Non-disclosure of a “lemon law” buy-back
Vehicles that have previously been repurchased by the manufacturer as “lemon law” buy-backs may be sold with proper disclosure. A consumer is entitled to full disclosure if the vehicle has been previously repurchased as a “lemon.” This includes an accurate disclosure of the prior problems with the vehicle.
It is a violation of the California Vehicle Code for the holder of any dealer’s license to advertise for sale or sell a used vehicle as “certified” or use any similar descriptive term in the advertisement or the sale of a used vehicle that implies the vehicle has been certified to meet the terms of a used vehicle certification program if the dealer knows or should have known that the vehicle was reacquired by the vehicle’s manufacturer or a dealer pursuant to state or federal warranty laws and/or if the title to the vehicle has been inscribed with the notation “Lemon Law Buyback,” “manufacturer repurchase,” “salvage,” “junk,” “nonrepairable,” “flood,” or similar title designation required by this state or another state.
In the event that the dealership fails to act in conformity with these laws, the consumer is entitled to remedies to include rescission of the purchase agreement and payment for actual damages, consequential damages, punitive damages, and costs of litigation. In most instances we are able to recover attorneys’ fees as either consequential damages or punitive damages.
Clients purchased a 2005 Alpine MH from the Defendant for $180,000. Shortly thereafter Clients experienced various problems with the RV. Subsequently, it was discovered that the previous owner had returned the vehicle to the Defendant because of similar non-conformities and that the RV should have been branded as a “lemon”. The Defendant failed to disclose the prior problems with the subject vehicle at the time of sale to the Client.