Arkansas Lemon Law
The Arkansas lemon law provides consumers with protection from financial hardship in the event of a new vehicle being declared a “lemon,” and found to be unrepairable by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Vehicles are considered lemons in rare instances, but the title is given when a vehicle displays an unresolvable mechanical failure that substantially impacts the use and safety of the vehicle. A used car lemon law is not available within the state, as the law only provides protection to new vehicles that meet eligibility requirements.
Consider a lemon law attorney if you experience a new vehicle that has had numerous failed attempts to repair a mechanical failing. An attorney can provide several benefits, including guidance throughout the process, representation if your case goes to court and information as to the compensation that you are entitled to under Arkansas law.
What is the Lemon Law in Arkansas?
The Arkansas car lemon law only provides protection to vehicles that are new and meet eligibility requirements that have been set by the state. Therefore, it is important to learn about this law and, if your car experiences mechanical failings, request repairs in a timely manner, in order to remain within the coverage period of the law.
By the Arkansas lemon law definition, vehicles will only be covered for the 24 months following the original delivery of the vehicle, or until the vehicle reaches 24,000 miles.
In Arkansas, the law will provide coverage for whichever of the above happens last. However, the law cannot be applied to:
- Vehicles that weigh more than 13,000 pounds.
You have the option of a lemon law buyback or replacement, so long as the vehicle meets the above eligibility requirements, and the manufacturer has had a reasonable amount of attempts to repair the vehicle.
Furthermore, the vehicle will only be considered a lemon if the mechanical failing that has not been resolved is substantial, and the problem that has persisted is the same problem, not a variety of mechanical issues.
In Arkansas, a dealership is allowed three attempts to repair the vehicle, or one unsuccessful repair attempt for a nonconformity that will likely result in death or serious injury.
If the vehicle is declared a lemon after the manufacturer has repeatedly failed to repair the vehicle, you will have the choice of having the manufacturer replace or refund the vehicle.
If you choose to take the lemon law buyback offer, you will sell your vehicle back to the manufacturer for the full purchase price of your vehicle, minus the “reasonable allowance for vehicle use.” Your refund may also include:
- Credits and allowances for vehicle trade-ins that you made at the time of purchase.
- The cost of any options or modifications that were added by the authorized dealer of vehicle manufacturer.
- The cost of Arkansas sales tax, licenses and car registration
- The cost of charges related to financing.
- Charges for renting a similar vehicle while the faulty vehicle was out of service, due to the defect.
Should you choose to request a replacement, instead, you may be required to pay a “reasonable allowance for vehicle use” on the previous new car purchase.
Does the Arkansas Lemon Law apply to used cars?
While 30 day lemon laws on used cars are offered in a handful of states, Arkansas is not one of them. In fact, the law is not extended to any used vehicles.
If you are interested in purchasing a used vehicle in Arkansas, it is strongly recommended that you review a vehicle history report, as well as consider having a licensed mechanic look at the vehicle. While this may cost you a small fee up front, it will be worth avoiding the financial burden of mechanical issues after the purchase of the vehicle.
Under Arkansas law, a manufacturer is allowed to resell a lemon vehicle that has been returned, so long as the buyer is informed that the vehicle “was returned to the manufacturer because of a nonconformity not cured within a reasonable time.” Therefore, you can avoid purchasing a vehicle that was previously deemed a lemon.
In some cases, a federal lemon law, known as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, may apply to a used vehicle that is experiencing repetitive mechanical failings – if you have a warranty. This federal act ensures that dealerships provide warranties that are in accordance with the law, and uphold the warranty that was provided.
How does the Lemon Law Work in Arkansas?
To gain protection under the new car lemon law in Arkansas, you must report mechanical failings to the vehicle’s manufacturer or dealership – immediately.
It is also crucial that you keep a detailed record of all of the problems that you experience with the vehicle, the repair attempt dates, your repair receipts and statements and any contact that you have with the dealership or manufacturer regarding the faulty vehicle.
As stated previously, used car laws do not exist in Arkansas, and the law can only provide coverage to new vehicles that meet the eligibility requirements. Each time the vehicle is repaired, you have the right to receive a detailed statement of the vehicle’s mechanical failings and the repairs that were completed.
It is important to review your vehicle’s lemon law warranty that was provided by the manufacturer, as most warranties will cover the cost of the vehicle’s repairs for at least the first year or the first 12,000 miles; whichever comes first. If you are outside of this period, you may be required to pay the upfront costs of these repairs.
If the vehicle is later proven to be a lemon and covered by the law, you may be entitled to a reimbursement for all of the repair costs.
The state lemon law requires that the manufacturer is allowed two repair attempts (or one unsuccessful repair attempt for a mechanical failure that could result in death or serious injury) before providing the manufacturer with a final repair attempt notice.
The final notice must be mailed to the vehicle’s manufacturer by certified or registered mail. The notice provides the manufacturer with one, final attempt to repair the defect.
After receiving the notice, the manufacturer will have 10 calendar days to schedule the final repair attempt. If the attempt is unsuccessful, you can then demand a replacement or a refund through the Independent Dispute Settlement Program (IDSP).
If you are covered under the Arkansas lemon law, your claim will be scheduled for a hearing within 40 days from the date that the manufacturer received your demand. You will need to provide all of the documentation, receipts and detailed notes that you have gathered, up until this point. You also have the right to an attorney.
Arkansas Lemon Law Lawyers
An Arkansas lemon law attorney can provide numerous benefits throughout the entire process of demanding a replacement or a refund for a faulty vehicle that has been determined to be a lemon vehicle under the law’s definition.
An attorney who specializes in lemon laws should be given strong consideration, especially for the hearing portion of this process, as a lawyer can represent you in court. In addition to representation, a lawyer can also:
- Assist you in determining the compensation that you are entitled to under the law.
- Help you to gather up the necessary documents needed for the court hearing.
- Provide guidance throughout the process.
- Contact the vehicle manufacturer on your behalf.
How to Tell if Your New Car is a Lemon in Arkansas
By the Arkansas lemon law definition, a lemon vehicle is a vehicle that has a substantial mechanical failing, and has experienced numerous failed attempts of repair performed by the manufacturer or dealership.
The mechanical failing must significantly impair the use, market value or safety of the motor vehicle in order to be considered a lemon. Smaller defects are not considered under the law.