South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Lessee of Car Not a Consumer under Magnuson-Moss or Lemon Law
Description

Arizona high court held that a lessee of a car that had many repair problems could not bring suit under either the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or under the state's Lemon Law because, as the statutes are written, one must be the owner of the car to have a claim.

Topic

Consumer Protection

Key Words

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; Lemon Law; Warranty; Automobile; Leases

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Parrot leased a Jeep Cherokee from a dealer, Pitre, in Arizona . The car had Chrysler's standard limited warranty. Parrot had to take the car in for repairs at least 13 times. He sued Chrysler for breach of its warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and under the Arizona Lemon Law. The trial judge held for Chrysler; the appeals court reversed. Chrysler appealed.

Decision

Vacated. Judgment of trial court affirmed. Under the Act, a person must be a consumer of a consumer product and have a written warranty, implied warranty or service contract. A consumer is a person who buys a product for purposes other than resale. The lessee of a car is not a consumer under the terms of the Act, since there was no sale of the vehicle, only a lease. Similarly, under the Arizona Lemon Law, one must be the owner of a car to be able to have a claim. Parrot does not own the car, so he has no claim.

Citation

Parrot v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 130 P.3d 530 (Sup. Ct. , Ariz. , 2006)

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