Articles Posted in Lemon Law (Auto)

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Consumer Rights Law Blog has posted an article about an online database where consumers can find records from junk yards, insurance companies, and salvage yards about wrecked cars. The idea is to help consumers “avoid buying patched up junk cars and trucks.”

However, not all states are cooperating.

14 states are not participating while 10 more say they are “in development” but federal law requires full participation by 2010. Until then, you still can’t be sure if that great looking used car was totaled in an accident Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oregon, Washington DC or 9 other states that are not telling the truth about their records. You can see the full list above and check car records here: http://www.nmvtis.gov/

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The California Lemon Law Blog posted an article about the increasing risks associated with used car dealerships.

Howard D. Silver says that identity theft, corruption, and fraud were uncovered in a recently concluded investigation of the January 2007 shooting of a New York used car salesman. This particular lot was allowing people to purchase vehicles without using their own name.

The invetigation also uncovered:

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Ron Burdge has two posts on problems with the 2008 Honda Accord and then with Hyundais in general. We recommend both of these posts to you. In the first, Ron discusses the surprisingly growing problem with the 2008 Honda Accord. We normally think of Hondas as being wonderful cars from a reliability standpoint but there are reports of growing problems that you should be aware of if you are considering buying the new Honda Accord or if you have one.

Secondly, and this is truly a serious problem, Hyundai is requiring that all buyers waive their right to litigation in a court and instead agree to arbitration. We like Ron’s simple and direct advice – don’t buy a Hyundai. Well said.

If you think you may have bought a lemon, contact us or another good consumer lawyer to get advice on what you should do to resolve the situation.

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We ran across this good article by the lawyers at Krohn & Moss. We recommend reading this entire article (and looking through the rest of this excellent website) but this one scam resonated with us as we have had numerous clients deal with this one:

Scam 3 – Spot Delivery Scams Spot Delivery is when a dealership allows a consumer to drive the vehicle home off the dealer’s lot even though the sale is not consummated and complete. When a consumer seeks to finance the purchase with the aid of the dealership, the dealer most often does not get a banks acceptance while the consumer is there at the dealership, and will let the consumer take the care home while the dealer’s finance department works on financing. While in most states spot delivery is not illegal in and of itself, and can be helpful to both parties, the situation opens up opportunities for the dealer to implement various scams. For instance, once the consumer has grown accustomed to the car, perhaps proud of their new purchase and has shown it to friends and family, they would not hesitate to agree to sign a new, revised contract that has increased the payments. Also, the consumer would agree to bring more money for a down payment. Depending on how or why the dealer got the consumer to consent to come back in, certain consumer rights statutes may be violated. These are also referred to as “yo-yo” scams because the dealer sends you out and pulls you back in like a yo-yo. Most importantly, if a dealer is unable to obtain financing on the terms previously agreed upon, the consumer does not have to agree to new terms, and can elect to cancel the deal altogether. In that case, the consumer is entitled to whatever down payment or trade-in vehicle that they gave to the dealership with no amount to be withheld.

If you are buying a car, educate yourself on not only the car and the right price to pay but also on some of these common scams so you can avoid them or deal with them in the right manner. If you need legal advice, please contact us or another consumer attorney so you can know what your options are in your situation.

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We have met and greatly respect Ron Burdge – he is a tremendous consumer lawyer and has developed a nationally recognized lemon law practice. So, when he gives straight on advice we listen.

Please read his wonderful post about how you should document problems with your vehicles before you take them to the repair shop and what you should do (or not do) when you pick up your vehicle.

Here are some wonderful points:

Long before you go to the shop you want to sit down and write out a list of each and every defect and malfunction. Say what it is and explain it. Number each item on your list. Make sure your list is thorough, detailed and absolutely complete. You might even want to look over your vehicle with the list in your hand, so you don’t miss anything. Write your name, phone number, and vehicle description at the top of the list (year, make, model is enough).

Then leave a copy of your list at home and take a copy with you to the shop. It is extremely important that you leave a copy of the list of defects at home. You need to be able to prove what you complained about and the shop is likely to throw away their copy of your list later. No list, no proof. Simple as that.

Then, when you arrive at the shop, give the service adviser your list. Don’t read it to them. Don’t summarize it. Give them the list. That way there’s no misunderstanding about what you want done.

The service adviser may type it all into their computer and print out a repair order. That’s okay, but watch out. Often they will then ask you to sign the repair order before they start to work. The problem is that the paper they want you to sign may not have listed all of your complaints or it may say it differently from the way you said it. So what do you do? Simple. Write on the repair order “See Owner’s List” and then sign it. That way you are “incorporating” your list into the repair order itself and you’re covered. The service adviser may not notice or may not care or may scratch out what you wrote but it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you wrote it down.

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