How Arizona’s Car Lemon Law Helps Car Buyers
When it comes to safe car buying, Arizona residents should familiarize themselves with the state’s “lemon laws.” These laws pertain to car sales in the state, involving both used and new vehicles. Lemon is a popular name for a car that seems to be perfectly fine at the time of sale, but has hidden problems or temporarily fixed parts that lead to setbacks after a few days or weeks.
Some unethical businesspeople and private sellers may attempt to dupe unwary car buyers into purchasing unfit vehicles. Lemon laws protect buyers in these situations.
What Do Lemon Laws Cover?
Under Arizona lemon laws, only new vehicles qualify for full protection. Car buyers who purchase vehicles that “do not conform to express warranties” can return those vehicles to the place of purchase within the first two years of ownership, the extent of the manufacturer’s warranty, or 24,000 miles of travel, whichever comes first.
The seller will need to perform the necessary repairs to ensure the vehicle conforms to the express warranties.
It’s important to note that title changes do not affect these time limits. For example, if a person purchases a new car at full price and then transfers the title to someone else, the new title owner can still file a complaint under Arizona’s car lemon laws if the vehicle does not meet the express warranties.
Dealer and Manufacturer Obligations
Arizona’s lemon law requires dealers to make a “reasonable number of attempts” to get a lemon car working properly. The law dictates “reasonable” as:
- Up to four shop visits, or
- A combined total of 30 days in the shop.
If the dealer cannot bring the car up to an acceptable condition in this time, the buyer may receive a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price, less any fees for time the driver successfully used the vehicle.
If the dealer cannot successfully repair the vehicle, then liability for the vehicle will fall on the manufacturer. The manufacturer must then repurchase the vehicle or provide a replacement to the buyer.
If the manufacturer replaces the vehicle with a new one, it must be the same make and model in the same condition as the original vehicle the buyer purchased. If the replacement vehicle is of a lesser value, the manufacturer must refund the difference to the consumer.
The buyer must provide prior direct written notice of the defect before requesting repairs. It’s also a good idea for the buyer to retain copies of all paperwork and notices in case of any legal disputes down the road.
A car manufacturer or dealer may claim that the customer:
- Did not provide notice within a reasonable time,
- Did not operate the vehicle properly, or
- Otherwise contributed to the vehicle’s state of disrepair.
Used Vehicle Coverage
Under Arizona’s lemon law, used car buyers have far less protection. The logic behind this is that any used car is bound to have issues. Furthermore, some of these issues may not arise until the vehicle is in the hands of a new, different driver.
Arizona law provides protection for 15 days or 500 miles of travel for used cars, whichever comes first. If the car breaks down in this time, the buyer may need to pay up to $25 of the first two necessary repairs. If the dealer cannot repair the vehicle sufficiently within two visits, the buyer is entitled to a refund of the purchase price.
Tips on Avoiding Lemons
Arizona lemon laws may provide some protection to car buyers, but it’s important to remember that these laws are open to interpretation, and vehicle repairs can be time consuming. It’s better to avoid the hassle of fixing or replacing a lemon altogether, if possible.
If you plan on buying a new car, make sure you understand the express warranties included in the purchase. If you would rather purchase a used car, make sure to visit an Arizona trusted used car dealer.
Red Mountain Funding provides financing for auto loans to Arizona car buyers. For more than 20 years, we have been helping Arizona residents purchase vehicles with confidence and flexibility. We want to help individuals with low income or bad credit to get the vehicle financing they need to get on the road. We have an easy and straightforward loan approval process, and our philosophy is to be honest and transparent in all of our dealings.