Is the Purchase of Used Rental Cars Protected Under Lemon Law?

Purchasing a vehicle that was once part of a rental car fleet could offer a great bargain price. However, just like any used car purchase, you’ll want to make sure that it’s going to run properly and not give you any problems that can cause costly repairs. Here’s what you need to know about California lemon law and used rental car purchases.

The Car Dealer’s Responsibility

Car dealerships have a responsibility to disclose specific information about the vehicles they sell which includes the following:

  • Previously used as a rental
  • Salvaged
  • Damaged in a flood
  • Vehicle was rebuilt
  • The vehicle was involved in an accident
  • Hidden damage
  • If the warranty on the vehicle has expired

It is illegal for a car dealer to sell you a damaged vehicle without disclosing the above. If you suspect that the dealership has not been forthcoming about the history of the car you purchased and you are having persistent problems, you may be covered under California lemon law.

Common Problems in Rental Cars

When rental car companies want to update their fleet to newer models, they may sell their cars directly to consumers or to dealerships at auction. While you may get a lower price on the purchase of a used rental car, it’s important to know the following common problems:

  • Air-bag defects
  • Mold in air conditioners
  • Antilock brake malfunctions
  • Paint that's cosmetically inferior or that doesn't protect the vehicle
  • Electrical issues
  • Leaks in the fuel injection system
  • Engines that stall

If any of the above problems have been caused by owner negligence, then the vehicle may not be covered under California lemon law.

What to Do After Purchasing an Unreliable Used Rental Car

If your recent rental car purchase has been unreliable and you’ve returned it for warranty repair by the manufacturer numerous times, you may be entitled to a buyback or replacement. Used car lemon cases can be complicated, so it’s critical to have a California lemon law attorney assist you in increasing your chance of a favorable outcome.

If your vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty or if you have a written warranty issued by the dealer, then it may be covered under California lemon law. Norman Taylor & Associates has more than 50 years of combined experience in helping consumers receive refunds or replacements for their defective vehicles. Contact us today at (888) 449-7639 for a free case evaluation.

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