Nearly 20 states offer consumers used car lemon law protection but not Florida

Consumers are on their own when buying used cars
Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 22:26:55-04

Jessie Nappier paid $3,000 cash for his used Toyota that now sits abandoned in the front yard. The engine died 13 miles after buying it from a used car dealer.

But the dealer told Nappier tough luck--you bought it as is. 

Elonia Taylor's SUV broke down 2 weeks after buying it from another dealer. She got the same answer.

“You bought the car as is, no warranty on the car. That's your problem.” Said Taylor.

If Nappier and Taylor bought their vehicles in 19 other states they would not be stuck with lemons because of laws protecting buyers. They at least provide some limited protections. Florida has nothing like that at all.

Six states have "Used Car Lemon Laws."  If a dealer can't fix the vehicle the first  60 days it must refund or replace it. 

13 other states have limited protections, that require a warranty. Arizona's is bare bones. Still a dealer must make major repairs  the first 15 days. Even that would have protected Nappier. 

It's customers at some Buy Here Pay Here lots who are at the highest risk, who need lemon or warranty protection. But many consumer experts say that won't happen here because of a powerful used car lobby.

The used car lemon laws cover repair and replacement from 30 to 90 days depending on the state. In Florida,  your best protection is an independent inspection, before you sign a contract.