Governor Signs Buy Here Pay Here Dealer Bills
Good news for California used car buyers. On September 30, 2012, the Governor signed two bills extending lemon law protection to persons who buy cars from the Buy Here Pay Here" dealers. The BHPH dealers sell older used cars, often junkers, to folks with bad credit or low income at high rates of interest. When the buyers default, the dealer repo's the car and sells it to someone else pocketing the down payment.
The two bills, AB 1447 and AB 1534 require BHPH dealers to offer express warranties of at least 1,000 miles and 30 days on ALL used cars they offer for sale, regardless how many miles are on the odometer or how old they are. (Other state used car lemon laws exclude older, high mileage vehicles). This also means buyers will get the benefit of the implied warranty of merchantability.
The express warranty must cover, at a minimum: engine,transmission, drive axle, front and rear wheel drive components, engine cooling system, brakes, front and rear suspension systems,steering, seatbelts, inflatable restraint systems, catalytic converter or other emissions components, heater, seals and gaskets,electrical, electronic, and computer components, alternator,generator, starter, and ignition system.
Dealers will be prohibited from requiring consumers to make payments in person (except the
downpayment/deferred downpayments) and from repossessing cars due to the failure to make a deferred downpayment in person.
The BHPH dealers must give car buyers a choice of how to be notified when they are behind on payments, and in advance of when payments are due and must give car buyers a period of at least 24 hours to continue driving a car in an emergency situation, rather than disabling it remotely, even if they are behind on their payments.
While the cars on are on the lot, dealers to post the "average market value" as determined by
KBB, Edmunds, or similar pricing service, on the vehicle itself. This will alert buyers not to overpay for the junker cars these dealers often sell.
Rosemary Shahan of CARS in Sacramento was instrumental in getting these bills through the Legislature.