Are you planning to purchase a car and you noticed that the car has a lemon title? If this is the case and you are looking for a way out of this situation and whether or not purchasing a lemon is a good idea, you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic when it comes to lemon vehicles.
Getting a lemon is not for everybody. Many people when they purchase a vehicle are trying to avoid any trouble with their future car. And that’s why there are lemon laws that we are going to discuss later in the article.
But for some people, getting a lemon is a challenge. Some people want to solve puzzles on a daily basis and the lemon cars are a sort of a puzzle. A ton of mechanics couldn’t diagnose these cars. But if you are considering yourself to be a fit for this task, you should go for it. And we are going to help you out with that if you are with that mindset. We will help you understand lemons and why they are called like that. After reading this article, you will become a lemon professional.
First, we are going to cover what is the lemon law. Then we will cover the lemon title and what cars are considered to be lemons. Later in the article, we will learn what to do to avoid getting yourself around a lemon. Then we will take a look at what to do in the case you want a lemon at a discount price. So, if you want to learn more on this topic, follow along.
What Is The Lemon Law?
Before we understand what is a lemon title, we need to understand what is lemon law. So, what is a lemon law?
Lemon laws are most known in the US from where they got the name. These are state laws that every state has. So, when a consumer purchases a vehicle and that vehicle is not up to the task and is full of problems. The purchaser can return that vehicle to the dealership and get their money back or get a replacement vehicle.
Every state has its own law and in each state, there are different regulations based on which you can call yourself upon the lemon law and replace the vehicle.
These lemon laws are a sort of guarantee that you will not end up with a car that is not working as it should from the factory. These cases are rare but they exist and you need to call yourself to these laws if you want to get justice.
What is good with these laws is that they go out of the scope of the warranty that you get with the car. Meaning that if the product is not well up to the task, you will get your money back or you will get a replacement vehicle with the same specifications that is working well.
Most of these laws are only for cars and only for individuals. Meaning that if you are a company you cannot call yourself up to these laws.
Some states even have broad lemon laws. Meaning that these laws are covering a variety of products like electronics, appliances, pets, boats. A lot of things. But what is a lemon title? Well, that’s what we are going to cover next.
What Is A Lemon Title?
Now since we understood what are lemon laws we can learn what is a lemon title. So, what is a lemon title?
A lemon title is a car title that was given to a vehicle that was recalled multiple times to the dealership for a number of defects and the dealership hasn’t found the solution of how to solve the problem that the vehicle has.
In order for a vehicle to get the lemon title, it has to be repaired during its warranty period. If the vehicle is out of the warranty period and you take it to a dealership, the vehicle will not get a lemon title.
As we said, these vehicles went to the dealership multiple times, and every time after the “repair” the vehicle kept having these same problems and pissed off the owner.
So, much that he had to take these problems to court where he could get their money back under the state lemon law that allows you to get your money or a replacement vehicle.
Nobody wants to take these things that far. But in some instances, it is needed to protect yourself and end up with a good running vehicle and not a basket case.
Then this vehicle was given a lemon title. The dealership can still sell this vehicle. But only with a lemon title. So, the next owner will be fully aware that he is buying a lemon car that has a number of issues. These cars are often offered at a greatly discounted price. But more on that, we are going to cover in the following chapter.
What Is A Lemon Car?
So, we learned what is a lemon law and lemon title. Now let’s elaborate more on what is a lemon car. This is extra useful for the ones who are into buying a car right now.
In general, a lemon car is a car that has a lemon title. As we discussed above, this car was taken to the dealership countless times and the dealership never had a clue what is going on with the car the customer has exercised the lemon law in its state and got their money back. Then the car got the lemon title.
But this term lemon car is much broader than it seems. According to the car community, any beater and unreliable car is a lemon. Yup, that’s right.
Many people consider unreliable and problematic models of cars to be lemons. Even though they don’t have a lemon title. So, if you are interested in some car that is known to have problems with the transmission. Someone that is into cars will tell you “Hey, don’t buy that car, these are real lemons, get a Prius instead”. You get my point.
All problematic vehicles are considered to be lemons nowadays. Also, older cars are as well considered to be lemons since they break all the time and always something has to be done to them.
There are even races called 24 Hours Of Lemons, a mockery of 24 Hours Of LeMans, where they race cars worth up to $500. A really fun series, there are a ton of strange cars that are purchased for $500 and installed a roll cage, and turned into a race car.
Anyways, we covered the lemon cars and lemon title. Now let’s cover the lemon title car advantages and disadvantages.
Lemon Car Advantages & Disadvantages
We covered the lemon title and lemon cars. Now let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of lemon cars in general.
