California has strict lemon laws that help protect consumers from being sold a used lemon car. California Lemon Law does not only holds automakers responsible if they do not agree to their warranty, but the law can also hold dealerships liable for deceitfully or deliberately selling a consumer a defective vehicle.
California Lemon Law On Used Cars
At Allen Stewart, many of our clients told us that automakers or dealers tried to convince them that there is no lemon law coverage for used cars. They said they are only available for new cars. That is not true. Lemon laws in California cover used car leasing and purchases. California’s civil code updated in 2013 now requires dealers to provide 1,000 miles of driving or a 30-day warranty, whichever comes first. The dealer must offer a refund if they are unable to repair the car within the first 30 days or 1,000. The warranty provides coverage for all the essential parts of the vehicle, such as steering and brakes.
However, keep in mind that California lemon law used cars may be slightly different from those that applied to new cars. Overall, California lemon law covers used, refurbished, and pre-owned cars, provided they have an active warranty from automakers or dealers.
Are Dealerships Allowed to Sell Lemon Used Cars?
In California, dealerships are allowed to sell used cars that have been labeled as “Lemon” as long as they fully disclose the car’s history to the consumer. This type of car is known as “Lemon Law Buybacks.” This type of car has been repurchased by the automaker after being marked as a “lemon car” due to a car defect that couldn’t be fixed after a reasonable attempt.
Other times, a vehicle might be fully repaired and still labeled lemon because it has stayed in the shop for more than 30 days. A lemon car must be registered as a “Lemon Law Buybacks” in the name of the manufacturer and repair the defect before they can resell it to another consumer.
Not All Warranties Are Considered Equal
It is vital to understand that not just every warranty will protect you under California Lemon Law. Your car warranty must either be the manufacturer or dealership warranty. Many car owners buy additional “extended warranties. Keep in mind that these are not true warranties, and they are not a promise from the manufacturer or dealership that the car is in good condition. Extended warranties don’t qualify under the California Lemon Law.
Want to Talk to a Consumer rights lawyer About Your Used Car?
Since the lemon law is not very specific when it comes to used cars, the California Department of Justice advises those seeking to pursue a lemon law case to consult with a lemon law attorney. A qualified lemon lawyer can provide you with the right counsel concerning lemon for cars.
Allen Stewart offers free consultations in lemon law cases. Call us today to learn more about California lemon law used car and to find out if we can help.