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The term “lemon,” is applied to vehicles with defects that can’t be repaired after a number of repair attempts. Normally these defects must impair the vehicle’s safety, use or resale value. Good news is you can get protection from Alaska lemon law. If you purchase a vehicle and find it defective, you can contact your manufacturer or dealer to repair it. After many unsuccessful attempts to repair the defects, the dealer will be compelled to refund your money or replace the vehicle with a new one.
The First Year
The first year of driving your vehicle is the most important period of determining whether you bought an error free vehicle or a lemon. You are required to report all faults to both the dealer and the manufacturer. If your car qualifies for lemon, you will definitely get your refund or vehicle replacement as required by Alaska lemon law.
Keep all documents
Documents may help to have a strong case if you file a law suit against your car dealer or manufacturer. Remember to keep good records of the following documents.
- Purchase or lease documents
- Maintain records including maintenance receipts showing the cost incurred
- Evidence of communication with your dealer/manufacturer (letters, phone call records, emails)
- All documents/photos showing the defects
- Repair records
What to Do
Before deciding to involve the courts and justice system, ensure that your car fits the definition of the state’s lemon law. Under Alaska lemon law, you have a lemon on your hands when either of the following criteria has been met:
- The car still has the same defects even though the manufacturer has tried to fix at least 3 times, and the defect has not been repaired
- If the vehicle has been out of service for 30 business days or more.
- The manufacturer or dealer has been notified of the problem within a period of 1 year of purchase or during the warranty.
Holding Up Your End
Alaska lemon law requires you to go through the manufacturer’s arbitration system before taking any legal action against the manufacturer. Most vehicle manufacturers in Alaska have an informal dispute settlement program. For more information on filing your complaint through this process, contact your manufacturer or simply refer to your owner’s manual.
If you through this process and it is determined that you purchased a lemon, the manufacturer will be required to either:
- Refund your purchase price plus all costs incurred
- Replace your vehicle with a comparable one.
If you go for refund option, the manufactured will be required under Alaska lemon law, to deduct a reasonable amount equivalent to the miles covered.
Taking a legal action
However, if the informal arbitration system fail to resolve the dispute in your favor, and you truly feel that you purchased a lemon, you can hire a lemon law attorney to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. However, do be aware that the Alaska lemon law is not applicable if:
- The defect was caused as a result of owner’s negligence
- Natural disasters
- Or any other faults caused by unauthorized persons other than the manufacturer
You can also use other applicable laws when filing your case. These laws are:
- Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
- Uniform Commercial Code