Defective Used Cars Under Warranty
Brand new cars often don’t have problems after purchase, and when they do, they’re covered under California lemon laws. But what about cars or trucks bought used? Are they protected? If a used car or truck has major issues and the manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle is still valid (or the issues happened while the warranty was in place), lemon law protection may be extended to that vehicle as well.
Manufacturer Warranties Can Provide Lemon Law Protection for Used Vehicles
Just because you bought a car used doesn’t mean you aren’t protected under the Lemon Law if the car turns out to be a lemon. Certain protections extend from the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act for used vehicles as well. It isn’t just about defective new cars and trucks – the act is about warranties, and if a vehicle, new or used, has problems that cause it to not conform with the warranty, the consumer is entitled to certain remedies. Therefore, used cars or trucks that are purchased with remaining time on the manufacturer’s warranty are also protected under the law.
Used “Lemons” Without Warranty
In some cases a used vehicle may still be protected by California lemon laws even if the manufacturer warranty has expired. Say you attempted repairs to fix a defective car while it was still under warranty, but the problem persisted long after the warranty expired. In this case the warranty may be extended, meaning the defective car or truck may still be seen as covered by the warranty and thus eligible for the lemon law protections that come with it. Every case is different, however, and if you’re dealing with a lemon your best option is to seek counsel from an experienced California lemon law lawyer.
Used Car Problems Covered by California Lemon Laws
Pre-owned cars or trucks that are deemed lemons can show the same symptoms of brand new lemons. In either case, if a defect is causing significant problems the buyer may be able to get a replacement or a refund for the lemon vehicle. Visit our Lemon Law Basics page to see what qualifies as a lemon in California.
Examples of Defects We’ve Seen in Used Cars and Trucks Include:
- Engine stalling or failing to start
- Engine fails to maintain power and/or car does not maintain strong pull
- Little to no response when gas pedal is pressed
- Diminished acceleration or sudden acceleration/deceleration
- Car or truck shuts off while driving
- Car or truck loses torque and/or experiences other steering problems
- Sudden forward jerking movements
- Transmission grinding/faulty transmission
- Electrical problems, including malfunctioning door locks, headlights or windshield wipers
- Black smoke emitted from exhaust
- Inoperable air conditioning system
- Brake defects
- Excessive tire wear
- Excessive noise and vibration
- Recurring fluid leaks
- Continually dying batteries
- Bubbling paint
- Convertible top that does not close properly
Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list – there are several other issues that may be wrong with a car or truck under warranty that may be covered under the law. If you’re having recurring issues with a defect that is impairing your vehicle’s use, value or safety, you may have a lemon. Not sure if you’re protected? Call the experts at Lemon Law Partners, LLP to set up a free case evaluation.
The Manufacturer Pays Our Fees if We Win Your Case
If you’re concerned about having to pay exorbitant attorneys’ fees on top of what you’re already burdened with in regards to your defective vehicle, worry not. Part of the beauty of California Lemon Law is that if we win your case, the manufacturer must also pay our fees.