One of the biggest purchases that you will ever make will come when you purchase a vehicle. When you go and purchase a vehicle, particularly if it is a new car or one that has been certified to be in good condition, you will assume that it is in good working order. Unfortunately, in some cases a buyer may suddenly find that the car is not working well and needs mechanical repairs. In the state of California, you may be covered under the lemon buyback law.
What Does the Lemon Buyback Law Cover?
In the state of California, the lemon buyback law is intended to provide protection to those that purchase a car that may have underlying mechanical issues that were not disclosed. For those that purchase a brand new car, or even a gently used one that is certified to be in good condition, there is an assumption that the vehicle is running well and does not have any near-term mechanical issues. Under this law, the auto manufacturer is required to make any mechanical repairs as long as they original manufacturer's warranty is in place. This does not include to any third-party or extended warranty programs.
If the auto manufacturer has made reasonable attempts to make the repair and it continues to develop, it could provide inconveniences and additional expenses for the car owner. Per the Lemon Law buyback provision, the auto manufacturer is required to purchase the car back from you at the original price in some situations. Under this law, you will qualify for the buyback if you have had the same or similar repair made four or more times of if a potential safety-related repair is made twice.
How are Used Car Buyers Protected Under the Lemon Law?
In the vast majority of situations, buyers of brand new cars are going to be covered under the Lemon Law. However, there are situations when a used car buyer could be covered as well. To qualify for the Lemon Law protection under when buying a used car, you must also obtain one of three different warranties:
• Transferred New Car Warranty - When buying a new car, you will receive a manufacturer's warranty that will normally extend for at least three years or up to 36,000 miles. If you purchase a used car from a dealership or private party, the warranty can be transferred along with the title to the car. If there is time left under the warranty period, you will have Lemon Law protection,
• Certified Pre-Owned Warranty - Authorized dealerships may go through a process of acquiring a vehicle, inspecting and refurbishing it. They can them market it as "Certified Pre-Owned", which will come with an additional warranty and gives assurances to a buyer that it is in good condition. You could qualify for the buyback provision through the end of the CPO warranty program.
• Lemon Buyback Warranty - After buying back a car, the dealership has the opportunity to make final repairs and resell the car. In these situations, they will have to offer at least a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty to covering the prior defect
. If you buy one of these vehicles and there is a similar failure in the warranty window, you would qualify for the buyback.
While there are situations when a used car could qualify for a Lemon Law buyback, there are many situations when it will not. If you buy a used car that is sold on an "as is" basis, you will be taking on the risk of any future mechanical repairs and would not quality for a buyback.
The lemon buy back law is a very important one that is designed to protect people that purchase a faulty vehicle unknowingly. If you believe that you have purchased a vehicle that unknowingly was in bad condition and should be able to return it for full price under the lemon law, you should speak with an attorney that specializes in these claims. They can help you evaluate your situation to determine if you would qualify based on your situation. The attorney can then help you pursue a case to ensure your rights are represented under this law.