How to Apply Used Car Lemon Laws

by braniac

When searching for a used car, the main concern most people have is that they will purchase a lemon; a car that is not in good working condition, or that breaks down soon after purchase. This is a valid concern, but thankfully there are federal and state laws that give consumers some protection against unsavory used car dealers. These laws are called 'lemon laws', and anyone purchasing a used car should become familiar with his or her state's lemon laws.

While lemon laws vary by state, some generalities apply. Generally, lemon laws protect consumers in two types of situations; breach of warranty or intentional deceit.

If your pre owned car breaks down and is covered by a manufacturer's warranty, you may be entitled to lemon law benefits. Typically, breach of warranty is covered by federal law. You will need to read the details of any warranties you have signed to figure out if your warranty agreement has been violated.

When no warranty exists, lemon laws serve as a safety net protecting consumers from deceitful sellers. Lemon laws specifically protect consumers from dishonesty such as: * History of mechanical problems known by the seller, but undisclosed to the buyer * The car was previously stolen and stripped, then rebuilt * The car was involved in a flood * The car was salvaged or involved in a major accident * The car was previously a taxi or police car * The odometer was rolled back fraudulently

If you are able to prove that you unknowingly purchased a car with any of the above issues that the seller knew about and didn't disclose, your state likely has lemon laws on the books to compensate you and punish the dishonest seller.


  • check Knowing your state lemon laws is critical before purchasing a used vehicle. Understanding the law and doing your research before purchasing a used vehicle can save you a huge headache down the road.

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