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.
The Arizona auto lemon law helps buyers of new vehicles and vehicles still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After a reasonable number of repair attempts, it is the manufacturer’s duty to buy back or replace a vehicle if the problem persists. Let’s discuss what a “reasonable number of repair attempts” means and what happens when the dealership can’t fix your vehicle.
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.
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.
Under the Arizona lemon law, when a vehicle is declared to be a lemon, there are several remedies available to consumers:
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.
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.
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.
When our lemon law attorney wins your case, if the manufacturer offers a buyback, you will typically receive a full refund [less deductions] and you no longer have to remain in the contract and make monthly payments, plus some or all of your attorney’s fees may be paid. As discussed previously, other settlements such as cash and keep or vehicle replacement may be the outcome of a claim. The result often depends on the client’s goals and the facts of the case.
A lemon law claim may be resolved in as little as 30-90 days, but it is more likely that a lemon law claim will take 3 to 6 months to be resolved. Some cases take longer as manufacturers often refuse to repurchase or replace lemon law vehicles and have to be forced to do so through the legal process.
Our Arizona lemon law attorneys can help buyers who are having problems with their vehicles. If you have been trying to repair any defects that keep coming back or cannot be fixed while your vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, you should call our Arizona lemon law lawyer to discuss your case today.
We help buyers that have made reasonable repair attempts, even if it was just one or two visits to the service department. There is NO GOOD REASON to drive a dangerous vehicle or one that will break down and leave you stranded on the side of an Arizona road in 100-degree heat!
Call today to speak with an experienced Arizona lemon law attorney to discuss your concerns and quickly find out if you have a case. Our firm does not charge any legal fee to discuss your claim and to figure out if we can help, and we are dedicated to helping you solve your problem any way that we can.