The 'Wall of Problems' in Pursuing a California Lemon Law Case

Melinda and Roger Deberry of Charleston, West Virginia have just filed suit against Ford Motor Company for multiple defects in their 2008 Ford Focus, including problems with the engine, steering, suspension and drivability. The vehicle was purchased in February of 2008, and the couple claim they sustained lost wages and vehicle use while submitting it to the dealership for numerous unsuccessful repair attempts. The case highlights the continued need for stringent law with respect to defective vehicles, including California lemon law.

In another recent case, a woman was permanently injured after her 2000 Nissan Frontier seatback failed in a rear-end collision. Information contained in the suit may indicate that Nissan was well aware of the seatback issue and could have taken steps to correct it before the vehicle was ever sold.

Both situations could have been resolved much earlier had the dealership and manufacturer in each case proceeded in an honest fashion. In fact, it is usually the case that the manufacturer knows all about such problems but are refusing to acknowledge them, according to leading California lemon law attorney Norman Taylor. “Most of the time, the manufacturer and its dealerships know all about the defective condition in the vehicle,” Taylor said. “In all likelihood, the defect was manufactured into the vehicle through engineering error, poor quality parts, inadequate quality control, deficient manufacturing procedures, or simply the statistics of manufacturing millions of vehicles.”

In his research in the handling of thousands of Lemon Law cases, Taylor actually ran across this actual quote from a service manager at a large automobile dealership: “If you can’t fix their car, fix their head.” This quote reflects the philosophy that some dealers and manufacturers utilize when dealing with complaining customers. They will repeatedly tell you that no problem can be found in an effort to make you go away. “This runaround is mental and financial torture,” said Taylor. “It can take many months, even years. It consumes incredible amounts of wasted time and costs that you did not anticipate and can probably ill afford.”

Taylor is intimately familiar with such tactics. He has been a California 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.

Hopefully there will come a time in the future when manufacturers and dealers will simply own up to their faults and treat customers with the respect they deserve. Until then, it well behooves anyone who thinks they might have purchased a “lemon” to contact a qualified California lemon law attorney immediately.

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