Is There a Specific Number of Repair Attempts That Must Be Tried or Number of Days Out in Order to Have a Valid Lemon Law Claim?
Consumers often wonder whether there is a specific number of repair attempts to fix a defect or a certain number of days out of service required for there to be a valid Lemon Law claim. There is actually not a specific number of repair attempts required for there to be a valid Lemon Law claim in Arizona.
However, there is a repair presumption in the Arizona Lemon Law of four or more repair attempts and the defect continues to exist. If that presumption is met, it shifts the burden of proof to the other side, so it helps the case but doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win; it just forces the manufacturer to have to try and rebut the presumption. If there’s a tie, the tie goes to the consumer.
It can also be a bit of a sliding scale. The more substantial the defect, the fewer repairs that are required, especially if it’s something so substantial that it could cause death or serious bodily injury. If it’s something that could get you killed, two repairs might even qualify as being unreasonable because it’s such a major condition. For example, if the brakes are completely not working, something like that could lead to the consumer and even other people being killed. That could be unreasonable under the circumstances and therefore a Lemon Law violation.
Generally speaking, if it’s a substantial (but non-life threatening) defect, non-conformity, or condition, three repairs would likely qualify.
There is also a days out presumption in the Arizona Lemon Law of 30 days within the first 2 years or 24,000 miles of ownership, whichever comes first. Similarly to the repair attempt presumption, if the time out presumption is met, it shifts the burden of proof to the other side. The 30 day presumption helps the case but doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win; it just forces the manufacturer to have to try and rebut the presumption. If there’s a tie, the tie goes to the consumer.
With that being said, 25 days out of service, especially within the first year of ownership is unreasonable and would likely qualify as an Arizona Lemon Law violation.
What Kinds of Defects or Problems Must My Vehicle Have in Order to Qualify for Lemon Law Protection? What Are Some Examples of Non-Substantial Defects?
For defects, non-conformities, or conditions to qualify under the Arizona Lemon Law, they need to be substantial. Substantial includes problems with the brakes, transmission, engine, airbags, seatbelts, and suspension. If a vehicle has a digitized speedometer that’s not working, that would be substantial because that could be a safety issue.
Some defect issues, such as navigation or entertainment systems, fall in a gray area and may or may not qualify. The more times they are unsuccessfully repaired, the more likely they would substantially impair the use and value of the vehicle to a consumer turning a gray area problem into a likely valid Arizona Lemon Law claim.
Things that would not be considered substantial would be something involving, for instance, a cup holder or another minor part such as a small trim piece. Issues that are solely cosmetic in nature and that don’t pertain at all to the overall functioning of the vehicle would probably not qualify.
Am I Required to Contact the Automobile Manufacturer, or Can I Contact a Lemon Law Attorney First to Resolve My Lemon Issue?
You’re not required to contact the manufacturer directly on your own. In fact, we recommend that you do not do that. The reason is because manufacturers have representatives trained in the law who might try to trick you into making admissions that could hurt a potential case without your knowledge.
These representatives may also try to get you to agree to minimal compensation like a refund of a month or two of payments, a short warranty extension, or some free maintenance, when you could be entitled to an Arizona Lemon Law repurchase or a replacement. The minimal compensation that could be offered to you often comes with a catch: you have to sign a release of claims relinquishing all your rights, which is a really bad deal for consumers.
It’s highly recommended that you confer with a Lemon Law attorney to see if you can be helped out, especially given that these automotive industry call centers often have actual attorneys working for them. You need a representative who is focused on getting you the best deal possible, not minimizing what you can get.
Not to bash on vehicle manufacturers, but companies do make mistakes. We see news reports every so often about motor vehicle manufacturers that don’t do recalls, sometimes for parts as cheap as $20, even when they know that people could be injured or killed. It’s cheaper for them to pay for that than to pay for a recall on all of their products or for the entire product line.
So that’s what you’re dealing with. These companies are not your friends; they’re rarely there to help you. A car is not like a defective TV where you can just take it back to the store and get a new one. A motor vehicle is a much more expensive product, and that’s not the way it works unfortunately.
That’s why it is best to seek out professional Lemon Law help from an attorney that has a fiduciary obligation to act in your best interests if your case is taken on.
For more information on Arizona Lemon Law, a Free Lemon Law Evaluation is your next best step. Please call (480) 237-2744 for Free Lemon Law help today.
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