Yes, should a consumer elect to receive monetary compensation for their defective vehicle, the California Lemon Law provides a detailed description of the terms required for determining an accurate consumer refund. Because of the inherent differences involved in leasing and purchasing a vehicle, the lemon law distinguishes between how a refund is calculated for consumers of leased vehicles and consumers who have purchased their vehicle. To make sure accurate calculations are made and to make sure that the consumer receives the correct amount of refunded money, it is important that an experienced lemon law attorney is consulted with and retained to represent the consumer’s interests.

When a consumer decides to receive a monetary refund for a vehicle that they purchased, they will be entitled to a return of the original purchase price plus a refund for any incidental or collateral charges. The original purchase prices includes the amount of money the consumer paid for the vehicle and also includes any charges for transportation and manufacturer-installed options, but do not include aftermarket car parts that were installed by the consumer or a dealer after the car was purchased. The consumer’s refund status will also reflect a return of monies for collateral charges such as official fees like sales tax, license fees and registration fees. Incidental damages are those reasonable expenses incurred incident to the vehicle defect that created the consumer’s lemon law claim and include charges for reasonable car repairs, towing and rental car costs and charges for prepayment penalties, early termination and finance charges if they were actually paid or incurred by the consumer. When determining the consumer’s refund status for a purchased vehicle, the manufacturer is able to deduct charges for which the consumer is responsible including a reasonable offset for the consumer’s use of the defective vehicle.

The California Lemon Law divides the refund status for leased vehicles into the amount that is owed to the lessor and the amount owed to the lessee. The lessor, the person or entity that is leasing the vehicle to the consumer, receives monetary compensation for the payoff amount owed to the lessor according to the lease agreement signed by the consumer. The lessor’s refund status will reflect a deduction for any amount or value for a security deposit held by the lessor and a deduction for the amount of any refund owed to the lessor for the unexpired term of the lease contract or insurance included within the lease agreement. The lessee, or consumer, has a refund status that includes a combination of various fees, costs and charges; therefore, it is particularly important for lessees to consult with a professional lemon law attorney that is well versed in arranging clients’ refund statuses. The lessee will receive a refund for collateral charges and incidental charges, similar to consumers that purchased their vehicle, and will also receive a return of any security deposit held by the lessor, a refund for the value of any trade-in or deposit my by the lessee at the time they leased their vehicle and a refund for the monthly payments made by the lessee to the lessor up until the point of repurchase.

With the varying amounts and values involved when determining the refund status for the consumer, it becomes imperative to have a lemon law attorney that has a successful record of receiving accurate refund amounts for their clients. In addition, when the consumer keeps detailed records for payments they have made for a vehicle loan, repair costs, towing charges and more, determining the amount that they are owed will be faster, easier and less complicated.