Discovering that the automobile dealership where you have your lemon car
repaired has been less that honest with you and that they deliberately
mislead you, that they incorrectly document your defects and a really
long list of other deceptions, is a hard lesson to learn. Here at Norman
Taylor & Associates we see the worst, but we have also learned many
things that consumers can do to preserve their rights under the
California lemon law.
Today’s lesson is simple and relatively inexpensive. The short version
can be stated in one sentence. “Always carry a camera when you drive
your vehicle.” Why, you ask, should I do that?
Here is an example of why you should have a camera available. You come
out and start the car in the morning. The check engine light is flashing.
You drive the car to the dealer and before you get there the warning light
goes off. You tell the service writer about the check engine light and
he or she gives you the look, you know the one. It says, “If you
say so, Pal.” After the repair attempt, the dealer will almost always
say, “No Problem Found.” If you brought a picture of the Check
Engine Light, they definitely would have made a stronger effort to find
out what was wrong.
Here’s the best way to take the photos. Take a picture of the instrument
panel in such a way as to include the mileage, or if that’s not
possible something with a current date. Modern cell phones will allow
you to take photos and sometimes to make short movies. This could be really
helpful if you have a problem that causes the vehicle to run very rough,
or the RPM needle swings up and down when the vehicle is at idle or the
vehicle is pulling to the left or right. If your phone doesn’t have
these abilities, you can purchase a disposable camera that will do the
job. You just put it in the glove compartment. And what about those oil
leaks? The dealership says they can’t see any. You show them pictures…now
you are in control of the dialogue.
No one wants to buy a lemon car. Almost without exception, every potential
client I’ve spoken with just wanted to buy a car that was trouble
free. They didn’t want to be embarrassed when their vehicle stalled
on the freeway, scaring the wits out of their passengers and wasting time
that should be spent at work. They didn’t want to wait around while
their car was towed to the dealership for endless repairs. It is bad to
be the effect of life and our automobiles are definitely a part of life.
It is far better to be cause over our lives, and knowing how to prepare
for problems with our vehicles is just good common sense. Having a camera
handy in your car or truck gives you an edge when seeking recourse under
the California Lemon Law.