What is a "Certified" Pre-Owned ("CPO") Vehicle?

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Overview: California's Lemon Law

Certified Pre-owned ("CPO") Vehicles

    The California Vehicle Code has numerous provisions that apply to licensed automobile dealers.  One of the many provisions pertain to advertising or selling a used vehicle as "certified" or use any similar descriptive term that implies the vehicle has been certified to meet the terms of a used vehicle certification program.

    The law requires the Dealer to give you, prior to sale, a "completed inspection report" indicating all the components inspected.  This means dealers have to provide consumers with information about the results of the inspection for each particular component. Sellers cannot merely list components that have been inspected, thereby leaving the consumer ignorant as to whether the various components satisfactorily passed the inspection.  This requirement guarantees consumers the right to know whether the individual components of a car have been found functional as the result of an inspection.

    The law makes it illegal for a car dealer to advertise for sale, or sell a used vehicle as "certified" if the vehicle has odometer discrepancies, was repurchased under a Federal or State warranty law, the title is branded with "Lemon Law Buyback," "Salvage," or similar, the vehicle was involved in a prior accident, fire, or flood that after repair substantially impairs the vehicle's use or safety, or had prior frame damage.  It also makes it illegal to sell the "certified" vehicle "AS-IS," which means it has to come with a warranty.

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