Lemon Law Buyback – Keep it Clean | Nordgren Law: Automotive Litigation and Lemon Law

If your vehicle has significant defects that cannot be repaired, lemon law may provide for a buyback of the car. However, if your vehicle is being repurchased by an auto manufacturer, there are a few things you should be aware of before bringing it back to the dealership.

Louisiana lemon law requires that a consumer act as a “prudent administrator” of the vehicle until the repurchase takes place. If the consumer fails to take care of it, the amount a manufacturer will pay could be negatively impacted. Because of this, we always recommend our clients keep vehicles clean and maintained while we work on their behalf.

But what about more serious damages, like a car accident?

We recently secured a repurchase on behalf of a client. Mere days before the repurchase took place, the client’s vehicle was involved in a rear-end collision and was deemed a total loss. How fortuitous events like this are handled under lemon law depends in part on when the event takes place.

If our client were to have gotten in the accident before notifying the manufacturer of the vehicle’s defects, the client would have had to bear the loss. This means no repurchase would have been available since the vehicle was destroyed. However, if the vehicle is involved in an accident after the manufacturer is notified of its defects, the manufacturer must bear the loss. The manufacturer can then pursue the at-fault party on behalf of the consumer.

There are also situations where defective conditions in the vehicle cause its destruction. For example, if your lemon is destroyed because its defects cause it to catch on fire or roll into traffic, then not to worry, the manufacturer bears the loss. This means they will be left to repurchase the vehicle even if it no longer exists because of its problems.