California State Lemon Law - Lemon Law Statute

State law disclosures - lemon buyback vehicles

Lemon Law Buyback Vehicle

This is a vehicle which has been reacquired by a vehicle manufacturer because of specified warranty defect(s). The vehicle is registered in the manufacturer's name prior to resale.

What Is Required of the Manufacturer?

The manufacturer upon reacquiring a vehicle because of specified warranty defect(s) must:

  • Request the Certificate of Title and Registration Certificate be marked "LEMON LAW BUYBACK."
  • Title the vehicle is in the manufacturer's name.

The manufacturer will attach a decal to the vehicle. The decal will read "LEMON LAW BUYBACK" and will be affixed to the:

  • Left door frame or
  • Frame of the major entry into the vehicle.
  • Left side of a vehicle without doors, such as a motorcycle, scooter, etc.

Additional Requirements

When a warranty return vehicle is sold, the transferee must be notified, on letter size paper, of the following:

  • The year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the reacquired vehicle.
  • That the vehicle title is marked "LEMON LAW BUYBACK."
  • The nature of each warranty non-conformity reported by the original buyer or lessee of the vehicle. Example: “CHECK ENGINE” light illuminates”
  • Repairs, if any, made by the vehicle manufacturer through its authorized dealer(s), made to the vehicle in an attempt to correct each warranty non-conformity.

How Will I Know If a Vehicle Was a “LEMON LAW BUYBACK”?

Check for display of the decal described above. Look at the vehicle's Certificate of Title and Registration Certificate to see if it is branded, "LEMON LAW BUYBACK." Ask the dealer/seller if the vehicle was a “LEMON LAW BUYBACK”. The dealer is required by law to disclose this information to all consumers prior to potential purchase.

What Do I Need If I Purchase a “LEMON LAW BUYBACK” Vehicle?

You will be notified prior to buying a lemon buyback vehicle by the seller in writing of the nonconformities stated by the previous owner.

If you decide to purchase the vehicle, the usual transfer documents and associated fees will be required:

  • Certificate of Title, properly endorsed for transfer.
  • Transfer Fee.
  • Sales/Use Tax, if applicable.
  • Smog Certification.
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement.

The items listed are the usual transfer requirements. Check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles for applicable sales tax, smog certificate and registration requirements and fees.

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