How Does the Lemon Law Apply to Used Cars in California

If you purchased a used car that now has relentless problems, all hope might not be lost. Used cars can be covered by the lemon law in California. There are a variety of different ways that the lemon laws might protect a used car. Regardless of what the used car dealership or private seller may have told you, it is worth it to discuss your options with a lemon law attorney

Used Cars Are Still Protected by Manufacturer’s Warranties

If your car is even up to six or seven years old, the powertrain may still be protected by the original warranty from the dealership. It doesn’t matter if the car used to be a rental or how many owners it has had, as long as it is still under warranty.

What Is the “Powertrain”?

While some manufacturers do provide pretty generous bump-to-bumper warranties (meaning everything on the car), like Volkswagen’s bumper-to-bumper warranty covers you for six years or 72,000 miles (whichever comes first). However, many lemon law cases concern the vehicle’s powertrain, which means a longer coverage period. The powertrain is what makes your go or things impacting your car’s ability to go:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Differentials
  • Driveshaft
  • Drive box
  • Transfer case

Here are a few of the longest powertrain warranties from car manufacturers:

  • Acura: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Buicks before 2019: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Cadillac: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Infiniti: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Isuzu: 7 years or 75,000 miles
  • Lexus: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Lincoln: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Suzuki: 7 years or 100,000 miles
  • Tesla: 8 years

Dealership Warranties

Yes, some used cars are sold with warranties from the dealership. These are generally short-term warranties like 30, 60, or 90 days. The dealership would have most likely mentioned any warranty they provide as they do like to use it as a selling point. If you aren’t sure, check your car paperwork or call the dealer where you bought it from.

Federal Lemon Laws vs. California Lemon Laws

California lemon laws are strong for new cars and, unfortunately, a bit ambiguous for used cars. However, federal lemon laws can apply and are more generous. The Uniform Commercial Code protects consumers who have purchased faulty goods. It does not spell out the definition of a “lemon,” which means a great attorney can work to persuade the court that your car qualifies, if necessary. 

Additionally, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers nationwide for “breach of warranty” and gives you the right to recover any money you spend on a lawyer if you win your case. Additionally, small claims court is also an option.

Book a Consultation with an Anaheim Lemon Law Attorney 

Set up a convenient meeting time without having to pick up the phone. When it’s time for your appointment, make sure to have the necessary documents handy (bill of sale, service records, the warranty). We look forward to evaluating your claim and are passionate about protecting consumers. There can be justice for problem used cars in California.

Do You Have A Lemon?

Free Case Review
  • Free Case Review
  • Have you had multiple repair attempts?
  • Did the problem start in the first 60,000 miles?

    did you purchase the vehicle in CA?

    is your vehicle a 2017 or newer?

    did your problems start in the first 60,000 miles?

    have you taken your vehicle to the dealer at least 2 times, or for one visit that lasted over a month?

    It sounds like your vehicle may not qualify for CA Lemon Law.Thank you for your inquiry. For more information about CA Lemon Law see our FAQ page here.

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