Could the Arkansas lemon law help you resolve your car issue? If you have purchased or leased a defective vehicle, understanding if the lemon laws of Arkansas applies to you could be the first step toward obtaining compensation. The term lemon law refers to consumer products that are defective or do not function despite numerous repairs.
Lemon laws have been enacted to protect consumers. States have different laws regarding if a car qualifies as a lemon. Below you’ll find a summary of the lemon law of Arkansas, 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 your state’s lemon law applies to your case is whether your car is new vs. used. A majority of lemon law state statutes, including Arkansas’ lemon law, 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. Because Arkansas does not have specified lemon laws for used cars if you purchased your used car with a warranty, federal lemon laws may apply.
The following are the key aspects of the Arkansas lemon laws. In order for your car to qualify under the lemon law, your vehicle must meet these conditions:
• The law covers vehicles purchased or leased for transportation of persons or property, excluding living facilities of a mobile home or vehicles over 10,000 lbs.-but including motor homes. Excludes motorcycles and mopeds.
• In order to qualify, there must be a minimum of 1 repair attempt for a defect that may cause death or serious injury or 3 repair attempts, 30 calendar days out of service, or 5 repair attempts on separate occasions to repair any non conformities that together impair the use and value of the vehicle.
• The coverage period is 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs last.
If the above conditions apply to your situation and your purchased vehicle, under the Arkansas lemon laws the manufacture or dealer is required to offer:
• To replace your original vehicle; however, you do not have to accept the offer. You may say NO and demand a refund.
• If you choose to receive a refund, you will receive the full purchase price of your original motor vehicle, minus a “reasonable allowance for vehicle use.”
First, if you want to possibly make a lemon law claim, you’ll need to keep accurate records. Keep detailed records of all problems, repairs performed, and the amount of time your car is unavailable while repairs are being made. Without these 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.
To help you organize your documentation, click on this link for a repair log: Lemon Law Repair Log
Second, in order to potentially invoke the Arkansas lemon law, 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.
A final step you can take is to hire a lemon law attorney. The good news is that the attorney fees are generally free to the consumer. If an attorney who specializes in the Arkansas 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, hiring a lemon law attorney is definitely worth the effort.
If your situation appears not to qualify under the Arkansas 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 state lemon laws. 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. good or poor condition.
Again, if you are unclear if the Arkansas law applies to your situation, a lemon law attorney can be hired 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 lemon laws, you can also contact the Attorney General’s Office at the following address:
Consumer Protection Division
You can also visit their website at: Arkansas Consumer Protection Divistion
Here is a printable summary of the lemon laws for Arkansas: Printable Lemon Law Summary