Does Arizona Law Entitle Me To Recover Attorney’s Fees If I Win My Lemon Law Claim?
- Lemon law claimants are entitled to legal fees from vehicle manufacturers if their claim is successfully resolved, through settlement.
- Arizona’s Lemon Laws require consumers to notify the manufacturer in writing about the car’s defects before filing a claim.
Arizona law does entitle a consumer to recover attorney’s fees if a claim is successfully resolved. According to Arizona law, there are several ways that Lemon Law claims can be successfully resolved. Case law expands on this (in Moedt vs. GM and Georgiopoulos vs. GM).
Our firm—and actually, I personally—handed one of these precedent-establishing cases, specifically the Georgiopoulos case. This was a case where the matter settled for cash compensation. When it came to attorneys’ fees, we bifurcated, which means separated the attorney’s fees from the underlying settlement for the Judge to decide. Ultimately, the Judge did decide to award attorney’s fees. GM appealed and lost the appeal.
A Lemon Law claim can be considered successfully resolved by the Court if it ends in a settlement. While cash compensation is not a specific remedy under the Lemon Law (repurchase or replacement is the remedy), since it is a form of compensation that benefits the consumer, it is considered successful resolution of a Lemon Law case that would still entitle a consumer to attorney’s fees.
A Lemon Law settlement can take several forms. These include:
- Buybacks: The manufacturer buying the car back from the claimant.
- Replacement: The manufacturer furnishing the claimant with a new vehicle to replace the old one.
- Cash Compensation: The manufacturer gives the claimant a certain amount of cash compensation, in an amount to be mutually agreed upon. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, they can take their case to Court. Importantly, while this option is not explicitly mentioned in Arizona’s Lemon Law, it is only available to claimants whose vehicle has been repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty.
All consumers who successfully settle a Lemon Law claim, whatever the amount of compensation might be, are entitled to seek attorney’s fees, in accordance with the statutory provision under A.R.S. Section 44-1265 (B).
Do I Have To Give A Written Notice Of My Vehicle’s Defects, Non-Conformities, Or Conditions To The Vehicle Manufacturer Before Filing A Lemon Law Claim?
Yes, Arizona’s Lemon Law does require this sort of notification by or on behalf of the consumer. When we take on a Lemon Law case, one of the first things we do is to draft and send notification to the manufacturer.
A notification or warning letter to a car manufacturer should include well-founded, accurate information about the defects and conditions that the consumer is facing and the car itself.
To write these letters, we evaluate the vehicle’s repair history based on repair records and other repair information provided by our clients.
Then we draft our notice/demand letter to the manufacturer, informing them of:
- The make, model, and purchase history of the vehicle
- The vehicle’s defects and conditions
- The amount of time that the vehicle has been out of service
- Our intention to file an impending Lemon Law claim and request resolution
For more information on Avoiding Arbitration in a Lemon Law Claim, a Free Lemon Law Evaluation is your next best step. Get a Free no obligation Lemon Law Evaluation by calling (480) 237-2744 today.
Call Today for FREE Lemon Law Help!