Can Lemon Law Cars Be Resold?

by Aryn Plax

Feb 11, 2021

The short answer to the question of “can lemon law cars be resold” is yes. They can. Lemon cars can be resold. However, the situations in which lemon cars are resold vary. Some situations in which lemon cars are resold are perfectly legal. However, other situations involve sellers breaking the law in order to make more money on the sale.

The primary legal issue is whether the buyer is informed that the car is a lemon.

In the California Lemon Law, there is a specific regulation called the Automotive Consumer Notification Act, which requires that any vehicle bought back by the manufacturer as a “lemon buyback” must have its lemon title recorded as part of its vehicle history.

Under this law, the seller must notify any potential buyer that a lemon car is a “Lemon Law Buyback.” This means that if a licensed seller does not tell buyer that the car is a Lemon Law Buyback, the seller is breaking the law.

The buyer must be provided with a notation (and the buyer must sign it!) that contains the following language:

A dealer hands a customer the keys to a car.

“THIS VEHICLE WAS REPURCHASED BY ITS MANUFACTURER DUE TO A DEFECT IN THE VEHICLE PURSUANT TO CONSUMER WARRANTY LAWS.  THE TITLE TO THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN PERMANENTLY BRANDED WITH THE NOTATION ‘LEMON LAW BUYBACK’.”

A car is specifically branded as a lemon after arbitration or litigation in completed. However, there are cases when a car does experience repeated problems related to a defect, but the car is not formally branded as a lemon because the car wasn’t purchased under circumstances that allow the California lemon law protections to kick in.

For example, someone could have bought a defective car from a private seller. The person may not have been informed about the vehicle’s history. If this person discovers a defect, they won’t be able to pursue a lemon law case because they did not buy it from a licensed dealership. In this case, the person might have already sought numerous repairs. They finally decide to stop getting further trouble with the car and just sell it to another private party.

In this scenario, a car that should have been branded as a lemon slips under the radar, and another person unwittingly buys a lemon car.

Read more about the protections offered by the California Lemon Law. If you think you may have a lemon law case, or you have questions about how the California Lemon Law can protect you, call our toll free number at 877-222-2222 or fill out the consultation form below.