Penalties Under California Lemon Law

Penalties Under California Lemon Law

For those who purchase a new vehicle and find that the car is dangerous to drive or to use reliably, looking for a resolution may seem challenging.

The California Lemon Law is available to assist California in resolving a situation involving a defective vehicle. However, the potential resolution may not be what the auto owner expects. 

When considering the penalties under California Lemon Law, the answer to potential penalties depends on whether you are the buyer with a defective vehicle or the manufacturer attempting to address such an issue for the auto buyer.

For The Auto Buyer

While the auto buyer is not charged legally for pursuing the resolution of a defective vehicle, certain aspects of the Lemon Law may not seem in favor of the auto buyer.

The Truth About “Certified” Used Vehicles

Car manufacturers and dealers sometimes come up with a claim that their used cars are “certified.” Generally, though, certified vehicles have undergone an inspection, are current model-year vehicles, have been repaired, and may come with some warranty.

Vehicles certified by the dealer may undergo a limited inspection process and may not have a warranty.  

Adding to it, if a manufacturer or dealer fails to inspect and repair a vehicle before selling it as a certified vehicle, a buyer’s way out will vary from state to state. Many states have no laws regulating the sale of certified used cars.

 Buyers in those states may have to prove fraud—intent by the manufacturer or dealer to cheat them—and the certifier can always come up with the argument that it was just a mistake. Otherwise, the certifier may be held only to the terms appearing in the written contract or warranty.

 States like California have passed laws that regulate the advertising and sale of certified vehicles. California, for example, prohibits vehicles with certain kinds of damage, among other things, from being approved, and sellers are to provide buyers with a copy of the certification report before the sale under these regulations. 

In short, the basic fact that a vehicle is being sold as a “certified pre-owned vehicle” does not mean much. A consumer should still find out:

  1. Which components were inspected,
  2. Which components were repaired/reconditioned,
  3. How long the warranty lasts, and
  4. Whether the vehicle sustained flood damage,
  5. Whether the vehicle comes with a warranty from the manufacturer,
  6. Whether the vehicle was in an accident,
  7. Which components are covered by the warranty.


The resolution of a situation involving a defective vehicle may be lengthy since the requirements to determine the vehicle defective do require a time commitment and attempts to have the car repaired. However, following the time and effort, the resolution may be completed satisfactorily with the help of the Scott Law Group P.C.

If you need a professional lemon lawyer for your case, contact us right away!

Scott Law Group P.C.

(619) 345-5599