While Toyota is definitely taking the brunt of recalls lately, other vehicle
manufacturers have troubles of their own: GM is currently being sued over
a 2009 Chevrolet. The owner of the Chevrolet claims he experienced repeated
problems that caused him to fear for his safety.
This is not the first time GM has been sued for safety issues - in 2009
a wrongful death suit was filed against them for defective seat belts.
2009 also saw a recall of almost 1.5 million mid- and full-size Buick,
Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac vehicles because of an engine oil leak
problem that could pose a fire risk.
This kind of defect in a vehicle is precisely what the lemon law is about.
It protects consumers from the harm or loss caused by purchasing a defective
vehicle. Who has what rights and what duties in lemon law matters? It
seems clear. The consumer has the duty to present the vehicle to the manufacturer
or its representative, the dealership, in order that they are able to
diagnose the defect and repair it. Along with the duty, the consumer has
a right to expect the dealership to repair the vehicle honestly and expeditiously.
What are the rights of the manufacturer? Simply put, they have the right
to expect that the consumer will present their defective vehicle at an
authorized dealer for repair in a timely manner, and that the consumer
properly maintain the vehicle. The manufacturer should have no other expectation.
They should not expect a consumer to perfectly describe the defect they
are experiencing or any other limiting requirement.
Of the thousands of lemon law clients we have spoken with, it is extremely
rare that a manufacturer makes a legitimate offer to buy back or replace
a defective vehicle. In each of these cases no hint of awareness of their
affirmative duty was present.
Not all manufacturers or dealerships are the same. Some, certainly not
enough, really do have the consumer’s best interests at heart.
If however you find yourself with a defective vehicle and a manufacturer
who is not ready to step up and replace or refund as they should, find
yourself an experienced lemon law attorney. Do your homework. Look at
their record. See what others who have used their services have to say.
Be certain they offer you a free case evaluation without delay. Never be
afraid to ask hard questions. It’s important and it can determine
the outcome of your lemon law case.