Should You Recycle a Lemon Car?

Lemon vehicles are automobiles that have a major mechanical problem or a safety defect that the auto dealer cannot correct. A lemon vehicle is designated as such under state law and federal law. Under state law, the vehicle must undergo a certain number of unsuccessful repair attempts (usually about three) within a certain range of miles (usually under 20,000). Under federal law, the car must also experience unsuccessful repair attempts. However, the vehicle can receive legal lemon status as long as it is under the auto manufacturer’s original warranty.

Selling a Lemon Car

Once you car is legally considered a lemon, you can pursue the following two remedies. Under state law, you are entitled to a replacement vehicle from the auto dealer that is similar in value and kind to the lemon. However, you must relinquish the lemon vehicle. Under federal law, you are entitled to a cash award, but you are also allowed to retain possession of the lemon vehicle.

If you have a lemon vehicle under federal law, you have the opportunity to sell it. However, selling a lemon without disclosing its status is unethical at best and illegal at worst. As long as the buyer is aware of the car’s status, the sale is legitimate. However, you are likely to find few takers, as the vehicle’s problem is often due to a malfunctioning system instead of a single part that can be replaced — a problem that the auto dealer’s diagnostic equipment cannot pinpoint.

Because they don’t want to use the vehicle as a mode of transportation — and no one else does, either — many lemon owners decide to sell the automobile to recycler. However, selling to a traditional auto recycling outfit isn’t the only option. Lemon owners can also liquidate their vehicles to junkyards that participate in the auto recycling process in two ways: by selling used auto parts to keep them in circulation, and by forwarding leftover car frames to auto recyclers.

Selling to a Junkyard

Selling a lemon car to a junkyard can have some important advantages over selling it to an auto recycler. For one, the car is typically the kind of vehicle that a junkyard likes to buy: A vehicle that has plenty of working parts despite the problem that makes it a “junk vehicle”. For another, junkyards don’t require you to remove non-recyclables from the car, whereas some auto recyclers do. A third reason to sell to a junkyard is that you may receive a better price because the value of the vehicle to the buyer is largely based on the usable auto parts it contains. As mentioned above, lemon vehicles often contain plenty of reliable, working components.

Receive an Offer Today

If you have a lemon vehicle that you won’t drive again, selling it to Wrench-A-Part is a great option for at least three reasons: We’re interested in buying lemon despite their lemon status, offer some of the most competitive prices for end-of-life vehicles, and participate in the auto recycling process in the capacities mentioned above. In addition, we offer free towing for all vehicles we buy. To receive an offer for your lemon vehicle, please contact one of our Texas locations in Austin, Belton, Holland, or Lubbock today. We look forward to hearing from you!      



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