There is a common misconception that used car owners are not protected from buying a defective vehicle and the state used car lemon law covers only the buyers of new vehicles. Actually, the Used Car Lemon Law of California, also known as Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, is a consumer protection act, that applies to almost every consumer product regardless of its type, IF the product is covered with manufacturer’s express warranty.

 An express warranty is a written promise made by the manufacturer, concerning the sales deal of a consumer product that ensures the certain performance of the product over a specified time. So, if the product, let it be a new or used vehicle, is provided with manufacturer’s written express warranty, then the case is likely to be covered by California Used Car Lemon Law and/or Federal Lemon Law.

For California consumers, there is one more legal act that may help in filing a used car lemon lawsuit and that is Car Buyer’s Bill of right, which covers the disclosure requirements and an opportunity for used car consumers to buy a two-day cancellation option.

According to this act, manufacturer or retail seller must provide a detailed pricelist for all items that are sold along with the car, for example, warranties, insurance, etc. Retail sellers are also required to disclose their credit scores and explain to consumers how those credit scores are used.

The Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights requires manufacturers to offer used car buyers an option to purchase two-day contract cancellation agreement that allows the buyer to return the vehicle without cause. This does not apply to used vehicles costing more than $ 40,000 and to motorcycles & RVs. The act also sets maximum prices for the cancellation option as follows;

  • $75 for a vehicle costing $5,000 or less
  • $150 for a vehicle costing more than $5,000, but not more than $10,000
  • $250 for a vehicle costing more than $10,000, but not more than $30,000
  • One percent of the purchase price for a vehicle costing more than $30,000, but not more than $39,999.99

If California lemon law for used cars does not seem to cover your individual case, there are a few more legal acts that may be of service;

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act,

– FTC Used Car Rule

– Uniform Commercial Code

– Truth in Mileage Act

– Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices

Used Cars Covered by Lemon Law

CA Used Car Lemon Law covers used vehicles that are meant for family, personal or household purposes. The vehicles that are used for business purposes are also covered by the state Lemon Law if the gross weight is below 10,000 pounds and 5 or fewer vehicles are registered to the company. Lemon cars that were repurchased by the manufacturers and are sold with a written express warranty may also be covered by the law. The state used car lemon law covers the cases when the manufacturer fails to repair or fix the nonconformities of a used car with an express warranty after a reasonable number of repair attempts. The reasonable number of repair attempts depends on a particular case. However, in case of serious safety defects, that substantially impair the use of a vehicle, one or two repair attempts may be enough to file a lawsuit.

Compensations under Used Car Lemon Law

If a used vehicle meets the conditions of Used Car Lemon Law, the manufacturer will have to compensate the inconvenience and trouble carried by the consumer. The manufacturer will have to provide restitution to the buyer of a lemon car with an express warranty in one of the following forms;

  • Full buyback
  • Full refund
  • Cash compensation

So, if you have the manufacturer’s express warranty and are tired of waiting to get your lemon used car repaired, contact our lemon law attorney to restore your rights and earn full restitution for your wasted time and effort!