Arizona Lemon Law
The Arizona Lemon Law provides that a new vehicle which needs repair while still under factory warranty, must be free from defects or any conditions that require additional repairs, or the manufacturer will be liable. The manufacturer or its authorized repairing dealership shall make those repairs necessary to conform the vehicle to its express warranties.
In simple terms, the Arizona Lemon Law basically says that a vehicle covered under the original manufacturer’s warranty should be in good working condition, and the dealer or authorized service shop must fix any problems that arise. If a problem cannot be fixed after reasonable attempts to repair while still under the manufacturer’s warranty, the vehicle may be a lemon
How does the Arizona Auto Lemon Law work?
The Arizona auto lemon law helps buyers of new vehicles and vehicles still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Pursuing an Arizona Auto Lemon Law Claim
To make a claim under the Arizona lemon law, in general, you must prove that you took the vehicle in for repairs at LEAST once or more for the same problem while the vehicle was covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, and the problem was not fixed. Another factor is time in the shop, and a rule of thumb is more than 30 days in the shop [added up] can support a valid lemon claim; even if the repair was the first attempt.
Timing is important for an Arizona lemon claim, to start the process, a demand letter must be sent to the manufacturer and/or dealer, and a lemon law claim must be filed either within six months of the express warranty term, two years from the purchase date of the vehicle, or before 24,000 miles are driven, whichever comes first.
Our lawyers recommend that anyone having problems with a vehicle still under warranty contact our firm as soon as a problem surfaces and the dealer is not able to fix the problem. If the problem keeps occurring after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, it may still be possible to file a claim under the Arizona Lemon Law.
How to File an Arizona auto lemon law Claim
- Take Your Vehicle or Consumer in for Repairs and make sure to keep all records/receipts from EVERY service/repair visit. The basis for a strong lemon law claim is multiple repair attempts for the same issue or problem.
- Make sure that you fully describe or report any and all concerns to the service department, and make sure that they document what you said on the repair order.
- Keep All of Your Documentation from the service department, and write down the name of the service manager. If possible, also ask for the email address and direct extension for the service manager so that you can email that person directly.
- Call our firm to discuss your Lemon Law Claim as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in making a claim under Arizona auto lemon law. Our firm does not charge a fee to discuss your case and to tell you if you have a valid claim.
- Make sure to hire an experienced Arizona auto lemon lawyer. Most lemon lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that the lawyer will recover money from the manufacturer and/or dealer and deduct a portion of the recovery. It is unusual for a Lemon Lawyer to charge an hourly fee in most Lemon Law cases.c
What is the federal lemon law?
The federal “lemon law” is also called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and it basically mirrors the Arizona Auto Lemon Law. The federal law says that anyone who has purchased a car that repeatedly fails to live up to its expected standards of quality and performance can make a lemon claim. The federal lemon law requires that more than one attempt is made to fix the problem, and the manufacturer has tried to repair the same problem “a reasonable number of times.”
As a rule of thumb, “a reasonable number” of attempts is usually three or four, but that’s determined by the circumstances. There have been successful lemon claims brought after the dealer attempts to repair once and says the problem cannot be fixed. And there have been cases when the vehicle is not repaired after multiple attempts, but there is not enough documentation to show that the same problem was occurring repeatedly.
What is a “Lemon Vehicle” under Arizona Lemon Law?
Arizona lemon law applies to vehicles with “defects that impair the use and value”. There are many defects that impair the use and value of a vehicle, including engine problems, electrical problems, defective accessories such as navigation, Bluetooth connection, computer display, odometer accuracy issues, radios that do not properly function, failed windshield wipers, seals on doors that allow water into the vehicle, leaking hoses, faulty valves, peeling paint, and many other issues that commonly arise. Most problems, however minor they may seem, will lower the value of the vehicle if they cannot be repaired. ANY SAFETY ISSUE is deemed worthy of making a lemon claim.
Under the Arizona lemon law statute, in order to qualify as a lemon, a vehicle must have a “substantial” defect that occurred while covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. The defect must have also occurred within a period of 24 months or 24,000 miles being driven after the purchase date. Finally, you must prove that the problem could not be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
Vehicles Covered Under The Arizona Lemon Law
Both new and used vehicles are covered under the Arizona lemon law as well as leased cars that are still within the express manufacturer’s warranty period.
