Lemon laws for used-car buyers only exist in six states as of March 2015. These states provide a statutory used-car warranty based on the age or mileage of the vehicle. If the vehicle exhibits issues during the warranty phase, the dealer must fix the problem or replace the vehicle.
Lemon laws were designed to protect new car buyers from being stuck with unreliable vehicles or vehicles with repair costs that are higher than the price of the car itself. These laws exist in all 50 states in the nation, however, lemon laws for used cars only exist in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico and New York. The frequency and severity of used-car buyer issues in these states lead to the drafting of these laws to protect consumers.
At least seven other states have some other form of used-car buyer protection. States such as Maine, Illinois and Arizona have laws that establish a warranty period and minimum standards for the sale of used vehicles. In addition, states such as North Carolina and California have created laws that apply to used-car buyers in very specific circumstances in an attempt to help protect car buyers. Despite these laws, many states provide very little protection from the many ways used-car buyers can be swindled.