A lemon law buyback is a vehicle that has been repurchased by the manufacturer after a lemon law dispute and that is now being put up for sale once again. Why would you buy a vehicle that was branded a Lemon and returned to the manufacturer? Well, for one thing, CA Lemon Law buybacks are resold at significantly discounted prices. We’re talking thousands of dollars (sometimes ten thousand or more) below MSRP for a car that’s often practically new. For many prospective car buyers, especially those looking to purchase an expensive luxury car like a Mercedes or a BMW, the offer can be especially enticing. But of course there are risks to purchasing a buyback. If you’re thinking of buying one, here are some facts to consider before you make the purchase.

The Original Defect Might or Might not be Fixed
Just because a manufacturer has put a Lemon Law buyback up for sale again does not mean that the original defect has been repaired. This is because manufacturers and dealerships are not required by law to fix the problem before reselling the vehicle. Their only legal responsibility is to disclose the fact that the car is a Lemon Law buyback. As most people know, there are unscrupulous car dealers out there who may mislead customers to hide the fact that the car’s defect remains untreated, all just so they can make the sale.

How to Avoid Buying a Defective Buyback
If you’re considering purchasing a Lemon Law buyback, find out every detail about the car’s history. What was the defect and did it get fixed by the manufacturer or dealership before the car was put up for sale again? Never, of course, purchase a buyback that has not been fully repaired. And if you discover that the car had a major defect, the savings might not be worth the risks, even if the defective part was replaced. For example, a car that was returned due to serious brake problems might not be a good buy, even if it’s being sold at a drastically discounted price. If the car was returned because of a minor defect, like faulty wipers, then it may be a good purchase. In some cases, Lemon Law buybacks are cars that were returned due to a technicality in the California Lemon Law. For example, if a car has a minor defect, but due to the owner’s neglect it was left in the shop for more than 30 days, it can qualify as a Lemon and may be returned in exchange for a full refund. There might not be much else wrong with this car, but because it has been branded a Lemon, its price must be lowered when resold.

Does the Buyback Have a Warranty
Lemon Law buybacks are sold as used cars, and as long as they come with an express written warranty, they are protected under California Used Car Lemon Law. This is why the most important thing to do after checking the car’s history is to make sure it is being sold with a warranty that explicitly covers the car’s original defect. The warranty does not have to be the original manufacturer’s warranty. It can be a warranty issued by the dealership, even, as long as it is explicitly expressed in writing.