Is It Too Late To File A Lemon Law Claim?
In this article, you will discover:
- How long you have to file an Arizona Lemon Law claim or a breach of warranty claim.
- Why waiting too long to pursue a Lemon Law matter can diminish your compensation.
- What happens if a manufacturer refuses to take back your “Lemon” vehicle.
The statute of limitations to file a Lemon Law claim varies by State. In Arizona, you have six months from the time you hit 24,000 miles on the odometer or after two years of ownership, whichever comes first, to file an action in court under the Arizona Lemon Law.
Even if your vehicle appears to qualify for Arizona Lemon Law help you might think you should wait to see if problems keep occurring with your “Lemon” vehicle. Some people prefer not to rock the boat unless they absolutely have to. Keep in mind though that you didn’t do anything wrong here when you bought your new vehicle in good faith expecting it would operate reliably like a new vehicle should.
The Arizona Lemon Law is not punitive towards Lemon vehicle manufacturers. You’re not seeking millions of dollars from these companies when pursuing an Arizona Lemon Law claim. You just want the manufacturer to accept responsibility by taking the Lemon vehicle back or compensating you fairly. However, if you wait, your Lemon Law claim could either be timed out or significantly hurt.
At the end of the day, there’s really no good reason to wait. It’s not a good idea to sit back and wait to see if the repair was finally successful this time. The past is the best predictor of the future. If you’ve had frequent or repeated problems with your vehicle in the past, what makes you think it’s finally going to be repaired? It’s highly unlikely the past warranty repairs will prevent more defect and repair issues from occurring in the future.
Just waiting a couple of months can be the difference between having a valid Arizona Lemon Law claim or not. Once that time is up, it’s up, no matter how many repairs you’ve had to deal with or how long your vehicle was unusable while in the repair shop.
Moreover, waiting gives the manufacturer an argument it would not otherwise have against you. The argument is that since a couple of months have passed, the vehicle is properly repaired, and you shouldn’t be compensated as much if you make a claim. Maybe you shouldn’t be compensated at all because all’s well that ends well. Those arguments are nonsense because all of the hassle and inconvenience you’ve been through, not to mention wasted time dealing with repairs that you’ll never get back. Regardless, these are the types of arguments the companies still make.
With the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you have more time. The federal law is based on the duration of your vehicle’s warranty. It’s still not something you want to wait on. Time is your enemy here. As each week goes on without problems, your case gets weaker and could cost you the compensation you’re entitled to. Again you may potentially receive substantially less compensation than you would have if you didn’t wait.
Can The Manufacturer Refuse A Refund Or Replacement Of A Lemon Car?
In the out-of-court negotiation process, the manufacturer can technically refuse to take back a “Lemon” vehicle even if it is clear that it’s repair history exceeds the 4 or more repair attempts for the same defect or 30 days out of service Lemon Law presumptions, but that doesn’t happen too often. We take measures to ensure this doesn’t occur for egregious Lemon Law matters we handle:
- We only take on legitimate claims. As part of our Free Lemon Law evaluation, we assess whether you have a valid claim and that the vehicle qualifies for Arizona Lemon Law help. We’re not going to waste your time or our time on non-qualifying matters. If your vehicle does not qualify (and does not appear as it would qualify in the future), we will not take on the matter.
- Going to trial costs the manufacturer a ton of money. Often the company agrees to settle because it would be very difficult to defend a valid Lemon Law claim in court. The manufacturers know, if our clients are on board, we’re one of the firms that will sue if they unfairly deny a claim. We’ve defeated them in trial before. Trials in these cases cost a massive amount in attorney’s fees that they have to pay if they lose. They have to pay a defense attorney a ton of money, pay our attorney’s fees, plus buy back or replace your vehicle under the Arizona Lemon Law if they lose. Even if a manufacturer wins, it pays the defense attorney money that often is two, three, even four or more times the cost of your vehicle. It is a poor financial decision.
These companies have a high financial incentive to amicably resolve legitimate claims out-of-court without a lawsuit. Still, they do have the right to refuse to repurchase or replace the vehicle. When they do, they’re often not denying the Lemon Law claim outright; they’re just refusing to reacquire the vehicle. Generally, when this happens, the company thinks it has a defense to the Lemon Law claim, like a certain time in the repair shop shouldn’t count, or some of the repairs are your fault.
If they think the vehicle shouldn’t qualify under the Arizona Lemon Law as a “Lemon” for some reason, they’ll usually offer cash compensation, which is another way of accepting at least some responsibility for the problems you’ve had with your vehicle. In some cases, cash compensation is even a better deal for you than a Lemon Law Buyback depending on the trade-in value of the vehicle. Here’s why…
In Arizona, a Lemon Law Buyback includes a subtraction for mileage. If you get cash compensation and decide to trade out of your vehicle, depending on the trade-in value of your vehicle and what you owe on the loan, it might come out to a better financial deal for you, especially if you vehicle has higher mileage (e.g., 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 or more miles).
If your vehicle finally ends up properly repaired and you decide to keep it, you have money for your aggravation and for overpaying for the product. You can use that money for whatever you want, to pay down the vehicle, or for another purpose that you deem fit.
For more information on the Lemon Law in Arizona, a Free Lemon Law Evaluation is your next best step. Find out if your vehicle qualifies for Free Lemon Law Help by calling (480) 237-2744 today.
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