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Before you buy a vehicle in Arizona, you should take the time to learn about your consumer rights and how to avoid getting stuck with a Lemon.  Most people have never heard of the Lemon Law and make the mistake of assuming the law will protect them.  But the Lemon Law has strict requirements and short deadlines, so follow these simple tips to protect yourself:  

   Do your research

When searching for your next vehicle, use the Internet to your advantage and do some digging.  Once you find the vehicle you want to buy, focus your search on news articles, technical service bulletins, and other sources of information about the product’s performance and reputation.  

While any vehicle can be a Lemon, some makes and models are worse than others.  Like reading the reviews before choosing a restaurant, doing your research beforehand could save you a lot of heartburn.   

   Learn what vehicles qualify 

The Lemon Law was meant primarily for traditional automobiles.  Big trucks and motorhomes, most offroad vehicles, boats, and anything without an engine does not qualify.  If you buy a product like this, you have other consumer remedies available to you, but not the state Lemon Law.     

   Understand the difference between buying and leasing

The Arizona Lemon Law only applies to consumers who purchase vehicles, not lease. Before you make the decision to lease instead of buy, keep in mind that the manufacturer does not have the same legal obligations and you have fewer rights if you lease in Arizona.  Leasing the vehicle in a different state may be worth the trip.   

   Pay attention to your sales contract 

Dealers like to tell people used cars are “as good as new.”  But even if a vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and the warranty extended, the law isn’t the same for used cars vs. brand-new.  You have fewer rights and less time to file a Lemon Law claim.   

Buyer beware!  Dealer demo vehicles are often advertised as new but marked as used when sold.  Pay close attention before you sign on the dotted line.  If they told you it was new, it should say new on the sales contract.   

    Be prepared to pay back negative trade equity if you financed 

Rolling in negative equity from your trade is a classic method dealers use to talk people into purchasing vehicles they can’t afford.  Unfortunately, the Lemon Law only entitles you to a refund of what you paid for the new vehicle, so any negative equity acts as a deduction from your Lemon Law refund.  Depending on how much you’ve paid towards the loan, this may result in you actually having to pay to return your Lemon vehicle!   

If you think you purchased a Lemon vehicle, the best advice is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.  Many people give up without ever contacting an attorney and are surprised to learn that the law allows you the right to hire an attorney for free.  The law is there to protect you, but it only works if you take advantage of it—before it’s too late!   

For more information, contact Hammer Law PLLC to speak with an experienced Lemon Law attorney at (480) 480-1014 or hammerlemonlaw.com.