What Does California Lemon Law Say About Used Cars?
Not everyone can afford to buy a brand-new car. Moreover, some of us might prefer not to, believing that an older vehicle model was somehow superior. Unfortunately, however, vehicles that were bought used do not always have the same guarantees or consumer protections that new cars might. This makes the threat of purchasing and then being unable to return a lemon seem like a frightening possibility for many car buyers.
However, California Lemon Law does also cover certain used cars. Before you begin to worry that all hope is lost, check to see whether your used vehicle is covered.
What Used Cars Are Covered by California Lemon Law
Lemon Law does not cover all used cars in the state. A previously owned motor vehicle must meet certain criteria to be eligible for Lemon Law consumer protections.
A used car must meet the following conditions:
- The car must have been purchased for at least $1,500.
- The motor vehicle must be registered for personal, family, or household use.
- If not used for personal use, the company car must weigh less than 10,000 pounds. The vehicle must be used for business purposes for a company with five or fewer registered vehicles.
- The manufacturer’s warranty must still be active. Failing that, the car’s defects must be discovered within the ‘implied warranty’ window.
- And Lemon cars which were repurchased by the car manufacturer, repaired, and then resold to consumers.
A certified pre-owned (CPO) motor vehicle is often covered by California Lemon Law. However, certified previously owned cars also must meet certain criteria.
Eligible CPO vehicles must meet the following conditions:
- The certification must have been issued by either the manufacturers or an authorized dealership. Some dealers will say that their car for sale is certified when it is not. Only an authentic certification is valid.
- The certification should come with an extended warranty that goes beyond the original manufacturer warranty.
The specifics of the warranty information are key to determining whether a car buyer has legal options if they accidentally purchase a lemon car.
The used car must be under warranty of some kind, be it the original manufacturer warranty, an extended warranty, or a CPO warranty. If it does not have a warranty of any kind, the consumer will have difficulty recovering a refund.
In addition to having a valid warranty, the car buyer must show that they took the car in for repairs to fix the nonconformity. If, after enough reasonable attempts to repair the defect proves unsuccessful, then the car buyer may have a valid Lemon Law claim.
What is the ‘Implied Warranty of Merchantability?
The Implied Warranty of Merchantability protects car buyers shopping in the used car market. This legal protection is in place to ensure that every used vehicle meets necessary roadworthiness and basic quality standards.
Under this implied warranty, the car seller guarantees that the motor vehicle is safe to drive, meets the basic requirements for transportation, and has no known defects that could endanger the vehicle’s occupants.
The duration of the Implied Warranty of Merchantability varies depending on the mileage of the car, with shorter windows for cars that have more miles. The implied warranty could be anywhere between five days and a month. To learn more, speak with a Lemon Law attorney in your state.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Lemon Law Attorney Today
If you believe you’ve purchased a lemon, you should first check your warranty status and then speak with a California Lemon Law attorney. Lawyer Justin Ibrahim of the Ibrahim Law Firm has years of experience in the legal field and is dedicated to helping his clients recover compensation for bad car purchase transactions.
Not every used car is covered by Lemon Law, and you may have difficulty recovering a refund or replacement for your purchase. However, try not to despair. Many used vehicles are protected by Lemon Law consumer protections. With the help of the lawyer, we’ll figure out what your options are for reaching a satisfying conclusion to your legal matter.
Schedule a free case evaluation with the lawyer by calling our law office at 626-600-0890.