Lemon Law Usage Fee Calculation in California

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act provides an array of protections for consumers who buy motor vehicles in California. But even if you do purchase what turns out to be a lemon you may still have to pay what’s known as a usage fee. This is money that the manufacturer will be entitled to charge, and it will be deducted from the money that you get for your total settlement. The fee represents the use you have gotten out of the vehicle so far.

Whether you leased or purchased a lemon car – and whether you get the car replaced or receive a refund – this usage fee may apply. Here is how the amount is determined.

(miles driven)/(total life of the car (in miles))x price of car = usage fee

  1. Calculate the price of the vehicle (e.g. $25,000).
  2. Measure the amount of miles driven from the moment of purchase until the time that the car was first brought into a repair facility. For instance, let’s say that after driving for 5,000 miles, your transmission was giving you trouble and you brought the vehicle in for repairs.
  3. Calculate your usage fee by dividing 5,000 miles by 120,000 miles (generally considered to be the average life of a car), and then multiply that number by the original price of the car. So, in our case, 5,000 divided by 120,000 times $25,000 equals $1041.66.

It’s important to note that the odometer number that you use to calculate the usage fee depends on when you first brought the car in for the defect identifies the car as a lemon.

To clarify, let’s use another example. Say after 2,000 miles, you discover a problem with your headlamp. You take it in. It gets fixed. Then 3,000 miles later (when your odometer reads 5,000 miles), the transmission fails. The authorized dealer tries (and fails) to fix the transmission four times.

So do you calculate your usage fee based on the 2,000-mile number (when your headlamp failed) or the 5,000-mile number (when the transmission first went)?

Answer: you use the 5,000-mile number.

If you have further questions about the usage fee calculation, or if you need help with any aspect of California’s Lemon Law, please connect with today at 833-536-5297 (or email us through this website). We’ve won 99% of our Lemon Law cases – let us help you today.

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell, known as The Lemon Law Lady, has dedicated her entire legal career to the specialized field of Lemon Law, a journey that began immediately after her
graduation from UCLA School of Law.

With a 99% success rate and a policy of no fees unless you win, her practice stands as a testament to her expertise in California’s Lemon Law, her commitment to her clients, and her unwavering dedication to justice and consumer rights.

Do You Have A Lemon?

Free Case Review
  • Free Case Review
  • Have you had multiple repair attempts?
  • Did the problem start in the first 60,000 miles?

did you purchase the vehicle in CA?(Required)
is your vehicle a 2017 or newer?(Required)
did your problems start in the first 60,000 miles?(Required)
have you taken your vehicle to the dealer at least 2 times, or for one visit that lasted over a month?(Required)

* By clicking submit below, you authorize us to reach out to you by phone, text, and/or email.

"Pleased with the Service"

Happy to hear from you. I was very pleased with the service you provided. I couldn’t be happier. The timing was excellent. I retired June 1st and didn’t really need the car anymore. I didn’t go out and buy another car. I decided to hang on to my money for a while.


“Great Help and Great Service”

Valerie did a fantastic job handling my lawsuit. She was in constant contact with me, she was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. I appreciate her great help and her great service and I would definitely use her again and recommend her to anybody out there that needs help.


"Beyond Satisfied"

I am beyond satisfied. After being told that I did not have a case by other attorneys, I was referred to Ms. Campbell and I am so glad I called her. During the initial consultation, Ms. Campbell was very thorough and answered all of my concerns. She assured me that this was not an overnight fix, however, it took less than three (3) months to resolve. Ms. Campbell was available every step of the way. I rarely called or emailed her because she always kept me in the loop. Every case is different but I am glad mine was quick and painless. I would recommend LemonLaw123 to anyone without any reservations. I could not have asked for better representation. Thank you!!!!


"100% Recommended"

I would 100% recommend LemonLaw123 to anyone without any reservations. Valerie made the process easy and headache-free. She was available every step to the way. Just a phone call or text away, ready to answer any question I had. I could not have asked for better representation. Thank you


"Amazing Attorney"

Valerie C. is an amazing attorney who is extremely experienced in the area of Lemon Law. As a fellow attorney, she earned my respect as an experienced litigator who never settled for anything less than the best for her clients. I recommend Lemon Law 123 to my family and friends as I know she will give them the care, attention, and legal expertise every client deserves. You will get the best results with the Lemon Law 123 team.