Don’t panic, the Song Beverly Act, California’s Lemon Law,
is not going anywhere soon. As far as the future, it depends of how far
forward you are willing to look. Twenty five years from now the number
of Lemon Law cases could be 75% of what there are today. There are a number
of reasons why Lemon Law cases could be much less in the future. Two of
the reasons that stand out are statistics and technology.
Let’s look at the numbers first. Depending on whose data you use,
modern automobiles may have as many as 15,000 components. Some experts
say less, some more. It depends a lot on who does the counting. There
are those who don’t count the components inside of sealed units.
We favor the idea that any component that can fail, whether it is inside
a sealed module or not, should be counted.
For example: Some of the components inside one of the many control computers
have components so small they aren’t visible except with a good
microscope. Nonetheless, the failure of one such component may render
the whole computer defective. Therefore, regardless of the size of a component
we think it must be counted. Remember, when it comes to the lemon law,
it’s all about the defects. It isn’t unusual for a modern
automobile to have 40 or 50 computers all connected together by a network
– more components.
Suppose you reduced the number of components by one half or more. Statistically
that would be 50% fewer chances for a failure. That’s one possibility.
Like it or not, we are rapidly approaching a time when our cars will be
either partly or wholly electric. If you remove the reciprocating engine
(what most cars have now) from a car, you will have reduced some of the
causes for lemon law cases that occur now. Without a gas or diesel engine
the transmission also will be much less complex. For a number of reasons
the push toward battery operated automobiles and trucks is underway, and
no amount of corporate foot-dragging by those who have an interest in
engines driven by fossil fuels, is going to prevent it from happening.
Practically everyday companies are forming whose products are the result
of discoveries made at the many university laboratories working on battery
technologies alone. The real question is how many more components would
be needed for this technology?
Will it take twenty five years for these companies to make batteries that
will drive a car 300 miles or more on one charge? Doubtful: It would be
very surprising if it took ten years, however the change over will probably
take longer. It will happen here in the United States first, and in Europe
probably at the same time. Here we have the most restrictions on energy.
It really doesn’t matter if we have ample reserves of oil and gas,
restrictions on acquisition and use will prevail. Countries like China
and India have no such restrictions.
It is as we said a numbers (statistics) game. Fewer components equal fewer
failures; direct correlation. It shouldn’t be surprising if warranties
also are longer. As far as the Lemon Law is concerned, statistics still
come into play. The larger the number of any product manufactured the
greater the chance that some of them will be defective. Some of these
defects, just like the problems that occur today, will be unrepairable
and people will need our help seeking the remedies allowed under the
California lemon law. Norman Taylor & Associates will be here ready to help as long as we