Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles – Do They Insure You Won’t Get a Lemon?

Serving Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino Counties & Nearby Areas of California

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times by Ken Bensinger discusses the fairly recent popularity of “certified pre-owned” vehicles that are in the used car sales market and whether these cars are any more or less likely to end up being certified used car lemons.

In 2007, 1.6 million of these certified pre owned vehicles were sold in the United States. The majority of these automobiles are no more than 6 or 7 years old and have relatively low mileage. Most all of them carry extended warranties and are inspected by dealer mechanics to pass a factory checklist. Any necessary repairs and upgrades are then made. For this reason, the average CPO vehicle costs about $1700 more than a comparable one that isn’t certified.

The extended warranties on these vehicles is the main benefit of purchasing certified pre-owned vehicles. The warranties themselves, however, vary widely depending on the brand of car. BMW, for example, extends coverage to six years or 100,000 miles from the date the car was sold new, while Dodge offers only a three-month or 3,000 mile extension from the date the certified car was purchased.

“At the end of the day, what you’re buying is the warranty,” says Rob Gentile, a California used car fraud specialist at Consumer Reports.

So does purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle insure that your car won’t be a lemon? The answer is clearly no. While CPO vehicles do tend to be in better shape than your standard used cars, there is no guarantee that the vehicle will be free of defects. As with all car purchases, it is advisable to have your mechanic check to make sure the car is in as good a shape as the CPO checklists promise. You can ask to see a copy of the inspection sheet, which should detail the entire inspection process and indicate any repairs made. Armed with this information, your mechanic will be able to give the car a more thorough examination, helping to insure that you don’t end up with a lemon.

If you think the used car you bought is a lemon and you want your money back or another car, you should contact the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver today for a free, half hour consultation with one of our experienced California Lemon Law attorneys. You can fill out our confidential online contact form, or call (855) 341-2611 or (818) 597-2610 to contact us.

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, April 16, 2008