Lemon Law Buybacks…

What are Lemon Law Buybacks? A Lemon Law Buyback Vehicle is a vehicle that has been reacquired by the vehicle manufacturer because of specified warranty defect(s). The vehicle must be registered in the manufacturer’s name prior to resale to a member of the public.

Manufacturer requirements:

Upon reacquiring a vehicle because of specified warranty defect(s), the manufacturer must:

  • Request that the Certificate of Title and Registration Certificate be marked “Lemon Law Buyback”.

  • Title the vehicle in the manufacturer’s name.

  • Attach a decal to the vehicle, which reads, “Lemon Law Buyback”.  The decal will be affixed to the:

    • Left door frame, or

    • Frame of the major entry into the vehicle, such as the front right door frame of a motorhome, or

    • Left side of a vehicle without doors, such as a motorcycle.

Additional requirements: 

When a warranty return vehicle is sold, the seller must notify the buyer/transferee on letter size paper of the following:

  • The year, make, model, and vehicle identification number.

  • The fact that the vehicle title is marked, “Lemon Law Buyback”.

  • The nature of each non-conformity reported by the vehicle’s original buyer or lessee.

  • Any repairs made to the vehicle in an attempt to correct each non-conformity.

How to determine if a vehicle was a Lemon Law Buyback:

  • Check for display of the decal described in the previous section.

  • Look at the vehicle’s Certificate of Title and registration to see if it contains the notation, “Lemon Law Buyback”.

  • Ask the dealer/seller if the vehicle was a Lemon Law Buyback. Law requires the dealer to disclose if it was.

What you need if you purchase a Lemon Law Buyback Vehicle:

Prior to buying a Lemon Law Buyback Vehicle, you must be notified in writing by the seller of the non- conformities stated by the original owner.

If you decide to purchase the vehicle, the usual transfer documents and associated fees will be required. This includes the:

  • Certificate of Title properly endorsed for transfer.

  • Transfer fee.

  • Sales/use tax, if applicable.

  • Smog certification, if applicable.

  • Odometer Disclosure Statement.

Find out if your vehicle qualifies for California lemon law.
(Your vehicle is a 2018 to 2025 only, purchased or leased NEW, USED, or CPO USED from a dealership in California.)