I am experienced Ford denied buyback lemon law attorney Jimmy Hanaie, esq. and I want to tell you this:
If Ford denied buyback, you might be entitled to a lemon law buyback as well as additional compensation in the form of civil penalties that Ford might have to pay you for willfully denying your lemon law buyback.
This happens more often than you think!
Ford denied buyback lemon law elements:
- You had a valid lemon law case, due to a problematic Ford vehicle
- and you had those problems while you had warranty or extended warranty on the vehicle,
- and Ford willfully and unreasonably delayed, denied, refused, or rejected your claim,
- You may be entitled to a lemon law buyback AND civil penalties that can very often double or triple your financial recovery.
Example of Ford Denied Buyback Situation
For example, if your Ford vehicle was having problems and defects, and Ford repair shop failed to reasonably repair or replace your vehicle after you had given them a reasonable number of repair attempts or a reasonable number of days in a row to fix the vehicle (such as 30 days in a row), you probably had a strong lemon law case.
If you afterwards contacted Ford corporate office and asked for a lemon law buyback, and they either delayed or rejected or denied or refused or gave you the run around, you might end up getting additional compensation.
This extra compensation will be on top of just a normal lemon law buyback reimbursement, because the court may require Ford motor company to also pay additional compensation through civil penalties on top of the lemon law buyback settlement. This can very often DOUBLE or TRIPLE your financial recovery. Wow!
A large majority of cases that we help represent individuals in are cases in which the consumer or individual was already rejected or denied a buyback from Ford motor company or another automobile manufacturer.
Pursuant to Civil Code § 1794
Pursuant to Civil Code § 1794, if an automobile manufacturer such as Ford motor company willfully violates or ford denied buyback willfully even though the facts of the situation merited a valid winning lemon law claim, you may be entitled to an even higher settlement that goes above and beyond just getting a normal lemon law reimbursement.
The reason why you may be entitled to an even higher settlement is because in those situations where Ford denied buyback in violation of the law, you may be entitled to financial compensation from Ford motor company in the form of a “civil penalty” or civil penalties that in some cases can double or triple the compensation you end up getting.
Lemon Law Service is Free.
In addition, we never charge you any out of pocket fees for our representation. We only get paid when we win.
Ford Might Pay Your Costs.
The court may also penalize Ford motor company by requiring them to pay your expenses associated with the case or lawsuit.
Ford Might Pay Your Attorneys Fees.
On top of that, many times the court may grant Ford motor company or other automobile manufacturer to pay my fees in the form of “attorneys fees” based on the number of hours I work on the case. The court in many situations will require Ford motor company to pay my fees and other costs.
Win Or Lose, You NEVER Pay Us Out Of Pocket.
Even if they are not required to pay our attorney’s fees, you still will NOT be required to personally pay my attorneys fees at any point.
Public policy. Why Does Ford Get Penalized So Much?
However, in the large majority of cases where it is justified, the court will usually choose to grant these attorneys fees in order to reward you as the consumer and civilly penalize Ford motor company for willfully violating the consumer’s rights and also essentially wasting the time and resources of the court and legal process.
Exceptions & Defenses in Ford denied buyback cases
Just because there is so many positives in pursuing legal action in these types of situations does not mean it is an easy fight and not every case is qualified or going to win. I do not want to discourage you from taking legal action.
However, Ford motor company and other similarly situated companies have strong legal defense counsel and are ready to fight back.
Nevertheless, in many situations, they also have a major incentive to try to resolve valid lemon law claims in order to have to pay less penalties and attorneys fees. Sometimes its still all about the money!
Exception 1: If it was not deemed to be a willful violation.
It could have been the case that Ford had made a good faith and reasonable effort to repair or replace the vehicle. For example, If Ford’s failure to replace or refund your vehicle was not willful.
There are three important ways that Ford may have acted reasonably even if the vehicle was in fact a lemon.
Vehicle Warranty Did Not Apply.
Ford may have reasonably believed that the vehicle was no longer under warranty or that the vehicle warranty was void or expired or no longer valid or did not apply to the situation.
For example, here are three main scenarios that can happen.
- The problem was something not covered by the warranty as described in the terms and conditions of the actual warranty contract provided. Still, there warranty must have been reasonable.
- There had been modifications made or aftermarket parts installed on the vehicle that may have voided the warranty, or
- The warranty had expired already at the time the repairs were needed (this depends on how many repairs you had while the vehicle was still under warranty, because it may be enough for a valid case),
- or other similar situations.
Exception 2: A “reasonable number” of repair attempts had not been made.
One of the criteria for a valid lemon law claim is that the certified Ford dealership or manufacturer was provided with a reasonable opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle.
There is a grey area and often a lot of debate over the definition of what is actually “reasonable” in a lemon law situation. However, if they required your vehicle to be in the repair shop for 30 consecutive days in a row OR your vehicle needed repairs multiple times for significant substantial issues that involve the safety or use or value of the vehicle, chances are high that you did have a valid claim.
However, if Ford did not get a reasonable number of repair attempts or days to properly fix or replace the vehicle, they can argue that the elements of the lemon law had not been met because they were not given a reasonable number of repair attempts or a reasonable opportunity to repair or replace the vehicle. If that was in fact true, that would likely be a strong defense. These are determinations that a jury in a case typically makes if the case actually ends up going all the way to trial.
Exception 3: The Consumer Refused
Another exception is possible if the consumer refused to let Ford motor company repurchase or buyback the vehicle.
Automobile manufacturers usually have an option to either replace or repair the vehicle in lemon law cases. So, if they were willing to either replace or repair the vehicle, and the consumer refused to allow them to replace of repair the vehicle, that would be a valid argument on behalf of Ford motor company against the consumer.
Nevertheless, if you have actual repair invoices showing that you allowed them multiple opportunities to repair the vehicle, that would be pretty strong evidence in your favor.
Still, it can be a defense if they had made a reasonable offer to repurchase your vehicle at a reasonable value of reimbursement based on what you paid for the vehicle, minus some deductions for usage fees and other things. If that was fair, and you refused to let them to do so, that can be a strong defense on their behalf.
Sometimes a car might have problems that even the best mechanic will be unable to properly fix on time. So their offer to repurchase your vehicle might be a fair and reasonable one based on the value they gave and the circumstances of the situation.
Did They Put Obstacles In Your Way?
If they made it difficult to get your repairs done or to get your vehicle replaced, repaired, or inspected, or if they failed to properly inspect the vehicle in order to find the problems, you should let a lawyer know about all of these facts as well because they can help your side of the argument in a lemon law case.
You can have a case even if they were unable to duplicate the problem
For example, many times the Ford dealership may have told you that they were unable to duplicate the problem that you were having with your vehicle. However, if they did not make a reasonable attempt to repair or replace or inspect or take action to remedy the problem, this information can be very important later on in court or litigation or a discovery procedure such as a request for production, interrogatories, mediation, etc.
Get a Free Consultation 24/7
To learn more about this topic, I recommend that you call and speak to our law firm for a completely free consultation and free case evaluation by calling (800) 400-5050.
You can also learn more by reading the civil jury instructions Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions 3244 Civil Penalty – Willful violation Civil Code Section 1794 (c).