Lemon Laws in Alaska

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Alaska’s lemon law applies to new cars registered within the state for personal, family, or household use for as long as the vehicle is still under manufacturer’s warranty. It does not cover other vehicles like tractors, off-road vehicles, or farm vehicles.
If you’re in the unfortunate position of finding out that your new car is a lemon, the car insurance comparison app Jerry has compiled a handy guide to help you understand everything you need to know about Alaska’s lemon laws.
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To learn more about Alaska’s lemon laws, keep reading.
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What is a lemon law?

A “lemon” usually refers to automobiles like cars, trucks, and motorcycles, but it can apply to any product that doesn’t live up to its promised performance under the manufacturer’s warranty. Lemon laws protect consumers from such defective or faulty products.
All 50 states and Washington D.C. have their own variation of lemon laws, but they all have one thing in common: they help compensate buyers for their defective vehicles. This ensures that a consumer isn’t stuck footing the bill for a vehicle they can’t use.

Is there a lemon law in Alaska?

Yes, Alaska’s lemon law covers defects found in motor vehicles registered in the state of Alaska for personal or household purposes. The law applies only to cars, and does not cover tractors, farm vehicles, or off-road vehicles.

Is my defect covered under the lemon law?

Your vehicle could be considered a lemon if one of the following applies:
  • You’ve had to bring it in for repairs 3 or more times for the same issue
  • The defect cannot be repaired in less than 30 cumulative days
You must also be able to satisfy the following conditions:
  • The defect was not caused by any neglect, misuse, or vehicle modifications on your part
  • The defect is something that is covered under your vehicle’s express warranty
If your vehicle is breaking down consistently while still under warranty, it must be reported to the manufacturer before your warranty expires in order to qualify for lemon law protection.
Key Takeaway In order for lemon law to apply, the defect must be reported to the manufacturer before the warranty expires, but repairs can continue after the expiration.

Are used cars covered under the lemon law?

Alaska’s lemon laws do not cover used cars .
For this reason, due diligence is imperative when you’re shopping for a used car to avoid getting stuck with a lemon. Test drive the car before you buy it. Purchase a CARFAX report or look into the vehicle’s history, including any recalls for the make, model, and year. Have a mechanic evaluate it, if you can.
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What about new cars?

New cars that are registered in the state of Alaska for personal, family, or household use are covered under lemon laws.
Lemon laws do not cover tractors, farm vehicles, or off-road vehicles.
If your car has been altered in any way since you purchased or leased it, you may no longer qualify for protection under lemon laws.

How to pursue your lemon law rights in Alaska

In order to qualify for lemon law protection, the defect must be reported to the manufacturer within the duration of the car’s warranty. From then on, your manufacturer has at least three attempts to fix the defect to be considered a “reasonable number.”
If the defect cannot be fixed in 30 cumulative days, regardless of the number of attempts made in that time, your car could still qualify as a lemon.
This first attempt and the ones that follow should be thoroughly documented. Diligence and following the steps in the lemon law process is key to building a successful case. It does not guarantee you a win, but it absolutely does improve your chances.
If the three attempts fail, you must make a written declaration by certified mail to the manufacturer and its dealer or repairing agent within one year of the vehicle’s delivery date, or sixty days after the warranty has expired, whichever comes first. This declaration should state that the following:
  • The vehicle has a defect or nonconformity
  • What that defect is
  • The manufacturer has made a reasonable number of attempts to fix it
  • You demand either a refund or replacement delivered on the 60th day after the notice is mailed

Manufacturer’s final attempt and arbitration

Upon receipt of the declaration, your manufacturer has 30 days to attempt a final repair. If this fails, you are strongly encouraged to request arbitration before you can pursue your claim to the refund or replacement, although arbitration is not legally required.
Before going into arbitration, it’s advised that you hire an attorney who specializes in lemon law cases.
The arbitrator’s first order of business will be determining whether or not your car qualifies as a lemon, and a lawyer will help you build a convincing case that it does. Manufacturers will have legal teams trying to convince the arbitrator otherwise, so don’t be caught unprepared.
If the arbitration does not rule in your favor, you can take your case to the courts. The manufacturer, however, must abide by whatever the arbitrator decides.
Key Takeaway In Alaska, you must make a written declaration stating that your car is a lemon and why, and that you demand either a refund or a replacement vehicle.

Lemon law tips

A few things to keep in mind:
  • If your vehicle issues are the result of neglect, abuse, misuse, or unauthorized modifications, you won’t be protected under the state’s lemon law
  • All repairs should be made through the manufacturer or dealership, or by repair facilities that the dealer has authorized (don’t forget to keep records of these repairs!)
  • Keep your terminology consistent and don’t change the way you refer to the problem—for a lemon law to apply, there must be one issue that needs to be fixed repeatedly
  • If your situation isn’t covered by the lemon law, you may still be protected by the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

Finding cheap car insurance

With any new car, your job is to protect it. That’s where Jerry comes in.
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