Last month, an important case, for the first time put manufacturers on the hook for sales of used vehicles with problems beginning outside of the original manufacturer’s warranty, but still within the Certified Pre-Owned warranty. It has been unclear for years whether a manufacturer was required to buy back a used vehicle when the problems occurred after the original warranty expired.  As long as the problems still occur during the CPO warranty, they’re subject to the lemon law.  On the caveat, if the vehicle wasn’t purchased as a Certified Pre Owned vehicle, the manufacturer is off the hook if the problem occurs for the first time outside of the original warranty.  The concern with this case, if any, would be that the Certified Pre-Owned program given by all manufacturers may be canceled since the manufacturers don’t want the added responsibility.

The case involves the sale of a certified preowned Mercedes Benz that still had a portion of the new vehicle warranty remaining and an additional used vehicle warranty from the manufacturer. An un-repairable defect manifested after the expiration of the new vehicle warranty, but during the duration of the used vehicle warranty. Mercedes Benz refused to repurchase the vehicle. The plaintiff sued and a jury found Mercedes Benz liable under the Song Beverly Act for breach of the express warranty and the implied warranty of merchantability. The plaintiff was awarded the same compensatory damages on both causes of action.

Click Here to read a transcript of the case.

(Note: Names have been omitted and some information may have been changed to protect client privacy.)

The Law Offices of Delsack & Associates have been representing California consumer’s to the highest legal standards since 1987. Our experience with the California Lemon Law has allowed us to successfully represented thousands of clients throughout the state in all types of lemon law cases. When one of our clients refers us to their friends and/or family, we believe it is one of the greatest compliments we can receive. Continue reading

(Note: Names have been omitted and some information may have been changed to protect client privacy.)

The Honda Odyssey has always been a popular minivan for families in California. When our California Lemon Law Offices Of Delsack & Associates were contacted by a Cerritos resident experiencing braking problems with his 2007 Honda Odyssey, we advised him to pursue a lemon law case against the manufacturer. Continue reading

California has one of the best new car lemon laws in the country. For someone who can’t or does not want to buy a vehicle brand new, what lemon law rights are there on used cars? Fortunately, there are used car lemon laws to protect the consumer, and thanks to the large automobile industry, it is one of the most utilized legal tools in the United States.

When purchasing a used vehicle, it is best to avoid buying a lemon in the first place. Doing a bit of research beforehand and getting the vehicle surveyed before purchase is a good start. But a lemon car may not always be that obvious. Often, problems start to arise weeks after the purchaser has brought it home. If you have bought a used vehicle that you think could be a lemon, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of it.

To qualify in California for used car lemon law protection, the vehicle must have been purchased or leased in California for personal, family or business use. Vehicles purchased through a private transaction or from a car lot “as is”, usually will not have lemon law coverage. Under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and the Uniform Commercial Code consumers can be protected if the vehicle was bought under false representation. False representation can be:

  • Prior history of mechanical problems known to the seller (‘laundered lemon’)
  • A previously salvaged or wrecked vehicle
  • A fraudulently rolled back odometer
  • A vehicle that was a rental car, police car or taxi
  • A stolen, stripped and rebuilt vehicle
  • A vehicle involved in a flood

By California’s Warranty Act, the first time a lemon buyback is resold at the retail level, it must have one-year factory warranty to cover defects and cannot legally be sold “as is.” The law requires that the car be marked as a “lemon law buyback” and must have a “lemon” sticker on the door jamb. When lemon buybacks are illegally sold, the buyer still has rights under the Lemon Law.

The Warranty Act also applies to used vehicles that are still under a manufacturer’s new car warranty. When a used car covered by a new car warranty is sold, any remaining time left in the warranty protects the car’s new owner. The law covers “certified” used cars, lemon vehicles that are bought back by manufacturers or dealers and then resold and automobiles covered by extended service contracts.

Buying a used vehicle does not mean you will get a lemon, but if you do find yourself in this situation, seeking legal counsel from someone who specialized in the lemon law can be your best solution. A lemon law attorney is experienced in these situations and can help you get the compensation you deserve, fast and efficiently.