If you have purchased a defective vehicle, understanding if the Arizona lemon law applies to you could be the first step toward obtaining compensation. The term lemon law refers to consumer products that do not function as promised, despite numerous repairs.
The Arizona lemon laws have enacted in order to protect consumers from defective products. Different states have different statutes regarding if a vehicle qualifies as a lemon. Below you’ll find a summary of the AZ lemon law, what you should do if you think your car is a lemon, and lemon law resources.
One of the first things to consider as to whether Arizona’s lemon law
applies to your case is whether your vehicle is new vs. used. A
majority of lemon law state statutes apply only to new cars. However,
some states do have provisions under their
used car lemon laws.
The issue is specifically linked to your vehicle’s warranty. New cars are sold with vehicle warranties that specify coverage for a specified number of miles or months. It is under the umbrella of this warranty that the lemon law generally applies. For used cars sold by dealers with warranties, coverage under the state’s lemon law may apply. If your state does not have specified lemon laws for used cars and you purchased your used car with a warranty, federal lemon laws may apply.
The following are the key aspects of the lemon laws of Arizona. In order for your car to qualify under the lemon law, your vehicle must meet these conditions:
• The law applies to vehicles under 10,000 lbs. GVW, used to transport persons or property over highways, also applies to the self propelled vehicle and chassis of a motor home.
• In order to qualify, your vehicle must have a minimum of 4 repair attempts or 30 calendar days out of service.
• The coverage period is Express warranty period or 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
If the above conditions apply to your situation and your
purchased vehicle, under the Arizona lemon laws the manufacture or
dealer is required to compensate:
• The consumer by replacing the motor vehicle with a new motor
vehicle or accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and
refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including all collateral
charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the
• A reasonable allowance for use is that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer before his first written report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer, agent or dealer and during any subsequent period when the vehicle is not out of service by reason of repair.
irst, one of the most important steps if you want to consider making a lemon law claim is to keep accurate records. Keep detailed records of all problems, repairs performed, and the amount of time your car is not available for your use while the repairs are being made.
Without detailed documents, proving that your car qualifies as a lemon will be a challenge. If you did not collect documents when problems first arose, ask the dealer for the repair records as the dealer is required to provide this information to you.
To help you organize your documentation, click on this link for a repair log:
Lemon Law Repair Log
Second, in order to potentially make a claim under the lemon law of Arizona, you must communicate with the dealer attempting to fix the vehicle that you feel your car qualifies. If the dealer is not complying, contact the manufacturer directly, detailing the problem. When contacting the manufacturer, specifically ask for their procedure for making a lemon law claim. In the state of Arizona there are specific time line requirements during which communication must occur.
A final step you can take is to hire a lemon law attorney. Requesting a review or your case by a lemon law lawyer can help determine if you qualify as well as ensure that the requirements for communication are followed. The good news is that the attorney fees are generally free to the consumer. If an attorney who specializes in the Arizona lemon laws loses your case, they don’t get paid. If they win, the manufacturer pays the legal fees. Thus, if you do not feel like the dealer or manufacture has provided sufficient restitution, consulting a lemon law attorney can be worth the effort.
f your situation appears not to qualify under the Arizona lemon laws,
there may be another option. A potential resource is the
federal lemon law.
This statute is called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. In general it falls under the breach of warranty (BOW) theory. Restitution under this act is different than under than Arizona law. Instead of a refund for the defective vehicle, restitution is the difference between the Kelly blue book value of the car in excellent conditions vs. the value of the car in good or poor condition.
Again, if you are unclear if the lemon laws apply to your situation, a lemon law attorney can be consulted at no cost to you to review your situation and determine if the federal lemon law applies to your case.
If you have specific questions regarding the Arizona lemon laws, you can also contact the Attorney General’s Office at the following address:
1275 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2926
400 West Congress
South Building, Suite 315
Tucson, AZ 85701-1367
You can also visit their website at: Arizona Attorney General's Office
The Better Business Bureau also has a printable summary of the Arizona lemon laws:
BBB State Lemon Laws
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