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The Arizona Lemon Law Explained

by Shalev Amar, Esq. and Luis Ramirez, Esq.

Many states have Lemon Laws designed to protect buyers of new automobiles, or in some cases, automobiles that are still under warranty. Even the federal government has warranty legislation which acts as a type of Lemon Law.

Arizona's Lemon Law is contained in Arizona Revised Statues Sections 44-1261 to 44-1267. The Arizona Lemon Law provides that if a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties (i.e. the vehicle is not defect free as warranted), the manufacture or its authorized dealer shall make those repairs necessary to conform the vehicle to its express warranties.

The AZ Lemon Law is violated if the vehicle is not repaired within a reasonable opportunity. In other words, if a vehicle has what the average consumer would consider an unreasonable amount of repair visits or repair days, the Arizona Lemon Law’s protections would come into effect.

Remedies for Violation of the Arizona Lemon Law

Under the Arizona Lemon Law, a buyer is entitled to two forms of relief for vehicles that have experienced an unreasonable number of repair days or repair visits. The Arizona Lemon Law explains that, if, after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealers do not conform the vehicle to an express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and value of the motor vehicle to the consumer, under the Arizona Lemon Law the manufacturer must :

  1. Replace the vehicle with a new vehicle, or

  2. Accept the return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including all collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle.

Additionally, in order to facilitate consumers pursuing their rights with the benefit of legal representation, the Arizona Lemon Law entitles a consumer to recover attorneys’ fees if he/she is successful in his/her claim. The Statute provides that if a consumer prevails in an Arizona Lemon Law action, a consumer is entitled to reasonable costs and attorney fees under the AZ Lemon Law.

A consumer also has some practical alternatives to immediately filing a lawsuit and engaging in litigation. A consumer and manufacturer may compromise and reach a settlement that will resolve the dispute without the need to go to court. The Lemon Law settlement may involve the repurchase or replacement of the automobile. Moreover, many car companies agree to provide cash compensation for Arizona Lemon Law claims as an alternative to an AZ Lemon Law repurchase or replacement.

For additional Arizona Lemon Law information as well as a free no obligation case review please visit our website for a FREE CASE REVIEW.

Defenses to an Arizona Lemon Law Claim

The vehicle manufacturer may defend an Arizona Lemon Law claim by proving that:

  1. The vehicle nonconformity does not substantially impair the use and market value of the vehicle, or

  2. The vehicle nonconformity resulted from abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the vehicle.

A manufacturer must be able to prove these defenses by a preponderance of the evidence to defeat an Arizona Lemon Law claim. Because the burden of proof is on the manufacturer, it may still be willing to settle a case for cash compensation even if a defense to the Lemon Law is alleged.

Reasonable Number of Attempts to Repair under the Arizona Lemon Law

There is no set number of repair days or visits that the Arizona Lemon Law sets as a minimum amount of repair attempts. Each determination of what is a reasonable number of repair visits or days is made independently using the reasonable consumer as a standard. A vehicle has had too many repair attempts or has been out of service too long for repair if the average reasonable consumer would consider such total attempts or such total days unreasonable.

However, the Lemon Law does consider that some repeat repair attempts or total number of repair days are automatically unreasonable. For these more extreme cases of repeat repairs or repair days, the AZ Lemon Law provides a legal presumption. The Law presumes that a vehicle’s repair history is unreasonable if the vehicle has been in the shop for repairs a cumulative/total of 30 days; or, the vehicle was in for repair for the same related issue four times, but the vehicle was not cured within those 4 repairs and needed additional repairs.

According to A.R.S. § 44-1264, it is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties under the Arizona Lemon Law if either:

  1. The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents or authorized dealers during the shorter of the express warranty term or the period of two years or twenty-four thousand miles following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever is earlier, but the nonconformity continues to exist. or;

  2. The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during the shorter of the express warranty term or the two year period or twenty-four thousand miles, whichever is earlier.

In order to apply this presumption a consumer must have given previous written warning to the manufacturer of the vehicle’s defect. The Arizona Lemon Law provides that these presumptions do not apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has been given written notice from or on behalf of the consumer of the alleged defect and has had an opportunity to cure the alleged defect.

Meeting the Arizona Lemon Law’s presumptions is not required to have a valid AZ Lemon Law claim. With that being said, having either of the Arizona Lemon Law’s presumptions met is helpful because it shifts the burden of proof under the AZ Lemon Law from the consumer to the car’s manufacturer. This is an additional advantage that the Arizona Lemon Law provides consumers.

For additional Arizona Lemon Law information and a free no obligation case review visit FREE CASE REVIEW.

