A well-stocked used auto parts yard often has a diverse collection of vehicles in its lot. It might surprise you, but some of those cars are may be “lemons” – and we aren't talking about vehicles that are simply mechanically unpredictable. We mean lemon in a legal sense, as in a car has been given legal lemon status under state or federal law.
How a Vehicle Becomes a Lemon
Cars that we colloquially call lemons are often old and worse for wear - hence their mechanical unpredictability -- but the majority of lemon cars are late model vehicles. This is because the irreparable mechanical issue or safety defect that leads them to lemon status typically starts causing problems early in the life of the vehicle.
The auto dealer tries to repair the problem and fails. Then the auto dealer tries and fails again. And yet again. At this point, the car would legally be considered a lemon in many states, assuming each repair attempt occurred when the car had less than roughly 18,000 miles on the odometer (mileage requirements vary by state). The vehicle owner would receive a replacement car, and - in most states - be required to relinquish the lemon vehicle to the auto dealer.
However, on the federal level, a car can become a lemon if it has a mechanical problem or safety defect that can't be repaired within a reasonable number of tries in a relatively short period of time, regardless of the car's mileage. The key is that the car must be under the manufacturer's original warranty. Under federal law, the vehicle owner receives a cash award for the vehicle but is entitled to keep the undriveable car.
Lemons to a Used Auto Parts Yard
Because lemon vehicles are typically cars that have an uncorrectable problem with a single component or operating system, most of their components are without problems. Lemons can't be sold unless their lemon status is disclosed, but an auto parts yard is often interested in buying the vehicles, regardless of the disclosure.
This is because lemons usually have lots of working, reliable parts that are often nearly new. All the used auto parts yard needs to do is remove the irreparable parts, so no one buys them, and disclose that the car is a lemon that has had the problematic parts removed.
If you need used car parts, getting them from a lemon vehicle isn't a bad idea, as long as the junkyard has removed the components that made the car a lemon. For more information on how junkyards process lemon cars, contact a professionally operated junkyard in your area today.
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