Manufacturer’s Duty to Repair a Vehicle
A dealer/manufacturer must repair a vehicle that is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty when a problem arises. In Arizona, a lemon claim must be brought within 2 years or 24,000 miles of purchasing the vehicle; whichever is shorter. A timely lemon claim will be valid as long as the problem arises during the period of coverage under the manufacturer’s warranty, and the problem cannot be fixed after reasonable attempts are made.
How to report a car as a lemon:
- Contact your dealer regarding your repair problems.
- Give the dealer a “reasonable” time to resolve the problem.
- Give notice that you consider the vehicle to be a “lemon.” Before you are allowed to take any additional legal action, you must give the dealer written notice that you believe the car is a lemon.
What is a “Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts”?
In order for a vehicle to be labeled as a lemon, a “reasonable number of repair attempts” must be made. If the defect persists after having 4 or more repair attempts or was in the shop for at least 30 days cumulatively, most courts have found that sufficiently meets the threshold. The law takes into account the seriousness of the defect, and there is no expectation that you need to keep trying to repair a vehicle that may pose a risk of serious injury after a repair attempt.
Common sense applies for the reasonableness test, and if a buyer believes that a vehicle may break down on the freeway while driving in extreme conditions, one or two repair attempts will be sufficient to make a lemon claim.
What happens when the dealership can’t fix your vehicle?
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s website, a vehicle may be labeled a lemon if it cannot be repaired after repeated repair attempts or 30 days in the shop [added total]. Once the consumer has brought the vehicle to the dealer for manufacturer warranty repairs and service, it is up to the dealer to properly diagnose the problem and fix it. If the dealer cannot diagnose the problem, or cannot “duplicate” the issue, that is still considered a valid attempt to fix the issue.
Lemon Law Buyback
The lemon law buyback is widely considered to be the best lemon law remedy available. A buyback requires the manufacturer to refund all money paid for the vehicle, and the buyer returns the vehicle in good condition. The Manufacturer is allowed to deduct for miles driven before the repairs were attempted, and for other items such as extended warranties, rebates, and license/registration fees.
Cash and Keep Settlement
In some cases, the Manufacturer offers Cash Compensation as a result of a lemon claim. In some cases, when the problems with a vehicle do not rise to the level of “substantial impairment,” the manufacturer will offer to pay the consumer a “cash and keep” settlement. This is where you will keep your vehicle and receive a sum of money for the problems you experienced with it.
Many times, the dealer or manufacturer will offer to exchange the defective vehicle for another vehicle that is not defective. These offers run the risk of similar problems arising, as many of the defects that occur in one make and model occur throughout the series of similar vehicles made by the manufacturer. We do not recommend this remedy because the same problem often occurs in the replacement vehicle.
What Happens When I Hire A Lemon Law Attorney?
A seasoned and skilled Lemon law attorney will typically send a prompt and forceful demand letter and knows how to put pressure on the manufacturer to offer a quick remedy. In many cases, the demand letter is not enough to force a settlement, and our lemon law attorney files a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Our firm works on a contingency basis, which means that we recover when you recover. To be clear, our clients do not pay hourly fees when they hire our firm, but they will have to commit to their case and make sure all of their documents are available to prove their case.
How long does it take to win a lemon law case?
It can take as little as 30 days to 6 months to win a lemon law case. Lemon cases can even take longer depending on how cooperative the manufacturer will be with the process. If the manufacturer refuses to refund your vehicle’s purchase price or give you a replacement vehicle, you will probably have to take the matter to court to legally force the manufacturer to cooperate. Depending on how uncooperative the manufacturer is, the lemon case may take years to resolve.
An Arizona Lemon Law Attorney Can Help With Your Lemon Vehicle
Discussing your case with a lemon law attorney will help them get a better understanding of your situation which will allow them to come up with the best course of action for getting your vehicle situation resolved. As many manufacturers can be difficult to work with alone, having a legal team on your side may help increase the odds of getting your case resolved more quickly.