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The lemon law also applies to both used goods and leases. The big question is whether the defective goods are still covered by a warranty. Because leases generally only apply to new goods, any defect is likely to fall within the warranty. With regard to used goods, however, that's often not the case. If you bought an old clunker that turned out to have several issues, the lemon law probably won't save you. But if your used vehicle was bought at a dealer and only a few years old, it’s likely still covered.


Let’s say you bought a used vehicle over four years old with 65,000 miles. Then, within a year of your purchase, you had to return to the dealer several times for repairs. Here, because of the vehicle’s age and mileage, the bumper-to-bumper warranty probably no longer applies. However, it’s possible other warranties apply, such as the powertrain warranty. If the dealer works on your vehicle for free, it’s a good clue a warranty still exists.


Also, even if lemon law doesn’t apply, you may have a different legal claim. For example, if the dealer lied about different things when you purchased the vehicle, the dealer is liable for fraud. Automobile or dealer fraud, although often tied to lemon law, is different—in sum, you sue dealerships for misrepresentation.

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