Lemon Laws and Product Liability

Product liability suits against auto manufacturers have been in the news recently. They are a serious matter. According to one consumer organization, “Every year, there are about 500 to 1000 serious injuries or deaths due to cars that are designed or built with defects.” Fortunately for consumers, lemon law can provide relief from a car with a serious safety defect without having to wait for a tragic accident. It’s sometimes hard to understand why manufacturers often fight completely legitimate lemon law claims. Aside from the human costs, buying back a lemon is far, far cheaper than paying out a multi-million dollar product liability judgment.

There has been recent media interest on this subject due to the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcies and whether the “new” companies emerging from bankruptcy will be responsible for product liability claims brought against the old. Many articles have described the horrific details of people whose lives have been devastated forever due to defective vehicles.

Anyone who has worked in the field of lemon law is continually amazed at the ways owners manage to cope with their problem cars and trucks. But when safety is at issue, putting up with a defect is the wrong thing to do. Lemon laws in California and many other states have special provisions for serious safety defects. If you think your car may fall into that category and you’ve been brushed off by the dealership or manufacturer, you should contact a lemon law attorney.

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