A consumer recently wrote into the Consumer Action section of the Press
of Atlantic City, New Jersey web site, complaining that they had purchased
a 12-year old vehicle, and had paid an additional $1,000 for a 1-year
warranty. When a defect arose on the vehicle, however, the dealership
refused to honor the warranty because it apparently had been only verbal;
no written warranty was issued. And, since the vehicle fell outside the
state’s lemon laws, the consumer was basically out of luck.
This story illustrates the continuing need for the
lemon law. Dealerships and manufacturers operate as businesses that, like many enterprises,
constantly work to increase profit and decrease the bottom line. Unfortunately,
the address of defective vehicles falls right under that bottom line,
and is treated as such.
“In American business, the bottom line is profit,” said Norman
Taylor, leading California lemon law attorney. “Both vehicle manufacturers
and dealerships must make money. Many things can interfere with this goal,
and with the way the manufacturer-dealer relationship is constructed,
one of those things can be defective vehicles.”
It’s a battle that Taylor consistently fights. He has been a lemon
law specialist since 1987, and he and his firm, Norman Taylor and Associates,
have handled over 8,000 cases for consumers with a 98 percent success
rate. He is one of the leading lemon law attorneys in southern and all
There are many limitations placed by manufacturers on dealerships that
create overwhelming pressure. For example, the manufacturer is producing
large numbers of defective products, something the dealer cannot change.
As another example, the manufacturer sets a warranty repair budget for
the dealership; when this budget is depleted, the dealer is penalized
and may have to eat repair costs themselves. And in yet another, a variety
of bonus programs are created for dealers, based not on quality of product
or service but on staying within that warranty repair budget.
“When a warranty budget is exceeded, the dealership must absorb additional
warranty repair costs,” Taylor explained. “Dealerships cannot
afford to treat these losses lightly, or to exceed their warranty repair
budget every month. “Hence it is no surprise that dealers resort
to tricks on the consumer – ‘no problem found” or ‘they’re
designed to work that way ma’am.’”
Because of this business relationship, it well behooves any consumer, if
they believe they have purchased a defective vehicle, to contact a qualified
lemon law attorney right away.