LITTLE ROCK – When considering a vehicle purchase, consumers may choose to invest in a new car in hopes that a new vehicle may be more reliable than a used one.
Generally, newer cars cost substantially less to maintain and most repairs are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. In rare circumstances, though, a new car may be considered a “lemon” and require repeated service and repairs. Arkansas law protects consumers in the event that new vehicle is a “lemon.”
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to inform Arkansas consumers about the state’s New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, also known as the Arkansas Lemon Law.
“Newer cars are expected to be more reliable than used vehicles, so consumers would be justifiably upset if they experience multiple problems with their new vehicles,” McDaniel said. “Arkansas’s Lemon Law ensures that consumers who buy a ‘lemon’ are able to get a refund or a replacement.”
Asserting a claim under Arkansas’s Lemon Law should be considered a last resort for consumers if a new vehicle experiences multiple problems. Only vehicles that are under two years old or have fewer than 24,000 miles are subject to Lemon Law provisions. The two-year or 24,000-mile stipulation still applies even if ownership is transferred during that period.
The law does not automatically give car buyers a right to a refund or new vehicle, even in the case of repeated problems. New cars are sold with a manufacturer-provided warranty. Defects are repaired by the manufacturer’s authorized dealer during the term of the warranty. The Lemon Law may be applicable only when the car suffers multiple problems and the buyer loses confidence in the manufacturer’s ability to provide a long-lasting repair.
A vehicle may be considered a lemon if there have been multiple, unsuccessful attempts to fix a problem that impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle. If problems persist to a point where a vehicle has been in the shop for an extended period of time, the Lemon Law may also apply.
Exceptions to the Lemon Law are for mopeds, motorcycles, motor-home living quarters, most vehicles weighing more than 13,000 pounds and vehicles that have been significantly altered after being purchased from a dealer. Also, cars that are more than two years old and have more than 24,000 miles are commonly sold “as-is” and the seller is not responsible for any defects, known or unknown.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Guide to the Arkansas Lemon Law contains detailed information about the law and offers tips for consumers who believe their vehicles may be a lemon. The guide, available at www.GotYourBackArkansas.org, helps consumers assert and complete a Lemon Law claim without the assistance of an attorney.
Automobile dealers are required to provide a copy of the Attorney General’s Lemon Law guide to every new vehicle owner.
For more information about the Lemon Law, or for other consumer information, visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org or call (800) 482-8982.
This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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