Buying a new vehicle is expensive, with the average cost now nearing $30,000. That is why many people would rather buy a used car. However, it is more common for used-car buyers to have trouble with an unreliable vehicle or have to deal with pricey repair bills that cost more than the vehicle itself.
Lemon laws are in place to protect new and used car buyers. In California, if you purchase a used vehicle that is still covered by the vehicle manufacture’s factory warranty or covered by a certified pre-owned warranty, then you may be able to bring a lemon law claim.
Used Cars and Lemon Laws
Because of some of the repair problems with used vehicles, some state legislatures made regulatory changes. Used car lemon laws were changed in some states, including California’s. These laws try to provide a statutory warranty that considers the mileage and age of the vehicle. If problems crop up during the warranty period, clearly the dealer must repair those problems. If the problems continue after several attempts to repair them, the dealer is required to replace the vehicle or offer a refund. For instance, in California where consumers buy a car at a ‘buy here pay here’ lot, you have more protection than in other states. A new California law states that these types of dealerships must have a 30-day, 1,000-mile warranty.
Not all states have California’s generous used car lemon laws, however. If your state does not, there are federal laws in place that can help you if you are facing serious reliability problems with your used car:
- The Uniform Commercial Code
- The Federal Trade Commission’s Used Car Rule
- Magnus-Moss Warranty Act.
For example, the FTC’s used-car rule states that dealers should provide information about the cars they are selling. The information should include whether the car has a warranty, and what amount of repair costs the warranty will cover, etc.
Used Cars Covered by Lemon Law in California
If one of the following applies to the used car you bought in California, then it could be covered by the used car lemon law:
- A used vehicle bought for personal, family and household use
- Used cars with a gross weight that is under 10,000 pounds and are used for business
- If you purchased a used vehicle with a written warranty
- Lemon vehicles that the manufacturer rebought and resold to consumers with a warranty.
But the used car lemon law will not apply if some type of abuse caused the repair problem for the vehicle.
What To Do Next
Used car lemon laws are notoriously tricky. If you have problems with a used car and you think your state’s lemon law may apply, check with the lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima today for a no-cost consultation. We will let you know whether or not you have a case. Call today.