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Lemon Law Only Protects Car Owners, Not Lessees (at least in AZ)

30 March 2006
Lemon Law Information

Lessees of cars do not have the right or legal personality to invoke Lemon Law protection from either state or federal statutes.

This was the pronouncement made by the Arizona Supreme Court in dismissing the contention of Bill Parrot that he has the legal right and personality to sue DaimlerChrysler for not properly fixing the vehicle.

Parrot is not the owner of the vehicle, having only leased it from a Scottsdale dealership.

The court, through Justice Michael Ryan, said that the subject laws were made for the protection of car purchasers only. It does not include persons whose possession of the car does not come from a valid sale. Being only a lessee, he therefore has no title to the vehicle.

The decision overturns the 2005 ruling rendered by the Court of Appeals in favor of Parrot. The magistrates of the appellate court were of the opinion that to exclude lessees of vehicles from the protection of the said laws would make it useless.

Parrot instituted the lawsuit when the 2000 Jeep Cherokee he leased still failed to perform or function properly despite sending it for repairs at least 13 times. In suing the car manufacturer, he cited breach of warranty and invoked his rights under the Arizona Lemon Law, as well as the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

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