Used car buyers have separate 'Lemon' law protectionPosted: Updated:
Buying a used car comes with some risks, but it also comes with a few protections. Let's look at your rights under Arizona's used car "Lemon" law.
The "Lemon" law is very different between new and used cars. With new cars, consumers deal with the automaker, not the dealer that sold them the car. But when you buy a used car in Arizona, unless you explicitly waive your rights, the dealer has to give you a warranty and do any repair work.
Sven Manning owns a 2008 Dodge Caravan but lets his partner Dave do most of the driving. Manning bought it at Cactus Jack's in Phoenix and says right away he discovered problems.
"Immediately noticed that there was a burnt wiring smell, and the air conditioning did not flow right at all. It was like lukewarm warm," Manning said.
Cactus Jack's fixed the air conditioning problem, but Manning says the burnt smell has persisted. He contacted CBS 5 News wanting to know his rights under Arizona's used car "Lemon" law. I told him the most important numbers to remember are 15 days and 500 miles.
Arizona Revised Statute 44-1267 requires dealers to warranty used cars for 15 days or 500 miles; whichever is earlier.
"It supposed to cover repairs, anything that happens, you take it in immediately with no problems," Manning said.
Buyers must pay the dealer $25 per repair, but not more than once for the same problem. The 15-day window has expired on Manning's Caravan, but the smelly A/C problem is still covered.
"Because I did my part and made sure I contacted them within the warranty period," Manning said.
You can delay bringing the car in for service, but to preserve your rights, you must notify the dealer of the problem within the 15-day period. Manning never knew used car buyers had such valuable protection.
"I learned about the Lemon Law, how to do plenty more research and make sure others know about the Lemon Law too, in this state," Manning said.
Cactus Jack's has fulfilled its obligations to our viewer under the used car "Lemon" law.
If you're adamant about a certain car, you can waive your rights, but you should never do it by accident. The law requires the dealer to provide you with an easy-to-read document, worded in a very specific way, for you to sign if you want to waive your rights.
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