There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to these cars and some of them might even tempt you to buy one for yourself. So, let’s cover them in the following two chapters.
Lemon Car Title Advantages
The only advantage of cars with a lemon title is that they are extremely cheap to afford. These are relatively new vehicles with a few thousand miles that are almost in mint condition.
In some cases, there are really strange customers that overreact to some things and exercise their right on the lemon law.
So, it doesn’t always mean that you will end up with a real lemon. In some instances, there are minor defects to the vehicle that make it not perform like other cars in its class. Like build issues, let’s say bodywork problems. Some electrical gremlins. You get my point.
If you are prepared to get a lemon, then you know that you will have to deal with some of these issues that the vehicle has. And what is strangest is that these lemons are very unpredictable. But more on that in the following chapters.
What we want to say is that these cars are able to be purchased at some dealerships for a fraction of the price and they are still relatively new. Let’s say you can get them at a 10k discount or even more in some cases.
But you get the lemon title and also a limited warranty. Meaning that you will not be able to return it. So, it’s up to you whether or not you really want the car in the first place. If you are an experienced mechanic this will be no big issue since you will know what you are getting yourself into. Now let’s elaborate on the disadvantages of lemon title.
Lemon Car Title Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage of getting a car with a lemon title is that you don’t know what you are getting yourself into. So, if you are not experienced when it comes to cars, this might be a very unpleasant experience.
You might get the car at a big discount. But, there is always a but. Some of these things that these cars are suffering from can be really difficult to sort out. Meaning that they have some hidden issues that you will spend thousands of dollars to fix.
Most of these issues are electric gremlins, these issues are one of the worst when it comes to sorting a car. Mostly caused by improper factory quality control and using subpar build materials or a problem that happened when the car was put together on the assembly line.
The biggest problems that you might face with these cars are electricals starting to work whenever they want, car stalling on the road, the car lurching, and acting weird. Appliances inside bugged out. That’s why lemon law buyback cars can be tricky to deal with.
Another thing is their resale price. They are not appreciated since they have the lemon title. So, you cannot expect them to sell well on the second-hand market since most people are running away from problems. Whenever they see a lemon title, people freak out. Or they haggle with you until you sell them the car for the price they demand. Basically, you don’t have a negotiating position with lemon buyback cars.
But if you really want a lemon buyback vehicle with a lemon title, in the following chapters we are going to elaborate on this in detail and learn how to get a good deal when it comes to a lemon title car.
How To Buy A Car With A Lemon Title?
As we told you, lemon law cars or lemon title cars are sold at a relatively discounted price. This price can be even $10,000 or more than the regular MSRP price for that specific model. And these cars are basically new with low miles that need to be sorted out before they are resold again.
And by sorted we mean that all of the problems that the car has, need to be removed and solved. So, the new owner should have a pleasant experience after purchasing the car.
But this isn’t always the case and there are risks that the problems are not properly fixed or not fixed at all. Mostly because the fixes for these problems require more money to be invested in the car than the actual value of the vehicle.
Or in some cases, the vehicle can show hidden symptoms that appear after 100 miles or more driving it. And that is the most common thing with these cars.
Mechanics at the dealership inspect the car and they couldn’t determine what is the problem since everything is alright. But the customer says differently because they drive the car and experience these things in it. That’s why beware when purchasing these cars with a lemon title. But on what you should pay most attention to? That’s what we are going to cover next.
Things To Do Before Purchase A Lemon Title Vehicle
Now let’s say that you are at the dealership and want to get a lemon title car also known as lemon law buyback vehicle. There are things that you need to do in order to make sure that the problem on this vehicle were sorted out and you don’t end up in a money pit.
But what things do you need to do before you purchase a lemon title vehicle? Well, that’s what we are going to cover next in detail.
1. Carfax Report
The first thing you need to do before purchasing a vehicle with a lemon title is to perform a Carfax report on this vehicle. Since you cannot trust the dealership. They will do anything to sell you this car and make money from you.
You need to perform this Carfax report and learn more about the vehicle history. When it was first purchased and how many owners did it have. What problems were reported, etc. With a simple report, you will get all the essential information you need on this car.
So, this is a no-brainer that will save you thousands and will avoid you ending up with a “lemon”. Because the vehicle is on sale, the problems should be sorted out and not there inside of the lemon title car.
2. Test Drive The Car Before Purchase
When purchasing a car with a lemon title, you need to test the car beforehand. Meaning that you need to test every single component and make sure that everything works right.
