Lemons Have Status Washed Clean By Switching States

In Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away, the character Tarwater is a "prophet sent to burn your eyes clean." (Yes, we're going to throw in a plug for The Finest American Novelist Who Ever Lived every chance we get). However, cars given official lemon status need no such prophet to burn their citrus taint clean; simply selling the car in another state is usually enough for a fresh start...

All 50 states have lemon laws mandating that the manufacturer buy back a new car after some threshold of problems is reached during a certain time period; at that point, the title of such a car is supposed to be slugged "LEMON," much like salvage-title cars. However, unscrupulous slimeballs enterprising car sellers have found that an out-of-state move removes the scarlet L from the record; a recent study by Experian Automotive indicates that 80% of cars branded as lemons no longer maintain any sign of that status once moved out of state. [New York Times]