Lemon Law


(Lemon Law)

Hemet Car Guy

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy.

At VIP Autos we offer a “Carfax” report on every car we sell, and that comes with a “Buyback Guarantee.” This guarantees that the vehicle is not a “branded” title with a major accident, true miles’ unknown or a Lemon Law Vehicle.”

Let’s talk about that “no –Lemon“ guarantee. It doesn’t mean your car is guaranteed not become a “lemon”  by constantly breaking down. It means that the title will not be branded as a lemon law vehicle from the previous owner who bought it new.

Even though we don’t typically sell these vehicles, in the last 6 years that VIP Autos has been open, I have had 2 clients request a good deal on a particular lemon law car because they had the inside information and knew the value of and misconceptions about manufacturer’s buybacks.

Here are some common questions and answers about lemon law cars.

Are all Lemon law cars defective vehicles?

I remember over 30 years ago, GM did a test market allowing customer to bring cars back for customer satisfaction: they were not lemons. This marketing idea cost the manufactures a lot of money. It was quickly stopped after they realized how it was being taken advantage of.  They were called “brass hats” and dealers quickly bought them up and resold them to make a lot of money.

Today, vehicles repurchased by a manufacturer may need repairs to correct problems, but that isn’t always the case. Vehicles are often re-purchased as a gesture of goodwill to maintain a valued relationship with a loyal customer. In other instances, parts may not have been available in a timely manner to fix a minor problem and the customer may ask the manufacturer buy back the vehicle. There are even cases where buyers will fabricate problems to get out of a vehicle if they know how to use the “Lemon Laws” to their advantage. And of course, there are times when a vehicle does have a legitimate mechanical problem that needs extra attention to correct. Regardless of the reason for a buyback, when a true problem does exist, the manufacturer not only wants to fix it, but the company is required by law to fully correct any issues before the vehicle is offered for sale.

What if the problem isn’t fixed and I end up with someone else’s problem?

Manufacturers don’t want to repurchase a vehicle. But when a repurchase is necessary, the manufacturer doesn’t want to risk its reputation by failing to address the problem responsible for the buyback in the first place. You can be sure that any re-purchased vehicle is thoroughly inspected to ensure that the original problem has been corrected and that the vehicle is in premium condition before it is cleared for resale. All re-purchased vehicles are offered for sale with the balance of the original manufacturer’s warranty in effect. In addition, most vehicles also have a 12 months/12,000 miles warranty coverage on the mechanical system/part that was repaired under the buyback. With this assurance – and the option to extend that warranty coverage further still – the buyer can be sure that his vehicle meets or exceeds all manufacturer requirements.

What if the auto manufacturer just wants to get rid of the car?

Every manufacturer values their reputation with their customers, JD Powers, Consumer reports and others. They want to protect their reputation so that people will keep buying their vehicles. In my experience the manufacturer is going to be very certain that the repurchased vehicle meets all requirements for performance before it is offered for sale.

Will I be able resell a manufacturer’s buyback vehicle with a branded Lemon Law title?

Not every state is required to note on the vehicle’s title if it was once re-purchased. However, California requires “branding” the vehicle’s title with this information.  The advantage for you is that you save a lot of money! As other states are not subject to these requirements, the bigger savings will be in states that shows the branding. Also note that, as the public becomes more educated about the true value a re-purchased vehicle offers, the buyback stigma will become less and less of an issue. Instead, most will come to agree – as some already do – that manufacturer buybacks offer knowledgeable car buyers a chance to get their vehicle much less that they expected.

Just remember, when the time comes to sell or trade-in your re-purchased vehicle, you should expect to receive less resale value, just as you did when you bought the vehicle.

My new car dealer won’t sell me a buyback and told me not to buy one.

Auto sales is a very competitive business and not all dealers are able to offer re-purchased vehicles for sale, or as a franchise agreement.  Still other dealers simply don’t want you to know the real value that a re-purchased vehicle can offer and only want to sell you a brand new vehicle that of course, costs more.

Verify and compare your auto insurance and make sure to get a full report as to what was repaired and when. When I spoke to a new dealer service adviser he said, “Sometimes when I see what was repaired, it gives me even more reason to buy the car”

Again our dealership doesn’t really sell or endorse these type of vehicles because of the stigma.

I myself have owned and driven a buyback with no real problems and I felt the satisfaction of the money saved.

Just sharing what I know. 

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