Stop Being so Darn Nice

Patience it is said is a virtue. However, there are limits. Exceeding these limits can definitely prevent the consumer from exercising their right under the California lemon law. Recently I analyzed a vehicle to see if it qualified for the Lemon Law and was astonished by the consumer’s patience. The following is a generic summary of the client’s defects and the dealership’s response.

  • 1st Repair Attempt: @ 3760 miles: When coming to a stop there is a delay before shifting then the transmission shifts. It feels like you have been rear ended. The dealer lists various tests and concludes: could not verify driver’s concern. In a subsequent discussion with the client, she said the Service Writer and others were condescending and told her perhaps she didn’t know how to drive a modern high performance vehicle.
  • 2nd Repair Attempt: @ 11,800 miles: When coming to a stop or slowing down in stop-and-go traffic there is a delay before shifting then the transmission kicks hard. No problem found.
  • 3rd Repair Attempt: @ 23,500 miles: When coming to a stop or slowing down there is a delay before shifting then the transmission delays and kicks hard. No problem found.
  • 4th Repair Attempt: @ 36,800 miles: When slowing down in freeway traffic there is a delay before shifting then the transmission kicks hard. The dealership stated they searched for a software update and wonder of wonders; they found one and installed new transmission control software. After each attempted repair they asserted that the vehicle was now operating as designed. With the defect still present at this point and in some cases sooner, the consumer should contact a California Lemon Law attorney.
  • 5th Repair Attempt: @ 41,200 miles: When coming to a stop or slowing down in stop-and-go traffic there is a delay before shifting then the transmission kicks hard. This time they said the transmission fluid was low and that they would replace it as a “Goodwill” gesture. Extraordinary kindness!
  • 6th Repair Attempt: @ 47,100 miles: the transmission seizes while parked at work and will not move from PARK to DRIVE. Now the dealership is compelled to actually perform repairs. They disassemble the transmission and replace the control unit. Before she leaves, the service writer asks, “Have you been driving this car very hard?”

This vehicle was taken in twice more for transmission defects before she finally called Norman Taylor & Associates for help. Her reasoning was that the dealership employees were willing to help. As noted the consumer could have made a case after the fourth repair at which time the mileage was still low.Here’s the bottom line. Enough is enough! Don’t wait! You gave the dealership all of the repair attempts they were entitled to under the law. If they cannot repair the car at that point, it’s time to seek recourse under the California lemon law.

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