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John D.

John D.

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      Can You Return a Car You Just Bought?

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      Why Might a Consumer Wish to Return Their New Car to the Dealership?

      There are a number of reasons why someone may wish to return a car they just bought.

      We’ve all suffered buyer’s remorse at some point in our lives. Purchasing a new or used automobile is a large investment, and it stands to reason that some of us may regret that purchase soon after money changes hands. The problem with buyer’s remorse is that it is typically not a valid reason to return a car in most circumstances. (However, in certain situations, it may be enough.)

      The car buyer got ripped off. While not all auto dealers deserve their reputation as swindlers, the fact remains that there are many bad actors out there. It is possible to get ripped off. If a consumer believes that the product they purchased was misrepresented by the salesperson, they may have the opportunity to take legal action.

      The car payments are too high. Usually, this is not reason enough to return your car successfully. However, expensive car payments are one of the most common reasons why consumers regret some of their motor vehicle purchases.

      The car is defective in some way. Sometimes after getting the car home, it becomes apparent that the newly purchased automobile is defective in some way and potentially a lemon. In such instances, California lemon law may apply.

      Is it Possible to Return a Recent Motor Vehicle Purchase?

      Under most circumstances in California, if you purchase a new motor vehicle, the sale is considered final. It is not in the interests of an auto dealership to allow consumers to take cars home for a number of days and then return them as if getting a free lease on the vehicle. However, certain exceptions to the rule may apply.

      If you have discovered that your car is a lemon, or you believe that you were ripped off by the car dealer, you may have good reason to want a refund. Indeed, there are legal actions you can take with the help of experienced lemon law attorneys to hold dealerships accountable for selling defective cars and getting your money back after purchasing a lemon.

      But is it ever as simple as returning a recently purchased vehicle?

      There are differences when it comes to used and new car purchases. If you have purchased a used vehicle, you may be able to pay for an option to cancel the agreement. California law allows such agreements to apply to consumers who regret their used car purchases, allowing them to return their used car within two days of the original purchase date.

      For new and used cars, your options are slightly more limited. If you have purchased a new car with zero issues, that sale could be considered final, and it will be very difficult to pursue a return. However, if you were ripped off or if the car was defective or a lemon in some way, you have legal options to recover the original purchase price of your motor vehicle or a replacement vehicle.

      What is the California Car Buyers Bill of Rights?

      The California State legislature has enacted the Car Buyers Bill of Rights. This bill establishes consumer protections related to financing fee caps, purchase price disclosures, credit score disclosures, certified vehicle requirements, civil disputes, and dealer’s license status issues. The California Car Buyers Bill of Rights also provides a means of cancellation for the purchases of certain used cars over a certain length of time.

      According to the California DMV, an individual who purchases a used car with a price tag of less than $40,000 must be provided with a two-day contract cancellation agreement option. Unless you purchase such an agreement with your original contract, there may be no. To reconsider your purchase and cancel the transaction. Generally, cancellation options can cost between $75.00 to 1% of the purchase price of the motor vehicle. There may be a restocking fee for returned vehicles.

      If you have purchased a cancellation option agreement, you may return the vehicle provided the following applies:

      • The motor vehicle must be returned to the same dealership where it was originally purchased by the end of business within two days of the purchase (or within the time frame allowed by the option to cancel the contract).
      • The car cannot be returned having exceeded the number of miles traveled permitted by the cancellation option agreement.
      • The automobile must be returned with all original receipts relevant to the sale and the contract cancellation option.
      • The motor vehicle must be returned in the same condition that it was received, except for any reasonable wear and tear.

      If the above criteria are met, the car dealer must provide a full refund for the original purchase price, sales tax, registration fees, deposit, and any applicable trade-in vehicle collected from the buyer.

      When is a New Car Considered a Lemon?

      A new car may be considered a lemon if it has defects that impair the use, safety, or value of the motor vehicle. Before it can be labeled a lemon car, the manufacturer or the dealership must be provided with an adequate number of attempts to repair the known defects of the vehicle. If this ‘reasonable number’ of repair attempts fails to fix the defect, the car may be considered a lemon.

      Defects that may render a vehicle a lemon include:

      • Brake failures.
      • Defective airbags.
      • Engine failures.
      • Power steering loss.
      • Defective vehicle speed control unit.
      • Electrical defects.
      • Faulty fuel injection.
      • And any defects that could cause severe bodily injury or death to the motorist or others on the road with them.

      To learn whether your car is considered a lemon, please contact experienced lemon law attorneys at our law firm to discuss your case in a free consultation.

      Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Experienced Lemon Law Attorneys Today

      It is not uncommon to regret your motor vehicle purchase, especially if there are issues with the vehicle or with the transaction to purchase it. Depending on the facts surrounding your case, you may or may not be able to return your recently purchased car to the dealership where you bought it. We encourage you to get in touch with our California law office to schedule a free case review to discuss your legal options for a replacement or refund of your vehicle. Our lemon law legal practice proudly serves clients across the state of California. We would be interested in representing your legal rights as you pursue a satisfactory outcome to your case.

      Contact us for your free initial consultation by calling us at 626-600-0890.

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