Applicable Statute of Limitations for the Arizona Lemon Law

The AZ Lemon Law’s protections are available in the first 2 years or 24,000 of a vehicle’s ownership and 6 months beyond that.

For a consumer to exercise his or her rights under the Arizona Lemon Law, the consumer must: (i) report the warranty problem to the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer or issuer of a warranty, AND (ii) begin an Arizona Lemon Law action within six months following the earlier of: (a) expiration of the express warranty term, or (b) two years or 24,000 miles following the date of delivery of the vehicle to the consumer, whichever is earlier.

Those consumers that may be timed out of the Arizona Lemon Law, may still find recovery using other Arizona laws and the federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.

Exclusions to the Arizona Lemon Law

The Arizona Lemon Law does not apply to:

  1. a sale of a vehicle to a purchaser for the purpose of resale for profit, or

  2. to a vehicle with a declared gross weight over 10,000 pounds, or

  3. to a vehicle that is sold at a public auction.

These consumers may find relief under other laws and statutes. The rights granted to Arizona consumers under the Arizona Lemon Law are in addition to any contract rights the consumer may have arising from the purchase agreement, any new vehicle warranty or other applicable laws. http://www.lemonlawaz.com/arizona-lemon-law/.

The Magnuson - Moss Warranty Act (a federal Lemon Law)

The Magnuson - Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that imposes certain obligations on vehicle manufacturers and grants certain rights to consumers. This federal Lemon Law is what State Lemon Laws including the AZ Lemon Law are modeled after.

The federal Lemon Law offers protections to purchasers of automobiles sold with warranties. See Understanding the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act for a summary of the Act and 15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq. The federal Lemon Law allows purchasers to recover cash compensation for breach of warranty and to obtain attorneys' fees.

If you have a Lemon vehicle, the federal Lemon Law may provide remedies and compensation for your situation, even if you are timed out of the Arizona Lemon Law because the statute of limitations does not begin running on the federal Lemon Law until after the vehicle’s warranty term expires. As such, the federal Lemon Law is a backup when the Arizona Lemon Law does not apply. The Arizona Lemon Law is codified in Arizona Revised Statutes Sections 44-1261 to 44-1267.

About Shalev Amar, Esq. and Luis Ramirez, Esq.

Shalev Amar is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Pryor, Ramirez & Amar, LLC. Mr. Amar has an outstanding academic background having graduated Cum Laude from both the University of Arizona (where he majored in Political Science) and the Arizona State University College of Law. Mr. Amar litigates in the area of consumer protection focusing on Lemon Law, Consumer Fraud and Breach of Warranty cases. The phone number of his law firm is 480-947-7755 and the firm’s website address is www.lemonlawaz.com. Mr. Amar has successfully litigated and arbitrated numerous vehicle cases as lead counsel since 2004.

Luis F. Ramirez is a Managing Partner of Pryor, Ramirez & Amar. Mr. Ramirez graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Arizona State University College of Law. Mr. Ramirez also holds a Master's Degree from Arizona State University in Spanish Literature and a Bachelor's degree in Spanish from Rutgers University.

Mr. Ramirez litigates in the area of consumer protection focusing on Lemon Law, Consumer Fraud and Breach of Warranty cases. Mr. Ramirez started his legal career in 2003 representing companies in employment and commercial disputes. Mr. Ramirez has successfully litigated numerous vehicle cases as lead counsel.

Both Mr. Amar and Mr. Ramirez are Arizona lemon law attorneys who have settled hundreds of Arizona Lemon Law cases with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers. Mr. Amar and Mr. Ramirez have amicable professional relationships with the representatives of both motor vehicles manufacturers and dealers. That relationship benefits consumers represented by Pryor, Ramirez & Amar as it aids in resolving Arizona Lemon Law and federal Lemon Law claims quickly and amicably.   Call the AZ lemon law lawyers at 480-947-7755.

Remember, if your car’s not up to par, call Pryor, Ramirez & Amar!

For more information on Arizona's Lemon Law/AZ Lemon Law and the federal Lemon Law visit www.lemonlawaz.com. The law firm of Pryor, Ramirez & Amar provides not only information about the Arizona Lemon Law but also a FREE CASE REVIEW for consumers.

For more information on Arizona's lemon law visit www.lemonlawaz.com. The law firm of Pryor, Ramirez & Amar provides information about the Arizona Lemon Law and a FREE CASE REVIEW for consumers.

Pryor, Ramirez & Amar, LLC, is located at:
 

40 W. Baseline Rd.
Suite 203
Tempe, Arizona 85283
(480) 947-7755 - voice
(866) 663-3497 - fax

 

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