If it doesn’t you should tell the dealership and explain the situation to them and see their response. Also, check the Carfax report and see if these things were sorted out on the car and when they were sorted. Make sure that these specific components are working right and do not have a problem. Still, there are some hidden gremlins that can appear on the car after you made the purchase.
Test drive the car and see if there are any problems related to the ones that were reported on it. If there were powertrain problems, you can test the vehicle and see how everything is running. If you are feeling that you are not up to the task, you can ask a friend that has experience with cars to test out the car for you and make sure that everything works well on the lemon title car.
3. Perform A Pre-Purchase Inspection
And the last thing you can do when it comes to a lemon title car is to perform a pre-purchase inspection on the car.
There are a ton of services online where skilled mechanics arrive on the spot. Especially for these lemon title cars and inspect them in depth.
These mechanics know every bits and pieces of these cars and will tell you right away if the problem was sorted or not. But this still depends much on the dealership that wants to sell their car. Some of them are not that friendly and will not allow other people to do inspections in their dealership. And I understand them, it’s a security thing.
But if you are purchasing a second-hand car and you think that you are dealing with a problematic lemon, then these services are always welcomed. You might pay some money. But you will end up with a good vehicle that doesn’t have a lot of problems under the hood. And also it doesn’t have a lemon title. Now we covered this topic in-depth and let’s answer some common questions.
Are All Lemons Defective Cars?
Well, most of the lemon titles cars are defective. But not all of them. Some owners simply are sometimes too picky and some features like start-stop technology misinterpret as a lemon vehicle. There are all kinds of owners and sometimes we have to deal with it.
But in most of the cases, there are some factory defects on these cars and some dealerships that do not want or do not know how to fix and people just end up fed up with the situation and they decide to exercise their right on the lemon law. And I quite understand them since you paid a ton of money on this thing and it better work. There are cars that are worth 100k and this product should never malfunction and develop problems at least in the first 5 years or 30,000 miles or so.
Do You Get A Warranty After Purchasing A Lemon Title Vehicle?
Yes, you get the same factory warranty whenever you get a lemon title vehicle. If the vehicle still is under warranty. As you know, the vehicle was purchased before and this warranty is still expiring.
But most of the vehicles get at least 12 months of warranty or 12,000 miles on that specific defect that activated the buyback option for the customer.
How To Make Sure That You Don’t Purchase A Lemon?
This is a good question when it comes to the lemon title cars. You just cannot make a mistake if you open your eyes and check the documents.
Whenever a vehicle is a lemon law buyback there will be a sticker on that specific vehicle that will indicate this.
In addition to this, you will see the Lemon Law Buyback phrase in the car title. Something that we covered above.
And in addition to this, you will also see the Lemon Law Buyback in the registration papers of this specific vehicle. Lemons everywhere, you just can’t miss it. That’s why it is often advisable to have your eyes open and always check the documentation and avoid ending up with a lemon title car by accident.
Facts: Lemon Cars – How to Avoid Buying One and What to Do If You Have
- A lemon car is a vehicle that has a significant defect affecting its safety, value, or use and cannot be fixed by the manufacturer within a specified amount of time or attempts.
- Lemon laws vary by state and may entitle you to a refund or replacement if you purchase a lemon car.
- The eligibility for lemon law coverage is affected by factors such as the type of car, timeline and mileage, and the cost and number of repair attempts.
- You can check your car’s make and model for previous manufacturer defects, technical service bulletins, or recalls at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- A vehicle history report (VHR) can help you spot potential red flags in a car’s history such as previous accidents, manufacturer recalls, changes in ownership, odometer discrepancies, and repair history.
- During a test drive, look for red flags such as unusual sounds, smells, and exhaust smoke.
- If you’re considering buying a used car, you should have it professionally inspected by an independent mechanic before making a purchase.
- If you buy a lemon car, you can reach out to the dealer or manufacturer for help, file in small claims court, use a dispute resolution organization, or contact your state attorney general.
- You can try to talk to the seller about the problems the car is having, request a replacement or refund in writing, and keep track of all repairs and communication.
- Buying a lemon car on purpose may be a risk, as these cars are usually sold as is, and may have undiscovered issues or additional problems.
Conclusion To Lemon Title
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the lemon title and overall when it comes to purchasing lemon cars.
First, we learned what is the lemon law, what is a lemon title and what a lemon car. Then we covered the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a lemon buyback vehicle.
Later we covered the things you need to do before you purchase a lemon car. And that is to perform a Carfax report on it, test drive it, and do a pre-purchase inspection. Make sure that everything is sorted out with that specific car and avoid ending up with a money pit full of problems. Lastly, we answered some common questions when it comes to the lemon title.