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Can lemon law claims be made for used cars?

California's lemon law provides important protections to individuals who buy new vehicles in the state. What about used vehicles? Can individuals who buy used cars that end up having serious defects make lemon law claims?

It depends on the situation. There are certain circumstances in which the state's lemon law does apply to used cars. In these situations, lemon law claims can be a possibility when serious mechanical problems arise.

One class of used cars that the state's lemon law applies to are used cars that are covered by a warranty. Any time a used car is sold by a dealer with any type of warranty, it is covered by California's lemon law.

Another example is that lemon law protections sometimes extend to individuals who buy vehicles that dealers bought back as lemons and then resold. These cars are known as lemon law buybacks. Dealers are subject to certain disclosure requirements when it comes to selling such vehicles. Lemon law rights can be available to individuals who bought a vehicle that a dealer failed to properly disclose as a lemon law buyback.

Whether or not the state's lemon law applies to a given vehicle a person bought has major impacts on his or her rights and options if significant ongoing mechanical issues occur regarding the vehicle. So, when consumers encounter significant problems with a used car they purchased here in California, it can be very important for them to understand if state lemon law protections would apply to their situation. Experienced California lemon law attorneys can advise such consumers on what their particular circumstances mean for their rights.

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