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Arizona regulates consumer products such as motor vehicle sales and repairs, home solicitations, and home improvement contracts. Consumer fraud is any deception, false statement, or misrepresentation made by a seller or advertiser of merchandise. Failure to disclose a material fact may also be consumer fraud. Merchandise may include any goods, real estate or services. The Consumer Fraud Act is found in (A.R.S §44-1521-1534).

The Arizona Attorney General has the authority to bring actions against violations of the Consumer Fraud Act. A private citizen can also bring an action for a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act within one year from the date the claim arises. 

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you should first contact the company in writing and specifically request the relief that you feel is appropriate. You may also file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. 

 

Q: What happens if my new car is a lemon?

A: You might be able to cancel the purchase if you bought it from a dealer. You must notify the dealer and give them an opportunity to fix it first. If it continues to be a problem, you must notify the dealer that you are canceling the purchase and must return it intact.  Arizona’s “lemon law” covers new and used vehicles purchased from a dealer. 

Also, the warranty on a new motor vehicle includes a period of two years or 24,000 miles following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever is earlier (A.R.S §44-1262).

For a used motor vehicle, the warranty period runs before midnight of the 15th calendar day after delivery of a used motor vehicle or until it is driven 500 miles after delivery, whichever is earlier (A.R.S §44-1267).

 

Q: What exactly is a warranty?

A: There are two types of consumer warranties: express and implied. Under Arizona law, express warranties by the seller are created by:  

  • Any affirmation of fact or promise made by the seller to the buyer, which relates to the goods and becomes part of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods will meet the promise. (A.R.S §47-2313(A)(1)).
  • Any description of the goods, which is made part of the bargain, creates an express warranty that the goods will meet the description. (A.R.S §47-2313(A)(2)).
  • Any sample or model, which is made part of the bargain, creates an express warranty that goods will meet the sample or model (A.R.S §47-2313 (A)(3)).
  • Implied warranties occur where the seller, at the time of contracting, has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods. Under this section of the Arizona laws, implied warranty means:
  • The goods are fit for the regular purposes for which the goods are used; and
  • The goods meet the promises or affirmations of fact made on the container or label (A.R.S §47-2314).

 

Q: I have three days to cancel a purchase, right?

A: Many consumers mistakenly believe that they have three days to back out of any purchase. However, there are very few cases in which this right applies. For certain home solicitation sales under the Arizona Home Solicitation Sales Act (A.R.S §44-5001-5008), people have three business days to cancel certain sales if the seller personally solicited the sale and the buyer agreed to buy a good or service at the buyer’s home.

Other statutes require cancellation periods for certain kinds of contracts, such as for health spa services or dance studio lessons. Other important information to remember:

  •  Business days include Saturdays but not Sundays or Federal holidays.
  • You must notify the lender in writing that you are canceling. You can’t do it over the phone or in a face-to-face conversation.
  •  The written cancellation notice must be mailed, wired or delivered before midnight of the third business day. It is best to send your mail by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested to prove you mailed the letter in time and your lender got it.

 

Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here. 

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