Does a California Consumer Have to Request a Buyback?

No. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (California’s lemon law) does not require that consumers contact manufacturers to request a buyback or replacement vehicle to get one. Instead, the California Lemon Law statute and cases interpreting the it have found that the manufacturers have an affirmative duty to reach out to consumers whose vehicles qualify to offer a buyback or replacement.

In Krotin v. Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 294, the court concluded “[t]he manufacturer has an affirmative duty to replace a vehicle or make restitution to the buyer if the manufacturer is unable to repair the new vehicle after a reasonable number of repair attempts, and the buyer need not reject or revoke acceptance of the vehicle at any time.” (Krotin, supra, 38 Cal.App.4th at p. 303.) The Krotin court recognized that manufacturers have access to the information needed to determine whether vehicles are lemons without a consumer’s specific request for relief because they have access to electronic repair orders and invoices for work done at their dealerships. (Krotin, supra, 38 Cal.App.4th at p. 303.)

Fifteen years later, this affirmative duty was upheld in Lukather v. General Motors, LLC (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1041. The Krotin and Lukather courts held that the consumer’s only duty under the Act is to provide the manufacturer with a reasonable opportunity to fix the vehicle.

California consumers do not have to specifically request repurchase or replacement under the lemon law in order to trigger their rights and get their money back.

For more information call the experienced trial attorneys at (858) 259-5009 for a free case evaluation.

Disclaimer.  The information provided in this post is for informational and educational purposes only regarding aspects of the California Lemon Law.  It is intended for California Consumers only.  This post is considered an advertisement by attorney Richard M. Wirtz and Wirtz Law APC. You should not rely on any of the information provided in this advertisement and no legal advice is given by the advertisement. No attorney client relationship is established by viewing this advertisement. A written signed engagement agreement between you and Wirtz Law APC is required to create an attorney client relationship. You should immediately consult an attorney who is experienced in California Lemon Law. Attorney Richard M. Wirtz is responsible for the content of this post.


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