Local

June 12, 2014

Arizona Lemon Law: Squeeze most out of car

Capt. Noah Coakley II
56th Fighter Wing Legal Office

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — The Arizona Lemon Law protects the legal rights of motor vehicle purchasers who buy defective cars in Arizona. It mainly pertains to the purchase of new cars, but there are some provisions for used cars as well.

Before going out and purchasing that car you’ve been eyeing for the past few months, familiarize yourself with Arizona’s Lemon Law so you’ll be better informed when signing the paperwork. These laws are contained in Arizona Revised Statutes 44-1261 to 1267 at http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp.

In Arizona, if the purchased motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties, the purchaser should inform the manufacturer and/or authorized dealer within two years or 24,000 miles of the original delivery date, whichever is earlier. The manufacturer/dealer is required to make necessary repairs to make the vehicle conform to any express warranties, even if the repairs are made after the expiration of the two year or 24,000-mile limit.

If the manufacturer/dealer is unable to repair the motor vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts (four or more), they must either replace it with a new motor vehicle or refund the full purchase price, including all collateral charges, minus a reasonable allowance for the purchaser’s use of the vehicle.

The Lemon Law also includes some provisions regarding used motor vehicles. An implied warranty of merchantability exists for all used motor vehicles for 15 calendar days after delivery of the vehicle to the purchaser or the first 500 miles, whichever comes first. A used motor vehicle is considered to be merchantable if it functions in a safe condition and is substantially free of any defect that significantly limits the use of the motor vehicle for the ordinary purpose of transportation on any public highway. It does not include damage resulting from abuse, misuse, neglect, failure to perform regular maintenance or to maintain adequate oil, coolant or other required fluid or lubricant, off-road use, racing, or towing.

A word of caution: You may have heard of a three-day rule (right of rescission) that voids purchase contracts, when the item purchased is returned within three business days. Arizona does not have a three day rule that will void a contract for a motor vehicle. It is also important to remember that if you sell a motor vehicle in the State of Arizona, you must designate on the title or registration documents to whom the vehicle was assigned or sold. You must also notify Arizona Motor Vehicle Division or the state in which your vehicle was registered in order to discontinue your interests or liability for this vehicle after the date of sale.




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