Sunday, October 5, 2008

California Used Car Lemon Law Tips

Sergei Lemberg, an attorney specializing in lemon law [link:], is sitting in the guest blogger’s chair today. He’s outlining some of the ways that consumers with used car lemons can get justice.

 I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel at least a little bit of trepidation when they buy a used car. Always lurking in the back of your mind is the thought that you might just be buying someone else’s troubles. Unfortunately, although every state in the nation has a new car lemon law, few states have lemon laws covering defective used cars.

Although California’s lemon law doesn’t apply to used vehicles, portions of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (which incorporates the lemon law) do apply to used vehicles. California also has a Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights, which includes the opportunity for used car buyers to purchase a two-day cancellation option for vehicles under $40,000.

The Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights also prohibits car dealers from advertising a used vehicle as “certified” if the odometer does not indicate the actual mileage of the vehicle; the vehicle was a voluntary lemon buyback; the title was branded as a lemon buyback, manufacturer repurchase, salvage, junk, non-repairable, flood, or similar designation; the vehicle was damaged by accident, fire, or flood, unless it has been repaired to safe operational condition; the vehicle has frame damage or was sold “as is”; or the seller failed to provide the buyer with a complete inspection report of all components inspected.

 That doesn’t mean that all is lost, however. There are a number of other ways consumers can take action if they find they’ve purchased a lemon. Federal laws, like the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the FTC Used Car Rule, as well as state Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices laws, can provide you with a cause of action if you find that you have a used car lemon on your hands.


  1. This is the first time I’ve read about this. I keep learning new things everyday!

    Used Cars

  2. Fina Used Cars in California here. We have listings from individuals and used car dealers.