Can You “Lemon” a Used Car?

Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases we make throughout life! We spend considerable time deciding which vehicle fits our needs and budget! Unfortunately, many consumers get frustrated too early! Quite often the newly purchased used car spends more time at the repair shops than it spends with its owner!

In other words, the long-awaited new purchase and financial commitment may turn into a real nightmare and cost you thousands of dollars. Plus, you will have trouble sleeping at night and become too sensitive because of your giant piece of metal!

But don’t give up so early! It’s possible that you may qualify for a full refund or a replacement, depending on your situation.

Now you may be asking yourself if you can lemon a used car! Keep reading this page because we will answer this question and more in this article!


When Can You Lemon Your Used Car?

We all know that lemon laws usually cover new vehicles with serious defects for a certain amount of time or mileage.

With this in mind, many consumers start blaming themselves for buying a used car once they find out the car has serious defects that impair its safety. But they shouldn’t because there are protective provisions for used car owners under the lemon law as well.

The major requirement of this law is that the vehicle must still be under the manufacturer’s warranty.

However, don’t forget that state laws vary. So it’s crucially important to review your state’s laws to find out if your used car qualifies as a lemon.

For example, most used cars purchased from dealers will likely receive coverage under California lemon law. But this refers only to the used cars that are sold with the manufacturer’s warranty which is typically 3 years/36,000 miles but can be more for some manufacturers.

But if you or someone else is blameworthy for the defects and issues of the used car, the manufacturer’s warranty won’t help you.

Cars covered by California Used Car Lemon Law include:

  • Used cars or vehicles bought and used primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
  • Used cars or vehicles with a gross weight that is below 10,000 pounds and used primarily for business purposes where 5 or fewer vehicles are registered to the company.
  • Used cars or vehicles sold with a written warranty.
  • Lemon cars or vehicles repurchased by a manufacturer and then resold to consumers with a manufacturer’s warranty covering the defects.


If your defective used car goes under one of these categories, you should give the manufacturer or its authorized dealers a reasonable number of attempts to repair the car.

If they fail to fix your vehicle after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer will have to either replace the vehicle or compensate the owner of the defective vehicle.

Also, make sure you keep a copy of every repair order indicating what was exactly done!


Your Car is a Lemon! Now What?

You are a bit clueless about how to act and how to deal with your defective used car? Give us a call right now!

Our law experts at Margarian law firm will help you understand the various aspects of the lemon law and most importantly fight for your consumer rights!

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