Lemon Law and Manufacturer Defenses

The Attorney General’s Office of the State of New York is currently engaging in a statewide campaign to educate seniors on consumer fraud issues. Called, “The Smart Seniors Program,” the presentations are being given by Kristin-Liliana Manzur, lemon law coordinator and consumer frauds compliance officer from the Attorney General’s office. The program is designed to warn seniors of potential rip-offs.

Such programs would not be needed if it were not for the fact that, in the instance of vehicle purchases, for example, dealers and manufacturers would just play straight when they sold a consumer a lemon. Instead, however, there is a multitude of defenses used by vehicle manufacturers when a lemon law claim is presented.

“Unfortunately, you will find that a manufacturer’s first line of defense is often either denial or outright falsehood,” explained Norman Taylor, leading California lemon law attorney. “Service writers will claim you said things that you never said, or may claim that you never said things that you know you did say. They will say they told you things that you know you never heard.”

Taylor knows these defenses well. 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.

The answer to these defenses is the paper trail. Our world thrives on records and documents, and whenever a dispute arises, the person who has the best paper trail stands the best chance of winning.

“When your vehicle is repaired, never leave without your copy of the repair order,” Taylor continued. “Read it! If there is something that you do not understand, ask about it. If something is missing, point it out to the service writer. Most important of all, if anything on the repair order is even slightly inaccurate in any way, do not sign it. If you sign something without reading it, it will be presumed accurate, and you may lose the paper chase.”

As an example of something to make sure it is on a repair order, if you went along on a test drive to demonstrate an abnormal front-end vibration, and the technician said, “Yeah, I can feel that, that’s not right,” make sure the repair order reflects that the technician verified your complaint.

Because of the many manufacturer defenses—and many other reasons—if you think you may be driving a lemon, it is best contact a qualified lemon law attorney right away.

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