California Lemon Law Highlighted by Toyota Tundra Issue

According to a recent article in Automotive News, Toyota Motor Corporation must submit information to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in response to complaints about rusted frames on 2000 and 2001 Toyota Tundra pickups.

NHTSA is investigating 20 reports that relate to spare-tire separation and brake system failures resulting from severe frame corrosion on the pickups. As of November 19, the federal agency had received 238 complaints about the 2000 models and 48 about the 2001 models. The complaints range from brake-line corrosion to corrosion of the entire frame. More than 70 complaints had been posted since NHTSA launched its investigation in October.

The issue may or may not result in a recall, but it highlights an interesting factor when it comes to lemon law. For example, it may be that the general warranties on many of these vehicles have expired—but other portions of the vehicle could be covered longer.

“If you take a close look at your warranty manual, you will find that different parts of the vehicle have different warranty periods,” said Norman Taylor, leading California lemon law attorney. “Some of them last far longer than the primary vehicle warranty. For example, the engine, emission equipment and power train may all have different warranty periods, and will be covered even after the regular warranty has run out.”

Taylor knows the ins and outs of warranties 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.

Warranty length can also be affected by other factors. For example, when a defect appears during the warranty but repair attempts fail to correct the problem, the warranty period is extended until the defect has actually been fixed. Some states require the consumer to notify the manufacturer that the defect has not been fixed in order to qualify for this extension.

“The warranty period is essentially a ‘discovery’ period,” Taylor explained. “The warranty continues to cover any defect discovered during the warranty period, even if the repairs may extend beyond it.

If you think you may be driving a lemon, the best course of action is to contact a qualified lemon law attorney right away.

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