Understanding Arkansas Lemon Law

Buying a new car is a big investment. It should be a fun, exciting experience that ends with you driving the car of your dreams. Sometimes, however, that dream can turn into a nightmare if the wonderful purchase you thought you made turns out to be a poor investment.

This blog will look at the law in place to protect consumers from this scenario. Keep in mind that nothing in this blog is written as legal advice and should not be interpreted as such. If you have questions about the Lemon Law, or if you qualify to leverage it and have legal questions, you should consult a lawyer.

Lemon Law in Arkansas

To protect its people from predators who might try to take advantage of the car buying experience, the government has passed “Lemon Laws.”

These laws allow consumers to purchase vehicles without fear of getting taken advantage of. The Arkansas New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act does exactly that.

According to this law, consumers have a 24-month or 24,000-mile period of quality assurance. In that time, if there are issues with the car you’ve purchased that substantially impair your ability to drive it, the manufacturer or dealership must repair the vehicle. If those repairs are unsuccessful, you must send a letter to the manufacturer, not the dealer, allowing them a final opportunity to repair the vehicle. Assuming it all goes well, this back-and-forth will end with you getting a repair, replacement, or refund for the vehicle you purchased.

There are numerous details in the Arkansas New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act that you should be aware of. Car Lemon has a decent breakdown of the Arkansas New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, or you can take a look at the Lemon Law for yourself.

How to Take Advantage of Lemon Law in Arkansas

If you have bought, leased, or registered a new vehicle in the state of Arkansas, you are covered by the Lemon Law for up to two years after the date the vehicle was delivered.

The Lemon Law’s Presumption

Before you can get a refund or replacement of your vehicle, the manufacturer or dealership must attempt to repair the issue. This presumption is made by the law, so pursuing repairs quickly is paramount to you taking advantage of the Lemon Law. If the manufacturer or dealership can prove that they did not have the necessary time to repair your vehicle because you did not follow the terms of the warranty, the Lemon Law may not apply to you.

Attempts at Repairing Your Vehicle

Once you have identified a defect or problem with your car, you must report it immediately to the dealership and/or manufacturer. If they try repairs, you should keep all documentation of these attempts and communications.

Be sure to request documents that include:

  • Charges for parts and labor
  • General description of the issue
  • List of all work performed

The cost of these repairs will depend on your warranty. In most cases, manufacturers cover the first year or 12,000 miles. In that instance, you will have to cover costs in the second year, or miles beyond 12,000.

If you’ve taken your car in for the same issue several times and the issue remains unresolved, you may be able to take advantage of the Lemon Law. The manufacturer has a “reasonable number of attempts” to correct the defect—this usually means three.

Before you file a claim under Lemon Law, you are required to give the manufacturer one final attempt to repair it, after the “reasonable number of attempts.” To accomplish this, you must:

  • Send a letter to the manufacturer by certified mail
  • Include return receipt requested
  • State that you may have a claim and are giving the manufacturer one last chance to repair the defect

Replacement or Refund

After the manufacturer receives your letter, they have ten calendar days to schedule the final repair attempt. If they do not schedule the final repair, or if they do not repair the issue within ten days of the scheduled repair attempt, Lemon Law affords you the right to a replacement vehicle or a refund.

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