The severity and frequency of car problems experienced by consumers prompted several state legislatures to pass what is referred to as “Lemon Laws”. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a “lemon”, but if you do, the following information will help educate you about your rights under the law.
What Are Lemon Laws?
Lemon laws are state and federal laws that offer a solution to consumers who purchase vehicles that don’t meet the standards of performance and quality. The term “lemon” typically pertains to defective vehicles, including motorcycles, cars and trucks, although there are additional “lemon laws” for several products that range from electronics to animals.
State and Federal Lemon Laws
Most states have their own lemon laws and their policies for making claims and what they cover can vary greatly. For instance, some states’ laws cover leased or used cars while others won’t. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the federal lemon law which was passed in 1975 and protects United States citizens in every state. The federal lemon law usually covers mechanical defects, while state lemon laws are sometimes more expansive. In addition, federal lemon laws and numerous state lemon laws provide for the prevailing party’s attorney fees if a lawsuit needs to be filed by a buyer to recover for a vehicle that is considered a “lemon”.
Does Arizona Have Lemon Laws?
Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Warranties Law, which is defined under the Arizona Revised Statutes 44-1261 to 1267, outlines a consumer’s rights when dealing with a “lemon.” When it comes to motor homes, Arizona lemon laws only apply to the vehicle and its chassis; not the living area. In addition, the law doesn’t protect your investment if it was purchased from a public auction or weighs over 10,000 lbs. If a new vehicle complies with the criteria outlined in the Arizona warranties or lemon laws, the buyer can have the issue fixed with the vehicles authorized dealer, manufacturer or via legal action. The Arizona lemon law’s protections cover the first 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever takes place first, or the end of the manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, if the vehicle’s a lemon a consumer complaint can be filed with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) through their website or auto line. For severe cases, contacting an attorney may be necessary.
Do Lemon Laws Apply to Used Cars?
Under Arizona’s lemon laws, used cars are covered for 500 miles after purchase or the first 15 days, whatever comes first. If the vehicle breaks during this time period, the authorized dealer or manufacturer will need to be contacted. The vehicle owner may be required to pay up to $25 for the two initial repairs.
Repairing Your Lemon
If you’ve hit a wall with your dealer or manufacturer, you may prefer to take control of the situation and have your lemon repaired. Take it to a reputable automotive repair shop. Our certified technicians will diagnose the issue and give you exactly what you need to know to get your car in safe working order. To learn about our services, click here.