Does the California Lemon Law Apply to Used Cars?

THE CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW APPLIES TO USED VEHICLES – SO LONG AS THEY ARE STILL UNDER THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY

The California lemon law statute (at Civil Code Section 1793.2(d)(2)) says that a “If the manufacturer … is unable to … repair a new motor vehicle, … after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall either promptly replace the new motor vehicle.” Accordingly, many non-lawyers believe that the California lemon law does not apply to used cars.  But that is untrue.

A different section of the California lemon law, Civil Code Section 1795.5, states that, with some exceptions, “Notwithstanding the provisions … defining consumer goods to mean ‘new’ goods, the obligation of a distributor or retail seller of used consumer goods in a sale in which an express warranty is given shall be the same as that imposed on manufacturers under this chapter.”  Accordingly, the California lemon law does apply to used cars – so long as they are still under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Any Manufacturer’s Warranty Will Do

Moreover, the term “express warranty” does not mean just the standard 3 year / 36,000 mile warranty.  Some vehicle manufacturers offer longer warranties on specific components of the vehicle.  For example, power train warranties may last for up to 100,000 miles.  If it is possible to attribute the vehicle’s problems to a component that is still under any one of the vehicle’s warranties, then it is possible to assert California lemon law claims for both new and used vehicles.

If you have any questions about whether you used car is covered under the California Lemon Law, then call the Vachon Law Firm right now at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665). Consultations are always FREE!

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