As long as a secondhand car is sold with a written and specific warranty, it qualifies under the California Lemon Law. The car should not have been purchased for commercial purposes. As with all other applications for vehicles, the California Used Car Lemon Law only covers a secondhand car that was purchased for personal, family or household use.
Care should be taken to have the defects and inherent problems of the car established by a certified mechanic at the time of purchase. If the vehicle was bought without a warranty that covers these defects, the buyer will have a very difficult time making a case under the California Used Car Lemon Law. Unscrupulous sellers will not shy away from trying to sell a buyer a 'lemon' previously returned for these very defects.
California Used Car Lemon Law also applies to leased vehicles, as long as they have been leased under warranty. With all vehicles, such a warranty is not invalid once 18,000 miles of road use or 18 months since purchase have expired, if the warranty specifies a higher mileage or period.
As long as the first repair attempt took place within the specified warranty period, a leased or purchased vehicle can qualify under the California Used Car Lemon Law even after that period.
Basically, one can get a refund or complete, satisfactory repair for a secondhand purchased or leased vehicle as easily as one can for a brand-new car, as long as the used car was purchased for private, non-commercial use. Secondhand cars are not the only vehicles covered by the California Used Car Lemon Law. It applies equally to recreational vehicles (RVs), motor homes of all kinds, motorcycles, boats and other vehicles.