How Does the Used Car Lemon Law Protect When You Have A Dealer Warranty?
When dealers provide a warranty on a used vehicle, you are protected as a consumer in two ways. First and foremost, a dealer warranty protects the parts and components of a used vehicle much in the same way that a warranty for a new vehicle would. The range of components may be more limited as compared to a new vehicle, but the warranty functions much the same; the dealership must repair within a reasonable number of attempts or offer a refund/replacement.
The other way that you’re covered is that all used cars sold in California with a dealer warranty of any type are protected by the state’s lemon law statute that imposes an “implied warranty of merchantability”. This implied warranty lasts for a minimum of thirty days; if the dealer’s warranty lasts for longer than thirty days, then the implied warranty follows suit for the same period.
The strongest benefit of this implied warranty is that, while dealer warranties may only extend to certain components of the vehicle, the implied warranty spans the entirety of the vehicle. This may sound like pure gold, but it should be noted that the implied warranty is as basic as it can get. It only states that the vehicle be safe and reliable to use during the warranty period, so any type of defect that cannot be shown to affect the safety or maneuverability of the vehicle will not fall under the implied warranty. If, however, something like the brakes, which may not be listed in the dealer warranty, is not functioning properly during the dealer warranty, the existence of the dealer warranty will confer the implied warranty, which will cover the brakes and entitle the vehicle owner to a repair or refund. The implied warranty may also waive certain fees or deductibles that are listed in the dealer warranty.