The California Vehicle Buyer’s Bill of Rights (CVBBR) is a set of statutes memorialized in California’s Vehicle Code Section 11713.18-11713.21. Some parts of the CVBBR apply to new vehicles only, while other ones apply to used vehicles only, and some parts apply to both new and used vehicles sold at retail in California.
The first Section, 11713.18, applies to used vehicles sold at retail, by a California dealership, in regards to advertising a vehicle as “certified” or using similar descriptive words in advertising used vehicles. “A California dealership, for example, cannot use the words ‘certified,’ or similar words when advertising a used vehicle, if the dealer knows or should have known that the vehicle has had its odometer rolled back; the dealer knows or should have known the vehicle was a vehicle manufacturer reacquired vehicle, also known as a lemon; the vehicle has been damaged in an impact, fire, or flood, and as a consequence, this impairs the vehicle’s use or safety; the dealer knows or should have known that the vehicle has sustained frame damage; the dealer prior to the sale does not provide an inspection report, indicating what was inspected to make the vehicle a certified vehicle; the dealer disclaims any warranties of merchantability concerning the vehicle, or the vehicle is sold ‘as is.’ This Section does not apply to motorcycles or vehicles that are used off-highway.” (Summary of CVC 11713.18, some parts omitted).
The second Section, 11713.19, applies to both new and used vehicles and is about the financial disclosures a California vehicle dealership has to provide a consumer. Think about the old and famous “bait and switch” negotiation technique. For example, a “California vehicle dealership cannot negotiate the sale or lease to a California consumer of a vehicle under certain terms and then sell or lease the vehicle to the consumer under other terms by adding charges to the contract for goods or services without disclosing these goods or services, and without obtaining the consumer’s consent. Note that this section also does not apply to motorcycles or vehicles that are used off highways.” (Summary of CVC 11713.19, some parts omitted). For example, some car dealerships are notorious for adding to the purchase or lease contract “extended warranties” or an alarm system. The “extras” have to be disclosed to the consumer and the consumer has consented in writing to these “extras.”
The third section applies to both, news and used vehicles, and it pertains to the series of required disclosures a vehicle dealership has to provide a consumer in the connection of buying or leasing a vehicle, for “personal, family, or household use,” from a California dealership. Noteworthy here again is that this Section “does not apply to motorcycles or vehicles that are used off-highway.” (Summary of CVC 11713.20, some parts omitted).
The fourth and last Section of the CVBBR has to do with a contract cancellation option agreement. In essence, a California vehicle dealership has to offer a consumer who buys or leases a vehicle with an option to cancel the purchase or lease agreement “without cause.” “This Section applies to used vehicles bought at retail, to an individual for personal, family, or household use, and does not apply to vehicles having a purchase price of $40,000.00 or more, motorcycles, or recreational vehicles.” (Summary of CVC11713.21, some parts omitted).
Luis Aguirre is a California lemon law, breach of vehicle warranty, and breach of vehicle contract attorney with deep knowledge in the area of the California Vehicle Buyer’s Bill of Rights.
Luis Aguirre California Lemon Law Attorney 26060 Acero Suite 111
Mission Viejo, CA 92691 Telephone: 949.342.6199.