What Happens After a Car is Deemed and Bought Back in California

When a car is deemed and bought back in California, it is referred to as a “lemon.” This means that the car has a defect or issue that cannot be repaired, even after multiple attempts by the manufacturer or dealership. In these cases, the manufacturer is required to buy back the vehicle from the consumer.

The process of determining if a car qualifies for lemon law in California begins with the consumer reporting the issue to the manufacturer or dealership. The manufacturer is then required to repair the issue within a reasonable amount of time, typically within four attempts or 30 days out of service. If the issue cannot be repaired, the manufacturer must buy back the vehicle.

Once the car is bought back, the manufacturer must return the full purchase price, including any fees and taxes, as well as any financing or lease payments made by the consumer. The manufacturer is also responsible for paying any towing and rental car expenses incurred by the consumer.

The bought back car is then resold as a “lemon law buyback” vehicle. However, it must be disclosed to the next buyer that it was previously bought back under the lemon law. This disclosure must be made in writing and must include the specific defect or issue that caused the buyback.

It is important to note that not all cars that have issues qualify for lemon law in California. The defect or issue must substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle. Additionally, the issue must have been reported within a certain time frame, typically 18 months or 18,000 miles from the date of delivery.

Consumers who believe their car may qualify for lemon law in California should consult with an attorney who specializes in these cases. They can help determine if the car is eligible and assist with the process of getting the vehicle bought back.