In California, individuals who purchase both new and used vehicles might have protection under the state's lemon law. However, this is not the case in most other states. Of course, this doesn't mean that there aren't ways to get a refund or other relief if a car is defective. For instance, the dealer may offer a warranty on a used car. A dealer may also decide to offer a refund or replace a defective vehicle.
A dealership in North Carolina did give a customer a refund after the BMW that he purchased for his son was found to have metal in the oil by a mechanic. The mechanic was inspecting the vehicle after the engine blew out, and the incident occurred about two months after it left the dealer lot. Although there was a warranty on the vehicle, the dealer refused to honor it.
Frustrated by the dealer's response, the man who purchased the BMW reached out to a local media outlet. The owner of the dealership eventually admitted that the warranty should have been honored even though it was offered by mistake. He acknowledged that it was always important to do the right thing for a customer. The family bought a new car for their son that had a clear written warranty and will receive about $16,000 from the dealership.
If a consumer experiences a financial loss because of a defective vehicle, the manufacturer of that vehicle may be responsible for making the consumer whole. An attorney may explain the state's lemon law and how it may apply in a case. Cases may be resolved in court or through negotiations.
Source: FOX 46, "Car dealership refuses to honor warranty on "lemon" vehicle, until FOX 46 steps in", Matthew Grant, April 25, 2019