile owners that they are responsible for and have to pay for their use of the lemon automobiles up until the time that the manufacturers offered to repurchase or replace them. However, while the lemon law permits a mileage offset for the owner’s use, that offset isn’t based on all of the use up until the lemon law buyback. Because of manufacturers’ prior history of attempting to take advantage of consumers regarding this issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney who specializes in the lemon law prior to accepting a buyback offer.
The California Lemon Law Statute Has a Precise Formula For Mileage Offsets
The California lemon law has a precise formula for how mileage offsets must be calculated. Civil Code Section 1792(d)(2)(C) states that:
When [a vehicle’s manufacturer repurchases a lemon automobile], the amount to be paid by the manufacturer to the buyer may be reduced by the manufacturer by that amount directly attributable to use by the buyer prior to the time the buyer first delivered the vehicle to the manufacturer or distributor, or its authorized service and repair facility for correction of the problem that gave rise to the nonconformity. The amount directly attributable to use by the buyer shall be determined by multiplying the actual price of the new motor vehicle paid or payable by the buyer, including any charges for transportation and manufacturer-installed options, by a fraction having as its denominator 120,000 and having as its numerator the number of miles traveled by the new motor vehicle prior to the time the buyer first delivered the vehicle to the manufacturer or distributor, or its authorized service and repair facility for correction of the problem that gave rise to the nonconformity. [emphasis added]
Thus, rather than being calculated based on the automobile’s mileage at the time of the lemon law buyback, the mileage offset is actually calculated using the vehicle’s mileage at the very first repair attempt for the problem which ultimately rendered the automobile a lemon. The California lemon law essentially presumes that every vehicle has a life of 120,000 miles – so to calculate the mileage offset you simply multiply the vehicle’s purchase price by the mileage at the first repair attempt, and then divide by 120,000.
Call a Lemon Law Attorney If a Manufacturer Tried to Fool You Into Accepting an Excessive Mileage Offset
If you tried to handle your own lemon law buyback claim, and the manufacturer tried to fool you into accepting on unnecessarily large mileage offset deduction, contact a lemon law attorney right away.
Under California’s lemon law manufacturers have an obligation to promptly repurchase lemon vehicles, and if they engage in “low balling” techniques (i.e., trying to negotiate with you to trick you into accepting less than the amount to which you are entitled), then you may be entitled to a “civil penalty” (an additional monetary payment) based on the manufacturer’s refusal to willfully comply with the California lemon law statute.
If a manufacturer tried to low-ball you during your lemon law buyback claim, call the Vachon Law Firm at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665). Consultations are always free, and we will make sure that you get the lemon law buyback that you are entitled to!