How Long Do You Have to Pursue a Lemon Law Lawsuit?

When it comes to pursuing a Lemon Law lawsuit for a defective vehicle, you must understand the nuances of the federal and state Lemon Laws to succeed in winning your claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer. Most importantly, know the time limit of the Lemon Law, called the statute of limitations. In Arizona, the Law Office of Michael J. Goodman is the expert in Lemon Law and can help you understand the pros and cons of pursuing Lemon Law claims in a professional manner.

Time is a great factor in a Lemon Law case because:

  • The statute of limitations requires that you file your claim in a timely manner.
  • The time period in which your vehicle experiences mechanical issues affects the chances of winning the case.

What Is the Statute of Limitation for the Arizona Lemon Law?

According to the Arizona Lemon Law, you have six months to file a lawsuit in court after your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. This is true even after your express warranty expires, which is two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. It’s best to start your claim during the express warranty period because delaying might reduce your chances of getting a full refund under Arizona’s Lemon Law. In other words, your best opportunity to settle your claim is within six months of when you first reported the problem to the dealer or manufacturer and while the vehicle’s warranty is still in effect.

If you miss the six-month window under the Arizona law, you may still have a chance for compensation using the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The statute of limitations for the federal Lemon Law is four years.

The statutes of limitations in both the state and federal laws prevent a buyer from pursuing a Lemon Law case on a lemon vehicle they have been driving for 10 or 20 years. This restriction encourages buyers to file a claim sooner rather than later.

When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin?

As mentioned above, the Arizona Lemon Law protects you and your vehicle for two years or 24,000 miles from the date of the original acquisition of the vehicle. The Lemon Law states that if your vehicle experiences mechanical defects or failures during this period, you are entitled to a remedy. If the problem cannot be fixed after a reasonable number of tries and within a reasonable time frame, you may receive a full refund, a replacement vehicle, or other compensation. The statute of limitations begins when you first report the defect to the dealer or manufacturer, regardless of how far into the vehicle’s warranty period you may be. Whether you have just driven your vehicle off the lot or you are within one day or one mile of the warranty expiration, you have six months to file your lemon claim under Arizona law. If, however, you are one day or one mile past the warranty period before you report a defect, you have no case.

Remember, the statute of limitations on the federal law is four years rather than six months for the state law. Be aware, however, that federal courts have jurisdiction for individual cases where more than $50,000 is involved. If your claim is less than $50,000 and you want to go to federal court, you may have to file a class-action suit.

Why Is It Better to File a Lawsuit Sooner than Later?

Even if you have plenty of time under the Arizona Lemon Law, don’t be lazy in filing a claim. As soon as you realize you have a lemon on your hands, you should look for an experienced lemon lawyer to pursue your case. Michael J. Goodman is the expert in Lemon Law claims in the Mesa, Arizona area. He resolves 90 percent of lemon cases within 30 to 90 days, and usually without having to file a formal lawsuit in state court.

Your Lemon Law claim clearly implies that you were sold a defective car, safety or value of which has been compromised. Because the vehicle didn’t live up to expectations expressed in the warranty, you are eligible for a refund or a replacement. Commencing the Lemon Law process in a timely manner only helps your claim. The sooner you start your claim, the sooner you can receive compensation for the defective car or a replacement vehicle that poses no threat to the safety of you and your family.

Consider that a delay in filing your claim looks as though the problem in your car isn’t that serious. A lemon is a car that is impossible to repair despite several attempts. If you drive your defective vehicle for an extended period of time, it may make an impression on the arbiter or judge that your car’s problem isn’t a threat to you.

Conclusion:

If you bought a new car and it broke down after a few months, don’t delay. File a claim right away. The more you delay you, the worse chance you have of getting a refund for your car. The manufacturer might point out that you drove the car all this time and argue that your neglect means there wasn’t a serious problem in the vehicle that could compromise your safety.

It’s never too late to talk to the Law Office of Michael J. Goodman. Request a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your case and let Mike determine the validity of your claim and your chances of winning. Mike will stand up for your rights and see that you receive full compensation under the law.