Have You Been Sold a Defective Car?
When you buy a new car from an auto dealership, you rightfully expect that the vehicle will be in good working order. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. All too often, consumers find out weeks or months later that the brand new car they just bought or leased is a lemon — a car with a defect or multiple defects that cannot be repaired.
If this happens to you, the most important thing for you to remember is that you have rights under state and federal law. Our experienced Anchorage-based consumer protection attorney, Daniel I. Pace, is familiar with the Alaska lemon law, as well as the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (the federal lemon law), and can help you obtain relief under these laws.
The Basics of Alaska’s Lemon Law
Alaska’s Lemon Law, enacted at AS 45.45.300-360, provides legal protections to buyers of new motor vehicles. The law requires the manufacturer to issue a refund or replacement vehicle if the new motor vehicle is defective and has not been repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
Vehicles Covered Under the Lemon Law
The Alaska Motor Vehicle Warranties Act, known as Alaska’s Lemon Law, applies to new vehicles, including cars, trucks, and SUVs, so long as they are normally used for personal, family, or household purposes and registered in Alaska. The Lemon Law also covers motor homes and RVs, so long as they are propelled by a motor. There is also a separate statute (AS 45.27.190-220) for boats, ATVs, UTVs, four wheelers, side-by-sides, snow machines, and outboard motors.
Even if you believe that your vehicle is not covered under Alaska’s lemon law, it is important to seek legal advice, as you may have remedies under contract or federal law.
The Manufacturer’s Responsibilities
The manufacturer, usually through its dealer or repairing agent, makes any necessary repairs after the owner reports a defect or problem. But if the manufacturer, dealer, or repairing agent is unable to repair the defect or problem after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer has a legal obligation to replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price of the vehicle. The purchaser gets to decide whether they want a replacement or refund.
Alaska’s lemon law presumes that you have given the manufacturer a reasonable chance to repair the vehicle if:
- The manufacturer has tried and failed to repair your car at least three times; or
- The total repair time for all the defects exceeds 30 business days (which need not be consecutive)
If you have been sold a defective vehicle, it is important to act fast, as there are notice requirements and other time-sensitive legal formalities under the law.
Contact Pace Law Offices for Lemon Law Legal Advice
The legal team at Pace Law Offices can advise you further on your rights under state and federal lemon laws and pursue all available remedies on your behalf. Even if Alaska’s Lemon law does not apply, you might have other recourse. We have represented Alaskans throughout the State against all the major vehicle manufacturers. Contact us today at 907-222-4003 to speak with a lawyer and learn more about how we can help you.