Auto sales began a serious slide in the spring of 2008 and by the fall,
several manufacturers were down as much as 30% from the prior year. What
if anything will this mean to the consumers in their future lemon law claims?
A hint of what may become the prevailing attitude amongst manufacturers
happened during the recent Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings. It appeared
as though all outstanding lemon law claims and the bouncing checks were
going to be swept up and discharged in the bankruptcy leaving many lemon
owners out in the cold. There was a public uproar carried by various consumer
groups speaking on behalf of those who had purchased a lemon, went through
the process and were poised for their refund. The media was such that
it gave Chrysler a black eye, and in what appeared to a PR effort to secure
a future with the buying public the “New Chrysler” switched
its course and decided to honor the outstanding lemon law claims.
Just prior to GM’s recent bankruptcy filing I was informed by someone
in a position to know that GM did nto want to make the same mistake Chrysler
did by giving the appearance that it didn’t give a hoot about its
buying public or those stuck with a lemon. I took this to mean GM is already
looking to the future with a message they will stand behind their product,
which includes honoring the lemon law.
Auto manufacturers in this country will survive only if they deliver a
high quality product and stellar service. No manufacturer is immune from
producing a bad one every now and then. It is the nature of mass production.
So when it does happen, manufacturers are smart to stand behind their
product and “exchange in abundance” with their public by honoring
lemon law claims. Gone should be the days when a consumer has to fight
to get what the manufacturer promised at the time of sale; a vheicle free
of defects for a given term.