Many people believe that anything involving the law will eventually end up in court, but this is a falsity. In fact, many civil claims of all varieties never go to a judge.
It is very possible if you reach out to the manufacturer of your lemon that they will attempt to resolve your claim prior to you taking it to court. This is “settlement” or “mediation.” According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, you can choose to allow the manufacturer to offer you a settlement prior to arbitration of your lemon issue.
Why would a manufacturer want to settle?
Dealing with lawsuits is expensive and very time-consuming. Many times, manufacturers would prefer to settle the issue out of court since it saves them both time and money. Sometimes settling outside of court may be to your advantage and other times it may not be.
A manufacturer may also wish to settle with you in an attempt to protect goodwill. Occasionally, a manufacturer may indeed give you exactly what you want in order to make the entire lemon situation go away.
What might a manufacturer offer me?
This depends on your particular case. Sometimes manufacturers might try to offer you a certain number of car payments, or perhaps offer a lump cash sum to compensate for any inconveniences. You may also receive free car maintenance, or potentially an extended warranty.
Of course, whether or not these offers interest you depends on your particular situation and what the exact problem with your car is. In some situations, mediation will solve the issue. In others, you may end up going to arbitration anyway.