What does the AZ 'Lemon Law' really do?

Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 22:32:06-04

It's one of the most confusing topics we tackle -- what do you do when you buy a lemon?

Unfortunately, cars are not like clothes, you can't just return them; even when they are defective. But you do have a few protections described in the Lemon Law.

For used cars: The Lemon Law kicks in when a major component breaks down within 15 days or 500 miles of the purchase, whichever is sooner. The dealer gets two chances to fix it, but can charge you up to $25 each time.

If the problem is not fixed after the second attempt, you are entitled to a refund of the purchase price.

For new cars: Everything is on the manufacturer, and they get a lot of time to figure it out.

If the car has major problem within two years or 24 months of purchase, you are covered. That means the manufacturer gets four attempts to fix the car. But, the car cannot be out of service for more than 30 days. If it's not fixed in that time, the manufacturer has to accept the return of the car or replace it with a new one.

Can't get the dealer or manufacturer to follow the law? File a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's Office and the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions because it's their job to enforce the rules.

Need my help? Call volunteers with the Assistance League of Phoenix at (855) 323-1515, by email, or on Facebook or Twitter.