Getting Started on Your Lemon Law Case: the Virtues of a Pre-Lawsuit Settlement

If your vehicle turned out to be a “lemon” that is really stressing you out, call the Law Officers of Robert F. Brennan. Our firm has been successfully helping consumers with their Lemon Law cases for over two decades, and as our practice has evolved, we have come to the conclusion that sometimes the best place to start is a process we call “pre-litigation,” which means trying to settle your case without even having to file a lawsuit! This streamlined approach has the benefit of saving you a lot of time, cost and energy.

How this works is you first contact us, provide us with some basic information about yourself, your vehicle and the main recurring complaint you have with it. We may recommend to you that we file a lawsuit right away, under certain circumstances. However, if we feel that pre-litigation assistance may get the results you want, we will recommend that as the first action.

In reviewing your case we will need to know the current age and mileage of the car, whether it is still under warranty, the main recurring complaint, and how many repair orders you have for that complaint.

If your case appears to have merit, we will then ask you to either email or fax over the relevant documents for our review. Such documents would include the purchase or lease contract, any documents you had to sign regarding the purchase or lease, and the pertinent repair orders from the dealerships where you made your complaints.

Then we would send a demand letter directly to the manufacturer of your car. There are three possible outcomes in a pre-litigation case, as follows:

  1. The best outcome would be an offer from the manufacturer to do a full repurchase of your vehicle. This would usually include reimbursement for all you monthly payments, down payment, registration fees, and a payoff of the loan. There would be a mileage offset based upon the miles on your car when you first took it in to the dealership for the main complaint. Once the case is settled, you would return the vehicle to the manufacturer and have it out of your hair.
  2. A second option the manufacturer may offer is called a “cash-and-keep.” In this scenario, with your agreement we would negotiate the best settlement (amount of money) we could obtain and you would keep the vehicle. After the settlement is over, most clients sell their vehicle and use their settlement money, for example, to make the down payment on a better car. But the client is free to do what he likes with the money.
  3. The third and last option is the manufacturer could reject the claim altogether and offer nothing. At that point we would review your case again. If we feel confident about the strength of your case, we may recommend filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer for violating the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, or California Lemon Law, which is there to protect your warranty rights.

In summary, if you are hoping for a way out of your lemon car, possibly without having to go through a lawsuit, call us now and we can advise you whether we recommend the pre-litigation route. We will try our very best to make you a happy client.

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