What if You Have a Lemon Vehicle in Arizona?
Lemon laws in Arizona give buyers of cars, motorcycles, trucks, SUVs, and RVs a right to have a defective vehicle repaired, replaced, or reimbursed.
State lemon laws protect people who have recently purchased a car, truck, or other vehicle, and have discovered a defect in their vehicle. Each state has its own state-specific lemon laws and, although they are all similar, it is important to know the exact rules where you are when you are considering a lemon law claim. You can find out more about lemon laws in other states in the FAQs section of our website. In Arizona, lemon laws are designed to protect consumers from being stuck with a defective vehicle.
What’s wrong with your vehicle?
Lemon laws generally cover substantial problems in a vehicle. In Arizona, lemon laws technically apply when the vehicle “does not conform to all applicable express warranties” and when the problem “substantially impair[s] the use and market value of the vehicle.”
Lemon laws are not intended to be used for very minor issues. The problem must actually affect the use or value of the vehicle. Some of the substantial problems that we see with our lemon law clients include:
- Faulty transmission
- Malfunctioning infotainment system
- Failing brakes
- Unintended acceleration
- Engine failure
- Excessive oil consumption
- Steering problems
- Leaking doors or windows
You can also take a look at the Problem Vehicles page on our website to see some problems specific to your vehicle. You may not know whether or not your vehicle’s defect is a substantial problem but an experienced lemon lawyer can advise you. If you are making repeat trips to your dealer for the same problem, there is a good chance that you have the basis of a lemon law claim.
Are all vehicles covered by Arizona lemon law?
Not all vehicles are covered by lemon law. Each state sets out which vehicles are covered by lemon law in their state, usually limited by the following questions:
1. What type of vehicle is it?
In Arizona, lemon laws apply to cars, motorcycles, SUVs, trucks, and, in a limited way to RVs/motorhomes. (Technically, they also apply to any other self-propelled vehicle with a gross weight of 10,000 lbs or less, designated primarily for the transportation of persons or property over the public highways, but it is not usually necessary to look at this legal jargon.) Arizona lemon laws do not apply to boats or other watercraft.
RVs/motorhomes are treated differently in Arizona lemon law because the law only applies to the vehicle and chassis portion and not to the parts of the RV/motorhome designed or used as a dwelling, office or commercial space. This is not unusual.
2. Was the vehicle purchased or leased?
Arizona lemon law only applies to purchased vehicles, not to leased vehicles. However, as a lessee you may be protected by other federal and state consumer protection statutes.
3. How long ago did you buy/lease the vehicle?
Arizona lemon laws apply to problems reported during the express vehicle warranty term, or for 2 years or 24,000 miles after the purchase of the vehicle, whichever is shorter. You can still bring a lemon law claim for 6 months after this period. If you think that you are outside the time limit for bringing a lemon law claim, check with a lemon lawyer. In many cases, you still have options.
4. Was the vehicle new or used?
Arizona lemon laws apply to new vehicles, but there are some more limited protections for buyers of used vehicles.
If you have purchased a used vehicle, it must only function in a safe condition and be free of any defect that significantly limits its use on a public highway for the first 15 days or 500 miles (whichever is earlier.) If you are outside this time limit, you may still have protections under an express warranty. You should talk to an experienced lemon lawyer to discuss your particular situation.
5. Is the vehicle for personal or business use?
Unlike many other states, Arizona lemon laws apply to vehicles purchased for both personal and business use. However, they do not apply to vehicles that are purchased for resale for profit.
What can you do if you have a lemon vehicle in Arizona?
If you think you have a lemon vehicle, contact an experienced lemon lawyer to get advice that is personal to you and your circumstances. Every vehicle and every problem is different, and you should not rely on the advice of an unqualified friend or acquaintance whose situation may have been different to yours. And you should not take the advice of your vehicle dealer.
You should notify the manufacturer in writing and bring the vehicle to your dealer for repair. Arizona lemon laws allow the dealer or manufacturer a reasonable chance to repair the defect, which in Arizona is usually 4 repair attempts or 30 days of the vehicle being out of service for repair. In some situations you can begin a lemon law claim even before you have allowed 4 repair attempts or 30 days’ repair but it is generally more straightforward when these minimums are met. Your lemon lawyer can advise you on the best way forward in your particular situation.
In some cases, your vehicle manufacturer may participate in an informal dispute settlement procedure, and, in Arizona, you may be required to follow this procedure before beginning a lemon law claim. This is something that your attorney will be familiar with, and can explain if it is applicable to you.
There is very little for you to do after you bring a lemon lawyer in to help you. When you bring a lemon law claim, your lemon lawyer should handle any negotiations and communication with your vehicle manufacturer and keep you updated about the status of the claim. We find that many of our cases settle within 30-90 days of filing, however, we will go to trial if it is the right choice for our client.
What can I get if I bring a lemon law claim in Arizona?
The law entitles you to a replacement new motor vehicle or a full reimbursement of your vehicle purchase price (including collateral charges but reduced by a reasonable allowance for your use before you reported the defect.)
In many cases, we settle the claim through negotiations with the manufacturer. In a settlement, we can help our client get the right result for them, which may not be either of the two remedies offered in the law. In many cases, we negotiate a cash and keep settlement for our clients in which they receive cash compensation from the manufacturer and also keep their vehicle (with their warranty intact.)
Who pays the lawyers in an Arizona lemon law claim?
When we win a lemon law claim, we send our bill to the auto manufacturer. Like most states, Arizona requires the manufacturer to pay all of the legal fees in a successful lemon law claim, and at Timothy Abeel & Associates, we guarantee that, win or lose, we will never send you a bill for our services. You can find out more about legal fees in lemon law cases in our blog article, Are lemon law cases REALLY free to me? Seriously?!
If you are looking for an experienced lemon lawyer for your Arizona lemon law claim, Timothy Abeel & Associates can help. Contact us online or by calling 888-611-5481 today. You can also find more information about lemon laws in Arizona and other states in the FAQs and Resources section of our website.