Lemon Law Protection for "Used" Vehicles in California

California's Lemon Law is a powerful consumer protection statute that safeguards buyers from purchasing vehicles with substantial defects. However, the applicability of the Lemon Law to "used" vehicles has been a subject of debate and legal scrutiny. Unfortunately, many law firms categorically refuse “used” vehicles in the mistaken belief that the Lemon Law never applies.

The Rodriguez v. FCA US, LLC, 77 Cal.App.5th 209 (2022) holds the Lemon law does not apply to "used" vehicles in claims against the manufacturer (this decision is being reviewed by the California Supreme Court and should have a final decision in early 2024). HOWEVER, “used” vehicles that were purchased as “Certified Pre-Owned” are not excluded from the Lemon Law under Kiluk v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, 43 Cal.App.5th 334 (2019).

Alternative Claims – Lemon Law Against the Selling Dealership

Even though the Lemon Law will not support claims against the manufacture where the vehicle was purchased “used,” that does not mean the Lemon Law categorically does not apply to “used” vehicles. If the vehicle was sold with a warranty, the buyer may bring Lemon Law claims against the selling dealership!

Alternative Claims – Auto Fraud

Even if the Lemon Law does not apply to a "used" vehicle purchase, buyers may still bring auto fraud claims where the seller made misrepresentations about the vehicle at the time of sale or failed to disclose certain facts.

Examples of auto fraud include:

  • Misrepresenting the accident or damage history
  • Misrepresenting the mechanical condition
  • Failing to disclose rental history or title brands (junk, salvage, total loss, odometer rollback)
  • Selling the vehicle for more than the advertised price
  • Failing to register, title, and/or smog a vehicle

Unlike other firms, Auto Law helps California consumers with both Lemon Law and auto fraud claims. Navigating the complexities of Lemon Law and auto fraud claims can be daunting. At Auto Law, we have extensive experience representing clients in these types of cases. We understand the challenges you face and are committed to protecting your rights.

If you have purchased a "used" vehicle and believe it may be a lemon, or if you suspect you have been the victim of auto fraud, please contact us for a free case review. We are here to help you get the justice you deserve.

Fill out our Free Case Review form today to get started.