California’s Lemon Law provides important protections for consumers who purchase defective vehicles. If your car has repeatedly been in the repair shop for the same issue, or if it has been out of commission for a while, you might be eligible for compensation under the Lemon Law. Many consumers are uncertain about the damages they can recover and the compensation amount they may receive in a Lemon Law case. 

This blog post will cover the damages recoverable under California’s Lemon Law, such as repair reimbursements, vehicle replacements, and incidental damage compensation. 


Definition Of Lemon Law In California

The California Lemon Law safeguards consumers by granting legal recourse to buyers or lessees of a new or used vehicle with serious and recurring defects that affect its value, safety, or performance. If a vehicle qualifies as a “lemon,” the manufacturer is obligated to replace it or provide a refund. This includes taxes, registration fees, and other relevant expenses.

The Lemon Law applies to cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, and some other types of vehicles. It is important to note that Lemon Law does not cover defects caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications by the owner.


Types Of Compensation In A Lemon Law Case

In a Lemon Law case in California, there are several types of compensation that a consumer may receive, depending on the circumstances of their case. These can include:

  • Replacement of the vehicle: If the car is considered to be a lemon, the manufacturer may be required to replace it with a similar one.
  • Refund of the purchase price: The manufacturer may be required to refund the total cost of the car, including applicable taxes, registration fees, and other fees.
  • Incidental and consequential damages: You may be entitled to additional compensation for the expenses or losses situated as a result of the vehicle’s defects, like towing expenses, rental car costs, and job loss.
  • Attorney fees and costs: The consumer might be entitled to restitution for their attorney expenses and legal costs associated with the case.

It’s important to be aware that the specific types of compensation available in a Lemon Law case depend on the particulars of each particular case. Legal consumers who believe they may have a Lemon Law case are encouraged to speak with an experienced attorney to learn about their legal rights.


A Breakdown Of Different Types Of Damages

Here is a breakdown of the different types of damages that a consumer may be entitled to in a lemon law case in California:

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The number of compensation awarded will always depend on the facts of your specific case and the extent of an attorney’s experience. It is always best to contact a lemon law attorney to discuss your specific case.


Examples Of Compensation In Real Lemon Law Cases In California

The amount of compensation can vary depending on the specifics of the lemon case. Here, we will be discussing examples of compensation in real lemon law cases in California.


Case 1: Repurchase of a defective car

A Californian consumer who bought a new car experienced recurring issues with its electronic systems, brakes, and transmission, leading to a legitimate Lemon Law claim. Despite several attempts to repair the vehicle, problems continued, and the consumer ultimately filed a Lemon Law claim against the manufacturer.

Following the arbitration hearing, the seller was required to pay the full price of the automobile, including all taxes, registration costs, and incidentals. In addition, the customer can be refunded for any extra costs such as towing and rental car fees, as well as legal expenses like lawyer fees.


Case 2: Cash settlement for a faulty motorcycle

In this case, a consumer bought a new motorcycle that experienced continual problems with the engine, transmission, and other systems. After multiple repairs, the engine still ceased running, and the consumer decided to file a defective product complaint against the company.

After the arbitration hearing, the consumer won a cash settlement for the motorcycle. The manufacturer paid the consumer a large sum that included the total purchase price of the motorcycle, taxes, registration fees, and associated costs. The customer can get compensation for additional expenses like towing and rental car fees, along with legal fees and court costs.


Case 3: Reimbursement of attorney’s fees and costs

In this case, a consumer bought a newly purchased car that had persistent problems with the engine, transmission, and other components. Then, despite a series of repairs, the problems persisted. Throughout this, the consumer filed a Lemon Law claim against the maker.

The plaintiff initially declined the Lemon Law claim, and so they were forced to hire an attorney to represent them in court. After a drawn-out legal proceeding, the matter went to trial, and the jury ultimately sided with the plaintiff, awarding them a replacement for their vehicle.

Because of the issues with their vehicle and the subsequent legal action, the customer received a hefty reimbursement for litigation expenses and attorney fees. This reimbursement acted as a significant financial relief for the customer.



These examples demonstrate how the Lemon Law can significantly benefit consumers who have received insufficient compensation for faulty vehicles. They also provide valuable insight into the potential for advocacy under the Lemon Law to result in compensation and protection for consumers. The Lemon Law reimburses consumers for attorney fees and other costs to prevent them from being burdened with claim expenses.

If you ever own a defective car in California, make sure to be aware of your rights and available actions according to the state’s Lemon Law. Compensation, including a refund or replacement of your vehicle, as well as other damages, such as incidental and consequential damages, attorney’s fees, and more. To increase your chances of getting fair compensation, it’s best to seek advice from an experienced San Diego lemon law lawyer who can guide you with the right course of action for your case.