What You Recover
If the vehicle is a lemon, the consumer is entitled to recover the money he or she put into the vehicle.
That means the down payment or lease inception payment (the lemon law applies to leased as well as purchased vehicles), the monthly payments, and consequential expenses such as rental vehicles, towing expenses, and the like. The objective is to put everyone, the consumer and the person or company offering the warranty, back in the same position they were in at the outset.
For items that are not "vehicles," the manufacturer's obligation may be nothing more than to replace it. Believe it or not the law is sometimes interpreted in such a way that a boat or watercraft is not a "vehicle" for purposes of the lemon law. If you disagree with this, please write your assembly person and tell them this loophole needs to be closed. To find your elected representative, follow this link.- Official California Legislative Information
If the case goes to trial and the jury finds that the manufacturer acted willfully, that they knew they were obligated to buy the vehicle back, and failed to do so, a "civil penalty" could be imposed equal to twice the purchase or lease price.