If you’re going to buy a used vehicle, it’s of the utmost importance that you are aware of the vehicle’s history. When searching for advice on buying a used car, you may have come across the term “lemon law buyback.” If you see this term on a vehicle’s history report, that means the vehicle was deemed defective (also known as a “lemon”). It also means that the vehicle was repurchased by the auto manufacturer, and the manufacturer was legally required to disclose its lemon status. The previous owner of the “lemon law buyback” likely received a vehicle replacement or refund of the total amount paid for the vehicle.
What happens if you buy a vehicle branded “lemon law buyback?” For one, there is a higher chance that your vehicle will have mechanical issues. For that vehicle to have been branded a “lemon law buyback,” the manufacturer was not able to fix the recurring issues within a reasonable number of repair attempts.
If you buy such a vehicle, mechanical issues arise during the warranty period, and the auto manufacturer or its dealerships still cannot fix them, the vehicle may still be considered a lemon. Can you file a lemon law claim if this vehicle turns out to still be a lemon? The answer is yes.
The disclosure statement for the lemon law buyback vehicle will include the defects that the previous buyer reported, the repairs performed on the vehicle to correct the defects, and a warning that the vehicle was repurchased under the California Lemon Law. The auto manufacturer is supposed to repair the vehicle to conform to warranty. If the defect still resurfaces, then you may be eligible for a vehicle replacement or a lemon law refund.
A lemon law buyback vehicle must be sold with a one year warranty for the specific issue that made it a lemon to begin with. The warranty does not have a mile limit. If the defect reappears and the auto manufacturer cannot fix it within a reasonable number of attempts during the warranty period, you may be able to pursue a lemon law claim.
Buying a vehicle with the “lemon law buyback” title is not recommended. However, if you have bought a vehicle with the “lemon law buyback” title, keep an eye out for recurring defects, get it repaired regularly, and keep a log of its repair history. You can use this documentation in a free consultation with a lemon law attorney, should you ever need to pursue a lemon law claim.
Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2016–Present vehicle models only. However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states. To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our California Lemon Law Guide for more information.