The state of Pennsylvania recently joined the 36 other states in objecting
to the General Motors bankruptcy case. In a similar manner to other state
actions, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has stated that state
officials have serious concerns about consumer and business rights, ranging from
lemon law claims and warranties to state laws regarding car dealerships. Corbett
noted that the Attorneys General who joined in this filing do not necessarily
oppose the planned sale of General Motors, but they have expressed concern
that the current agreement is unclear or ambiguous about many such issues.
Since many manufacturer and dealer practices with regard to defective vehicles
continue to be unfavorable to consumers, it is wise for consumers to know
from the beginning how well they are covered as regards warranties.
“When buying a used vehicle, a consumer should be absolutely certain
to check the Buyer’s Guide where the type of warranty for the car
he or she wants is shown,” said Norman Taylor, leading California
lemon law attorney. “The Buyer’s Guide clearly states what
type of warranty the buyer can expect: as-is, limited or a full warranty.”
Taylor has repeatedly seen the dangers of not being sure there is an actual
warranty or is the salesman confusing you by using the term warranty when
he is actually talking about a service contract. A service contract does
not confer the same rights to a consumer as does a warranty. 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.
In addition to knowing if there is a warranty versus a service contract,
a consumer should also follow up and obtain in writing the extent of any
limited warranty. The conditions should be clearly stated, such as what
percentage of labor and parts the dealer will cover, for exactly which
systems within the vehicle, and for what duration.
A solid warranty is, of course, the consumer’s primary protection
in case he or she ends up with a defective vehicle—a lemon. “At
the heart of every lemon law is the manufacturer’s or a dealer’s
breach of warranty,” said Taylor. “It is this broken promise
that gives consumers the right to receive a replacement or refund if the
vehicle is a lemon.”
The moral of the story: be certain of your vehicle’s coverage right
from the beginning. And if you suspect you might be driving a lemon, it
is best to contact a qualified lemon law attorney right away.