Arkansas Lemon Laws – A Summary
Arkansas’ lemon laws state that if the buyer of a vehicle finds a major fault in it – which the manufacturers are unable to fix even after three-five valid attempts by the vehicle manufacturer to repair it – the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. This law applies to the vehicle throughout its express warranty period, and if the vehicle is still under its warranty period and meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Arkansas’ state laws, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid and demand the manufacturers to provide them with the necessary reimbursement, in the form of a refund or replacement of the faulty vehicle, through an informal dispute settlement through arbitration, or by taking the matter to the civil court if necessary. The repurchase costs will also cover any additional costs the owner underwent while purchasing the vehicle, but may not include a certain portion of the initial payment of the vehicle on account of the number of days the vehicle has been used by the owner, if any.
Arkansas Lemon Law Eligibility
All faulty motor vehicles registered under Arkansas, excluding mopeds, motorcycles, as well as living quarters of motor homes, and other vehicles that exceed a gross weight of 13,000 pounds, are eligible to receive lemon aids under state laws. Besides these exceptions, motor vehicles which have been significantly altered after their purchase from the manufacturers or dealers are not eligible under this law.
Motor vehicles qualify under the lemon law for a period of 2 years, or 24,000 miles, whichever comes latest. This means that a car can be driven for 4 years, with only 20,000 miles on it, and still qualify.
Arkansas Lemon Law Presumptions
When someone claims that their vehicle is a lemon. I.e. a faulty vehicle, the law has certain presumptions, which the vehicle must qualify under in order to indeed be considered a faulty vehicle. The law describes a lemon as a faulty vehicle which the manufacturer needs to have attempted to repair the vehicle at least three times unsuccessfully, and the owner needs to have at least given the manufacturer one additional attempt to fix it, which also did not amount to the fault being fixed successfully.
A different case scenario is when the fault in the vehicle is so significant that it may injure the owner if used. If the vehicle is in such a state, the manufacturer will be given two repair attempts, which if unsuccessful, the vehicle may then be considered eligible. Yet another different scenario is when there have been five or more repair attempts to fix the nonconformities of the vehicle, which have altogether significantly reduced the vehicle’s usability and market value.
Another factor to this is that if the owner has been unable to use the vehicle due to reasons of repair or attempted repair for 30 days or more, they may then claim for arbitrary aids as well.
Some cases in which the presumptions are not valid are when the vehicle has not been impaired to the point where its safety, usability and market value have been decreased greatly, or if the damages done to the vehicle have been caused by the owner, or due to an accident, in which the manufacturer had no involvement in.
Arkansas Lemon LawRepairs
Repair requests of the faulty vehicles should be taken to the manufacturer or dealer directly, and the owner is entitled to receive detailed receipts of each repair attempt, which they must save for future references, or as evidence. If the car is still under its first year of usage or has been driven for less than 12,000 miles, whichever of these comes first, these repairs are usually done free of cost.
After a set number of unsuccessful repair attempts as specified in each case scenario, the manufacturer (and not the dealer) needs to be given a final repair attempt, which if still unsuccessful, the owner may then claim that the vehicle is a lemon and get adequate compensation for it. The manufacturer needs to be sent a letter regarding this demand by the owner personally.
Arkansas Lemon Law Arbitration
If the manufacturer is affiliated with a certified arbitration program, it is mandatory that the customer seeks to resolve the matter through this informal method before filing a complaint in the civil courts. After sending out the demand letter to the manufacturer, the owner will then be sent an arbitration form as well as for instructions as to how they can go about through the process. Your arbitration claim must be settled by the arbiter within 40 days of the manufacturer receiving your letter, unless delayed by any unforeseen circumstances.
The arbiter will look through the case and the necessary testimonies and pieces of evidence to pass its judgment. If you are unsatisfied with the arbiter’s decision, you are free to reject it and proceed with your case to a civil court.
Arkansas Lemon Law Resolution
If your vehicle fit’s the eligibility criteria and has a major fault, it is likely that the arbiter will pass a judgment which is in your favor. The most common way by which you will be reimbursed is through replacement or repurchasing of the faulty vehicle, according to your preference.
In case of repurchase of a purchased vehicle, the amount which you will receive will be equal to the amount you paid while purchasing the vehicle, including additional charges added by the dealer and/or manufacturer. However, an amount will be deducted from this as per the owner’s vehicle use before the discovery of the fault.
For leased vehicles, the same rules as above are applied. However, the owner will be refunded the amount spent by the customer for leasing the vehicle, and there will be no penalties charged for releasing the lease early.
Arkansas Lemon Laws and Used Vehicles
The Arkansas Lemon Law has a unique provision in that vehicles qualify for 2 years, or 24,000 miles, whichever comes LATEST. This means that it has some of the United States most lenient lemon laws wherein a vehicle can be older than 2 years with low mileage and still qualify.