Lemon Law Claims Post Chrysler & GM Chapter 11

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.

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