How Lemon Laws Apply to Used Cars

If you have a pre-owned car that has a persistent problem that no one can seem to fix, the good news is that California’s Lemon Law can apply to used vehicles. However, you must meet certain requirements to have rights under the Lemon Laws, and these guidelines are not as clear as they are with a new car. You should not wait to discuss possible legal action with a Lemon Law attorney

Qualifications for Lemon Law Claims

In recent years, California has amended its laws to require that used car dealers at least offer a warranty for 30 days or 1000 miles. The warranty must cover the vehicle’s essential components. Some used dealers might offer better warranties, especially for certified pre-owned cars. In either situation, however, you have a warranty for the purposes of Lemon Laws. 

From there, you must meet the following criteria to qualify for a possible Lemon Law claim:

  • You purchased the vehicle from a dealer, not an individual
  • You have an applicable warranty on the vehicle, which might be the dealer’s warranty or the initial manufacturer’s warranty
  • Your used car has a substantial defect and you spent excessive time trying to repair the defect
  • After reasonable repair attempts have been made, the defect and related issues continue to persist

These criteria might seem fairly straightforward, but determining whether you have undergone a “reasonable” amount of repair attempts can be difficult. In addition, calculating the amount you are owed if you have a lemon is more challenging with a used vehicle than with a new car purchase. You want an experienced lawyer fighting for the full amount you should get for your used lemon. 

What to Do Next

If you believe you might have purchased a used lemon, most importantly, you should keep all of your records. Every trip to the repair shop, the bills, the time spent waiting, or the time spent without your vehicle should all be clearly documented. The mechanic should document all their work on your vehicle in an attempt to fix the defect. 

Then, you should talk to a Lemon Law attorney about your situation. Your attorney can draft a letter to the vehicle manufacturer that documents the issues you are experiencing. This letter should include specific information and details, and you want a legal professional handling this for you. 

Your attorney should then advise you on the next steps in your Lemon Law claim, including how much you might expect to receive to replace your lemon. These are complex laws, and car manufacturers often fight hard against Lemon Law claims, especially when they involve a used car. Having the right legal help can mean the difference between ample compensation and getting stuck with a lemon. 

Speak with a California Lemon Law Attorney

If you have a used car with persistent issues and you are wondering about your rights under consumer protection laws, do not wait to consult with our team at LemonLaw123. We handle all types of vehicle lemon claims, so please contact us to get relief today. 

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell, known as The Lemon Law Lady, has dedicated her entire legal career to the specialized field of Lemon Law, a journey that began immediately after her
graduation from UCLA School of Law.

With a 99% success rate and a policy of no fees unless you win, her practice stands as a testament to her expertise in California’s Lemon Law, her commitment to her clients, and her unwavering dedication to justice and consumer rights.

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I am beyond satisfied. After being told that I did not have a case by other attorneys, I was referred to Ms. Campbell and I am so glad I called her. During the initial consultation, Ms. Campbell was very thorough and answered all of my concerns. She assured me that this was not an overnight fix, however, it took less than three (3) months to resolve. Ms. Campbell was available every step of the way. I rarely called or emailed her because she always kept me in the loop. Every case is different but I am glad mine was quick and painless. I would recommend LemonLaw123 to anyone without any reservations. I could not have asked for better representation. Thank you!!!!


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