Call For A FREE Consultation

Writing on the windshields of used cars at a dealership lot, including the price of the vehicle.

Used-Car Lemons in California 

Protecting Consumers from Automotive Manufacturers Since 1987

How to Tell if Your Used Car is Protected Under California Lemon Law

We’re Here to Help Fight for Your Consumer Rights

Used-Car Lemons in California 

In the state of California, lemon laws are in place to protect buyers of both new and used vehicles.

If you have recently purchased or leased an unreliable used car that has been returned for a warranty repair numerous times, you may be entitled to a buyback or replacement.

A recent case published by the Appellate Courts has cut back on how wide protection under the lemon law will be applied as it concerns used cars.  For the time being, Certified Pre-owned vehicles appear to be safe and covered by the Act – so you can go after the manufacturer who re-issued a new warranty to the buyer.  However, until further notice manufacturers appear to be immune from the lemon law as it concerns used vehicles sold with the balance of their warranty still intact. Used-car lemon cases can be difficult and typically require an experienced California lemon law attorney to ensure you receive what you are owed.

Does California Lemon Law Cover Used Vehicles?

California lemon law covers used vehicles, whether you purchased or leased it. However, it doesn’t automatically protect every single used car.

To be protected under California’s lemon law, your vehicle has to meet the following qualifications:

  • The car was sold with a warranty
  • The car has been in for repair repeatedly for the same defect, or
  • The car has been in for repair for an excessive number of days
  • The car has a substantial defect

If you have a lemon, you can read the book Norman Taylor wrote on lemon law and then speak with a California used-car lemon law lawyer from our firm.

We have significant experience with many manufacturers and can use this insight to assist you with your case.

Extra Protections for Buy Here, Pay Here Dealerships

In 2013, an additional level of protection was added for consumers who purchase used vehicles from a “buy here, pay here” dealership in California.

This kind of dealership specializes in older, high-mileage cars to provide mobilization to consumers who cannot qualify for a typical car loan.

A new law was created that requires these dealerships to issue a 30-day/1,000-mile warranty for any used vehicle that is leased or sold.

Under this warranty, consumers are given added protection under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act requires manufacturers and sellers to provide customers with detailed information regarding their warranty coverage.


Think you have a lemon? Don’t handle the repairs yourself! Call us at (888) 449-7639 to discuss your situation, and well advise you on the next steps to take.

Contact Us

  • 425 West Broadway, Suite 220
    Glendale, CA 91204

Regular Hours

  • Monday - Friday
  • 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.