Purpose of Arizona's Lemon Law
Arizona's Lemon Law protects buyers of new and used vehicles, ensuring they aren't stuck with a defective vehicle. The statute spells out how long after purchase a buyer has to formally complain and what a dealer or manufacturer must do to fix the problem.
Buyers and Sellers
Arizona's Lemon Law protects most buyers of used vehicles, but not all vehicles for resale are covered. Sellers subject to the law are manufacturers or dealers who sell used cars to the public. Private sales by individuals are not covered. Neither are lessees who sell a leased vehicle to the lease holder or to an employee of the lessee, or individuals dealing in classic cars. If an Arizona dealer offers a vehicle for sale that was bought back from a buyer due to a defect that couldn't be fixed, the seller must place a written notice on the vehicle notifying all potential buyers of that fact.
Vehicles included under the law are most motor vehicles used for transportation over public highways. A vehicle is considered a used vehicle under the law if the title has been transferred at least once to a previous owner. In the case of motor homes, the law covers only the mechanical parts of the vehicle used for moving it over public roadways and does not apply to the interior amenities of the living space.
Defective Used Vehicle
Used vehicles carry an implied warranty of merchantability, which means they are guaranteed to operate safely and normally on the roadway. Under Arizona's Lemon Law, if you buy a used vehicle from a dealer, you have 15 days from the date of purchase, or 500 miles after you take possession of the vehicle, to notify the dealer of a defect that prevents you from operating it properly or safely. This defect can't be the result of your misuse or neglect. The dealer must be allowed to try to fix the problem, and you must contribute $25 toward each of the first two repair attempts. If the vehicle is not fixable, the seller must buy it back.
Seller Noncompliance With the Law
If a seller does not comply with the requirements of the state's Lemon Law, the buyer may sue the seller under Arizona's Uniform Commercial Code.
Waiver of Lemon Law Protection
You may waive the implied warranty of merchantability for a defective used vehicle and purchase it under certain conditions even though you know it's defective. The seller must fully inform you of the specific defect in writing and you must agree to the purchase after the disclosure is made. To finalize the purchase, sign and date a waiver that identifies the defect, states you were notified of it and that you agreed to purchase the vehicle with that defect.
New vehicles are also covered by Arizona's Lemon Law. They carry a warranty from the manufacturer or its authorized dealer that guarantees the vehicle will operate properly. If it doesn't, you must notify the dealer either before expiration of the warranty, or within two years or 24 thousand miles of purchase, whichever comes first. The dealer must fix the problem or replace or repurchase the vehicle.