Lemon Law 101: How Much Can You Sue For?



Generally, if you have a lemon in California you are entitled to either a repurchase (also called a buyback) or a replacement. For more questionable cases you may be able to get a “cash and keep” offer.

Option 1: Repurchase

A repurchase, also known as a buyback, consists of a return of your down payment, payments, out of pocket repair costs, towing, rental costs, and loan payoff, less the mileage offset, and less any aftermarket additions.

Option 2: Replacement

A replacement must be substantially identical to the vehicle replaced. If you have a lemon car or truck, you get to decide whether you want the manufacturer to repurchase or replace your lemon car or truck. However, the rules are different for RVs. If you own a lemon RV and before you file a lawsuit the manufacturer offers to replace your lemon RV, they are complying with the lemon law and you do not get to force them to repurchase your RV instead.

Option 3: Cash and keep

A cash and keep means the manufacturer gives you some money for your troubles, and you keep the car or RV, you continue making your regularly scheduled payments, and you keep any loans associated with the lemon if you financed it. Manufacturers are notorious for offering buyers these options because they will also require you to sign a release of all future lemon law claims for your car or RV.


Have you heard of the saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch?” Well, in this case there’s no such thing as free money from the manufacturer. Signing those types of releases can mean you signing away THOUSANDS of dollars. Often times you may just be one or two repair visits away from proving you have a lemon, so with some patience and guidance from an experienced Orange County lemon law attorney, you could turn your minimal cash offer into a full repurchase.

Civil Penalty

The manufacturer could also be on the hook for a civil penalty which is two times the amount of your damages if you can prove they willfully violated the lemon law.

Our firm has mastered the paper trails necessary to prove a willful violation so if you’re interested in teaching your manufacturer a lesson, call the Orange County Lemon Law Expert at 714-804-5546 for a free consultation.

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