A Used Car Lemon Law? Is there even such a thing?

Used Car Lemon Law

The answer is actually yes! Surprisingly, used car lemon law is common in some states. Others, however, have not yet addressed the issue, so you always want to check your own local laws to see if there's one in yoru area.

As any used car owner knows, a lemon law could come in handy for unsuspecting buyers. Often, a used car that's a lemon can cost owners an arm and a leg. Repairs could even end up being more than a new car would cost.

Warranty is the watchword here. If your used car still has a warranty in effect, the chances are good that you can still take advantage of this law, either at the local or federal level. Many cars these days carry bumper-to-bumper warranties that span 100,000 miles. If these cars are sold, the warranty is often transferable, so the lemon law may still apply.

If your car is dangerous to drive, has been in the shop multiple times with the same problem or is losing its value because of the problem, the lemon law is designed to compensate you. Having a lemon is a real pain and the law is here to provide owners relief through the courts.

Are there state used car lemon laws?

Sadly, only six states have actual used car lemon law statutes on the books. These are:

lemon laws for used cars picture of used car salesperson

These offer a statutory used car warranty that is based on the age of the vehicle or the mileage. If a fix doesn't work (again, you have to have had it in for repairs for the same problem more than once, often several times) the dealer must either refund your money or replace the vehicle.

If you aren't fortunate enough to live in one of these states, used car lemon law may still apply through the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This is the federal statute that requires manufacturers to stick to the terms of their warranties. If you have a used car that still has a warranty and you're not in a state with a used car lemon law, you could still file a suit, using the warranty act instead. Note, however, that this act only applies to issues specifically stated in a valid warranty so you want to start by reading your warranty thoroughly.

Of course, if you're merely unhappy with your car you can't use the used car lemon law to get it out of your life. If this is the case, you either have to live with it, sell it to some other unsuspecting soul or send it to the junkyard and take the loss.

Am I covered under used car lemon law?

In many cases, you are. Again, it depends on your state and any lemon law on the books that deals with used cars. If your car is a lemon, you should always start with the dealer. Some dealers offer a return policy on your used car, allowing you to return it in "X" number of days. But there's no state or federal legislation that requires this.

That's why it's best to start with the dealer and see if they will do anything about your car, even if you do live in a state with a lemon law that applies. After checking your warranty, contact your dealer and see if they will repair the issue. If they do and it still doesn't work after multiple visits to the shop, you can try to get your money back through other means.

Also note, even though you're covered by the lemon law, it's still going to be a bit more difficult than with a new car. Some states have limits on the mileage or years that have passed. Unless the manufacturer or dealer has a very liberal warranty, you may not have much luck, even if there's a law on the books that seems to apply. There are just so many variables in used car lemon law.

If your state does have a lemon law and the warranty is still valid, they are bound by the used car lemon law to fix your car at their cost. If they refuse and you live in one of the before mentioned six states; you may want to remind them of their obligation. However remote the possibility, they may not know they are legally accountable for the sale.

They do have the option of fixing the car or buying it back from you. If you turn down the offer to buy it back, you may lose any chance to recoup the cost of further repairs under used car lemon law, so make your choice carefully and get some legal advice.

If you are unsure of your options, it's best to speak with an attorney. They will let you know if your state's lemon law covers your situation or if you have any recourse through the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. If you don't, you're going to have to live with the lemon or take the loss. It's the old "Let the buyer beware" story, and it doesn't always have a happy ending. Knowing your options does increase the chances dramatically though.

Good luck!

NOTE:The information here is not legal advice and is only presented to you so you can know your options if you purchased a lemon. As with any legal issue, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.



Site Build It!

Lemon Law Types
Copyright © Lemon-Law-Types.com 2022