By Christine Anderson Ferraris

You may be a victim of unfair and deceptive practices if you weren’t offered a refund or replacement vehicle when you were sold a lemon. You should know that federal and state laws protect consumers from cars that require constant repairs, even if the repairs are made for free under a warranty. If the dealer, or manufacturer, won’t do the right thing, and honor the warranty and comply with the law, you should seek the help attorney who understands the obligations and can help clarify for you your rights, and help you educate the dealer and manufacturer about your rights to a refund or replacement vehicle that you deserve.

Federal and Arizona Lemon Laws
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 among several protections, protects consumers when a product “persists as defective after multiple unsuccessful repairs” or the consumer is not able to use the vehicle (including RVs) for a total of thirty days. In such cases, the warranty is breached and the consumer must be refunded or given a replacement vehicle.

Arizona’s “Lemon Law” for new cars mandates a warranty of two years or 24,000 miles for any new vehicle purchased in the state. The Arizona implied warranty of merchantability (used car lemon law) is 15 days or 500 miles after you buy the car. The 15 days of the used car warranty is tolled (extended) if during that period the vehicle fails and during periods of repair so essentially the period of the protection continues until the repair that arose during the 15 days after purchase, is fixed. Additionally, any miles that accrue in connection with the repair are excluded.

When a new car is sold with a warranty, under various state lemon laws, including Arizona, a car is presumed to be a “lemon” when there’s an “unreasonable repair history”, generally four or more repairs for the same related problem, or the car has not been available for use for 30 or more days. Under the used car lemon law, the implied warranty is met if the vehicle functions in a safe condition, and is “substantially free from any defect that limits its use on any public highway. “ You should know, under the law, a consumer does not pay more the dealer than $25 for the first two repairs to bring the used vehicle in compliance with the implied warranty of merchantability.

What You’re Entitled To If You Bought A Lemon

If you purchased a lemon in Arizona, you may be entitled to a choice between a refund of the purchase price of the vehicle or a comparable replacement vehicle. You have a right to these remedies even if the seller claims that your car is “finally fixed” and the repairs were done for free under your warranty.

You should know, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and Arizona new car lemon law have fee shifting provisions allowing consumers who prevail on their claim to recover their attorney fees and legal costs. If you’re not able to negotiate and settle your claim satisfactorily on your own, you should speak to an experienced attorney about your rights. You may not be aware of certain facts and law that could help you pursue recovery from a dealer, manufacturer, and possibly the financial institution (if the new/used vehicle was financed through a dealership) for the breach of warranty, or other possible fraud related claims.

Copyright©2020, A. Ferraris Law, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.

Christine Anderson Ferraris and her firm, A. Ferraris Law, assist consumers and business owners harmed by the government, or another business. She has been for several years the race director for the CV50/50 children’s trail run in Colossal Cave Mountain Park each November.

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