Can a Used Car Be Considered a Lemon?  

Categories: Defective Products

Can a Used Car Be Considered a Lemon?  

If you purchased a used, pre-owned or certified vehicle in California that is still covered by the original factory warranty, you are probably protected by the California Used Car Lemon Law.

The used car lemon law offers legal protections in this state for anyone that buys OR leases a used vehicle that is covered by the factory warranty. This law also covers a demo or demonstration vehicle. Vehicles that were repurchased under the lemon law and were resold with the manufacturer’s warranty are also covered under the used car lemon law.

Used vehicles that are covered by this law in California include:

  • Used vehicles that were bought to be used mostly for personal, family and household reasons.
  • Used vehicles with a total weight that is under 10,000 lbs. and are mostly used for business purposes when there are five or fewer vehicles that are registered to the organization.
  • Used vehicles that are sold with a written warranty.
  • Lemon vehicles that were rebought by the manufacturer and then resold with a warranty covering the defects that were repaired.

How Long Does the Warranty Last?

The used car lemon law in California is applicable for the entire period of the manufacturer’s warranty. It extends after the original factory warranty, if the vehicle was certified, or includes an extended manufacturer’s warranty. For example, if the car was covered by a three-year factory warranty and a defect was found two years from the start of the warranty, the manufacturer will be required to replace or repurchase the car. The other option is for the company to compensate you if the defects meet all requirements of the used car lemon law. Also, the manufacturer must have had enough opportunities to repair the car.

Duty to Repair

The used car law gives the dealership and manufacturer a ‘reasonable’ number of attempts to fix the defects before they must buy the vehicle back or pay the owner. A ‘reasonable’ number of chances to fix the car might be exceeded in these cases:

  • One or two attempts to repair the car for a serious safety problem, such as anti-lock brake failure.
  • Two or more attempts to where the problem recurs and may cause serious injury or death.
  • The same defect that has been fixed at least four times.
  • The vehicle has been in for repairs for 30 or more days since you bought it.

Have an Unreliable Vehicle? Talk to A Lemon Law Attorney Now

When you buy a new or used car that is under factory warranty, you expect it to be free of defects. It should be totally reliable. But this does not always happen. There are some new and used vehicles with major reliability problems sold by car dealerships. These problems can cause serious safety issues that can even lead to serious injury.  If you have a used car with major problems that is still under the original factory warranty, you may have a valid lemon law claim. Talk to the lemon law attorneys of Neale & Fhima today for more information. The consultation is free.