Can “Lemon” Cars be Resold?

California Lemon Law enables lemon owners to have the manufacturer repurchase or buy a defective vehicle back if the defect cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. While lemon owners worry about how to make the manufacturer buy their defective car back, no one really cares what happens to those cars after being bought back by the manufacturer. Yet, the answer can be shocking to many of us. The bitter truth is that lemon cars are mostly being resold to consumers, who are unaware of the vehicle’s lemon title.

A lot of people mistakenly believe that lemon cars are always branded with ‘’lemon’’ title, or they will be properly noticed by the manufacturer of the previous history of their future car purchase. To put it mildly, this is quite good to be true. Actually, manufacturers buy back thousands of lemon cars each year. Many such cars are quite difficult to repair, if possible at all. What happens next is that these lemon cars re-appear for sale without any notice, whether fixed or not. Then, the never-ending circle of buying back and appearing in repair shop starts over and over again.

Requirements for reselling lemon buybacks

This act is punishable by law, and the manufacturers who intend to re-sell lemon buybacks have to follow certain requirements. In 1996, California enacted clearly-set requirements for manufacturers forcing them to register the lemon buyback in the manufacturer’s name immediately. The title and registration were also to be marked as lemon law buyback. Other states followed California and enacted their own laws regarding ‘’lemon’’ title requirement soon. So, each state has certain requirements referring to manufacturers who sell lemon buybacks.  

Manufacturers following the law requirements of lemon title and registration are rightful to sell lemon buybacks provided that they make a notice about the vehicle’s lemon status. The notice indicating a car’s buyback status must be clear and placed in a noticeable place, preferably on the left side of the vehicle.

Dealerships should properly disclose to potential buyers that the car is a lemon law buyback. They are also obliged to provide a complete history of the car defects and its repair attempts, whether successfully fixed or not. If the dealership or manufacturer fails to properly notify prospective buyers of lemon law buyback, it constitutes used car fraud, and the uninformed buyer will have rights and protections under the law.

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