Every year, more than 30,000 people die and over 2 million people suffer injuries in vehicle crashes. We hear a lot about the human factors in these crashes, and for good reason. Over 90 percent of crashes are caused by human error. But consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the role that defective vehicles play in the number of traffic fatalities.
Encouraging public interest in defective vehicles is more important now than at any point in our nation’s history. In 2014, recalls related to safety defects set an all-time record in the United States, with approximately 51 million vehicles recalled. In 2015, that record was broken for the second year in a row, just exceeding the 51 million mark.
Safety-related vehicle recalls have become a fixture of daily news cycles. They have also eroded consumer confidence and wedged a growing divide between buyers and manufacturers. A 2016 study found that customer satisfaction rates have declined, owing largely to the perception by consumers that manufacturers take recall-related repairs less seriously than they do repairs of non-recall problems.
It’s not uncommon for manufacturers or dealers to balk at repairs. The good news for consumers, however, is that there are laws that demand action from these groups when a vehicle turns out to be a lemon. In California, the lemon law is known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and it is one of the strongest laws of its kind in the nation.
Consumer awareness is key for holding manufacturers accountable for vehicle defects, which is why we created an Infographic to explain the basics of California’s lemon law.
On this Infographic, you will learn…
- What the “lemon law” means for consumers and what they can expect from using it.
- What constitutes a lemon?
- Some of the most common examples of defects in a lemon vehicle.
- What you should do if you believe you have purchased a lemon.
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As you see in the Infographic, there are certain things that consumers can do to maximize their chances of a successful claim after purchasing a lemon. Notifying the manufacturer immediately after you notice the defect is key, since it will establish a correspondence with the manufacturer and be used to determine the amount of compensation you receive.
It is also vital to retain the services of an experienced lemon law attorney as soon as possible. Though it is possible to go it alone and work through an arbitrator, anyone who has gone through the process can tell you that having an advocate by your side will boost your chances of success and maximize the compensation you receive.
One final tip to consumers: Keep records of everything. If you receive letters from the manufacturer or if you send your own letters to a dealer or manufacturer, keep a copy of that correspondence. Keep copies of every bill that stems from the lemon vehicle, such as repair costs or any damages suffered because of the defect.
We hope you find this Infographic helpful in understanding common vehicle defects, a manufacturer’s duty to provide compensation to consumers, and your rights when it comes to defective vehicles.
If you have any questions or wish to file a claim, contact the California lemon law attorneys at Neale & Fhima to learn more about your options. Our team has consistently provided clients maximum results. We know how to stand up to manufacturers and ensure that our clients are given the treatment they deserve.