What happens to California lemon vehicles?

Purchasing a vehicle is a big enough risk without worrying about possible defects or potential recalls. In many cases, a reputable California dealer may not know if a vehicle has a defect but will promptly address the situation when a problem arises for the consumer. However, an unscrupulous dealer may take advantage of the situation to sell a repurchased lemon to an unsuspecting car buyer.

The California Lemon Law requires car manufacturers to repurchase or replace a vehicle that fits the criteria of a lemon. This typically means the vehicle has a defect of some kind that mechanics have been unable to repair. When the carmaker reacquires one of these defective vehicles, it is required to register the vehicle as a lemon law buyback and title it in the name of the manufacturer. The vehicle must then have a decal identifying it as reacquired or a buyback, which a buyer can find on the left door frame.

When a consumer is considering the purchase of a vehicle that a dealer knows is a lemon law buyback, the dealer must disclose the status of the vehicle in writing. The written statement must include details about the defects and any repairs that attempted to correct the problems. However, it is wise for a consumer to ask if the vehicle is a lemon law buyback because the seller must disclose this information. It is also wise to carefully examine the registration certificate for notations identifying the vehicle as a lemon.

Consumer who unknowingly purchase reacquired lemons may have serious and expensive problems on their hands. Dealing with a situation like this can be time-consuming and frustrating. Car buyers who feel stuck with a lemon, whether it is a new purchase, a used car or an undisclosed California Lemon Law buyback, can seek assistance from an experienced attorney who will fight for their rights.