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What are Three Common Problems with Lemon Law Buyback Offers?

Warning sign that reference lemon law and buyback offers

Vehicle manufacturers want to give themselves the best deal possible when buying back a vehicle that’s been deemed a lemon. Manufacturers often attempt to take advantage of the customer’s inexperience by inserting terms into a buyback offer that are not in the customer’s best interests. With the help of a skilled attorney, consumers can get the deals they deserve under the law. Read on to learn about common problems with lemon buyback offers, and contact a knowledgeable California lemon law attorney for more information.

  1. You’ll end up owing more than you would get for your buyback: You may be “upside down” on your car lease, meaning that you owe more to the bank than your car is worth. This is known as having “negative equity.” This can happen when you traded in a vehicle that you still owed money on to purchase the car that turned out to be a lemon. For example, if you owed $3,000 on the car you traded in to buy the $14,000 lemon, you’d owe $17,000 on your car loan. A lemon law buyback will be a refund in the amount that you paid for the vehicle (with the mileage offset deducted). However, if you owed more than the lemon was worth, you’ll still owe whatever is left of the negative equity after you get a buyback. There are several strategies to avoid owing money on a car you no longer own after a buyback, including trading the lemon for another vehicle in a “collateral swap.” A California lemon law attorney can help you decide which option is best for you.
  2. The manufacturer is dictating the mileage offset: In a previous post, we explained how the mileage offset is calculated. When consumers aren’t represented by an attorney, manufacturers often give those consumers the impression that they have no right to contest the mileage offset that the manufacturer has calculated, even if it seems overly aggressive. This is another way that manufacturers reduce their liability in a buyback case.
  3. The manufacturer requires you to sign a release: Under California’s lemon law, consumers are entitled to a repurchase or replacement of a defective vehicle. There is no requirement under the law that the consumer sign a release or other settlement agreement in order to get the buyback they’re entitled to under the law. Manufacturers who insist that they’re entitled to have customers sign a release to obtain a buyback are misrepresenting the law.

If you believe that your vehicle may qualify for a buyback under California’s lemon law, contact the seasoned and skilled lemon law attorney Nick Nita for a no-cost consultation on your claim, in Los Angeles at 213-232-5055 or statewide at 877-921-5256.

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