If a vehicle was repurchased under the California Lemon Law for a defect by either the vehicle's manufacturer or dealer, then the Vehicle's Manufacturer is required to brand that Vehicle's Title as a "Lemon Law Buyback" and to affix a "Lemon Law Buyback" decal to the vehicle.
The Manufacturer of the vehicle, under the CA Lemon Law, must also add a one year warranty covering the defects that the vehicle was repurchased for, and the buyer of the previously repurchased Lemon Vehicle must be given a disclosure form to sign showing that the buyer was informed that the vehicle was a Lemon Law Buyback and include an accurate disclosure of the vehicle's prior problems.
Lemon Laundering is the resale of defective vehicles to unsuspecting buyers without disclosing the vehicles' prior history. While the recycling of lemon vehicles does happen at the dealership Level, quite often the manufacturer will send these defective vehicles to wholesale auctions where covering up the vehicles' history is much easier or they will resell a vehicle in a state that does not require title branding.
If a Manufacturer agrees to repurchase a vehicle prior to a court ordering to do so, then the manufacturer will often call the buyback "good-will" and claim there was nothing seriously wrong with the car, but did so to create good-will, buy peace of mind or to simply resolve a disputed claim outside of court. The Manufacturer will often have the consumer sign a confidentiality agreement requiring that the settlement as well as all considerations and nature of negotiations remain confidential. This can allows for the Lemon Vehicle to sometimes be recycled at auction where the Vehicle's Lemon History is never disclosed.
Another lemon laundering tactic involves dealerships assisting Manufacturers in circumventing the California Lemon Law by telling owners of defective vehicles that their vehicles don't qualify under the CA Lemon Law, but instead offer the unknowing owner a trade-in bonus or allowance towards getting a replacement vehicle. This often happens on behalf of the manufacturer even though dealerships usually have access to a vehicle's complete prior service history in what is known as a “warranty history report” to determine if a defective vehicle meets the requirements of the CA Lemon Law
If you suspect that your used vehicle was an undisclosed Lemon Law Buyback, Manufacturer Buyback or Warranty Return, or if you have a defective vehicle that a dealership says doesn't qualify for protection under the CA Lemon Law, then give us a call at (888) 536-6628 or fill out our FREE Vehicle Evaluation Form and one of our CA Dealer Fraud Attorneys will review your case to discuss what legal options are available to you.