How to Calculate My Buyback for My Lemon

Lemon law in California protects consumers who own or lease vehicles new or used, motorcycles, and other types of motor vehicles when their car is faulty. This means that lemon law protects consumers if their vehicle is faulty or defective in a way that results in any negative impacts on your vehicle’s safety, use, or value. These negative consequences are often proven by providing physical documentation that you had to take your vehicle into the dealership to be repaired an unreasonable amount of times while it was covered under your manufacturer’s warranty. At the end of a lemon law claim, the individual can decide between a refund for the original cost of the vehicle and other associated costs or a replacement vehicle. Many consumers choose the route of receiving a refund so they can have control over the process of buying their new car. It’s important to understand that when you choose to receive a replacement vehicle, the replacement comes from the same manufacturer that sold you your lemon in the first place. If you are considering filing a lemon law claim and are curious to learn more about your options,

What is a Refund or Buyback?

A buyback is more commonly referred to as a refund from your manufacturer if this is the option you decide is best for you at the end of your lemon law claim. Essentially, the manufacturer buys back your defective car and the amount you receive as payment includes damages or costs that were directly influenced by the issues with your lemon. This refers more specifically to the price you paid for your vehicle, taxes, fees for registration, etc. Additionally, damages or costs that were directly impacted by the defects with your car include any towing fees, public transportation fees, rental car fees, repair costs that your warranty did not cover, etc.  The buyback or refund amount often includes attorneys fees that the consumer incurred while they went through the process of filing and resolving their lemon law claim.

What is a Mileage Offset?

Many vehicle owners who go through the process of filing a lemon law claim don’t realize that the manufacturer is entitled to deduct an amount from your refund payment called a mileage offset. The mileage offset takes into consideration the miles you drove your vehicle during time period where there were no defects with your car.

The mileage offset is calculated by multiplying the mileage of your vehicle on the day of your first repair for the defect that qualified your vehicle as a lemon by the purchase price of your vehicle, divided by 120,000 (the average life expectancy of a car in California).

In sum, your buyback is equal to restitution and damages that were a direct result of the faulty vehicle minus the calculated mileage offset.

If You Have Questions About Buyback for Your Lemon, Speak With an Attorney Today.

It can be very difficult to decide which option is the best for you at the end of your lemon law claim, because both receiving a buyback or refund and receiving a replacement vehicle are great options. Understanding the amount you could receive from your manufacturer in the form of a buyback is an important factor to consider when you make your final decision. At Help With Lemons, we are skilled in assisting clients decide the best option for their specific circumstances once they win their lemon law claim. Since we have helped so many of our clients throughout their lemon law process, we have the necessary insight to understand many unique situations. If you need assistance with your lemon law claim or are looking to file a claim, please give us a call at 844-744-0146 or email us at for a free consultation.