Does 'Sold As Is' Apply to the Lemon Law?

by Jonita Davis

A car sold as is has no guarantees or warranty against defects or repairs. Lemons are not always identifiable; they can be any type of car. You buy such a car at your own risk. Lemon laws do not apply.

'As Is'

The term "as is" legally absolves the seller of any fault for the problems the vehicle might have. "As is" means the item being sold is offered at the condition it is in at the time of the sale.

Lemon Laws

Lemon laws serve to enforce the warranties and contracts that consumers sign. The documents provide for certain auto repairs. They also certify the car is in good working condition. A car with chronic breakdowns is not in good working order.

Determine Lemon Law Protection

If you take out a warranty for the car or sign a contract attesting to the vehicle's condition, you are protected under the lemon law. When there is no agreement, there is no protection.

Reconsideration Period

Some states offer a reconsideration period during which time the buyer under contract can return the car without penalty. For example, in Nebraska, a buyer has three days to return a car that is under contract or warranty. In an "as is" transaction, there is no warranty and thus no reconsideration period.

Exception

One exception is the lemon law buyback. This is a car that was returned under the lemon law, repaired and resold. It can be sold as is, but the car's lemon law buyback status must be disclosed.

About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Work.com. Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.