What Happens to a California Lemon Law Buyback?

Lemon Law Attorney Serving Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura and San Bernardino Counties and Other Areas in California


Under the California lemon law, if a manufacturer fails to fix a defective vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer may be forced to purchase the vehicle from the consumer. When this happens, the vehicle is now the property of the car manufacturer, who understandably wants to realize some profit from the vehicle.

In order to re-sell the vehicle, the manufacturer is required by California law to clearly identify the vehicle as a lemon law buyback.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs has created a website with information about lemon law buybacks and how to identify them on a car dealer’s lot. Here is an overview of what the manufacturer is required to include for the lemon buyback vehicle:

• Title must be in the manufacturer’s name
• Certificate of Title and Registration Certificate must be marked Lemon Law Buyback
• A Lemon Law Buyback Decal should be attached to either the left door frame, left side of vehicle, or the frame of a major entry

If you are sold a lemon law buyback vehicle, you are required to receive a hard copy notification of the defect status of the vehicle. This notification must contain the following information:

  • Year, make and model of the vehicle
  • VIN Number
  • Title is marked Lemon Law Buyback
  • Known defects experienced by previous owner
  • Repair attempts made to address the known defects

If you have any questions or concerns about the California lemon laws or lemon law buybacks, please contact the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver. Call 855-341-2611 for a free consultation with a skilled California lemon law attorney with over twenty years of experience representing consumers.