- March 6, 2018
- Categories: Lemon Law
When you buy or lease a new vehicle under warranty, it is reasonable to expect prompt and effective dealership service for any necessary repairs. You spent a lot of money on the vehicle, but when you show up for service, many auto owners are surprised to discover indifference at their dealer regarding repairs under warranty.
Many consumers are surprised at the difference at the dealership between the sales people and the service staff. But there is a good reason for some dealerships to give up on fixing troublesome new vehicles under warranty: state lemon laws.
All U.S. states have a lemon law based upon protections guaranteed to consumers under the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Lemon laws require the manufacturer to buy back or replace a car that cannot be repaired after so many attempts or days in the dealership. Typically that means three or four attempts to repair the same problem, or 30 days in the shop in the first year. But the hang up is that the ‘manufacturer’ is required to buy back or replace the auto, not the dealership.
Remember, dealerships sell the vehicles that manufacturers build. Dealerships are related to but are independent of auto manufacturers. When the dealer sells you a vehicle, they tell you that it can be serviced at the dealership under warranty. This usually works out fine, but not always.
Dealer May Shrug at Unfixable Problem
When there are repeated warranty repairs, the dealership may begin to lose interest in remedying the situation. Some industry experts say that auto manufacturers try to save money and not pay on warranty claims for vehicles with repeated repair costs. This might be because the repair work was done improperly, or the manufacturer thinks the effort is futile. Whatever the reason, do not be surprised if you bring your Chevy truck in for the fourth repair on a brake problem and service writers do not want to deal with you.
Another major reason for the indifference is that the manufacturer must pay for repurchase or replacement under state lemon laws. The dealership has no part of paying the claim; they have no incentive to step in and really solve the problem, other than pure good will.
These circumstances can cause some dealerships to just give up on the vehicle and tell the consumer to file a lemon law claim against the manufacturer. Some service writers have even been known to ask lemon law attorneys for a stack of business cards to hand out to people who own a certain make of vehicle. The service staff had gotten tired of pretending to try to fix a problem that they could not.
Seen in this light, it is understandable, in a way, that the dealer tells the consumer to go ahead and file a lemon law claim. If you have a serious defect with your vehicle under warranty that the dealership cannot repair after several attempts, a lemon law claim could be your best option.
Neale & Fhima, Lemon Law Attorneys Serving Southern California
If you have a vehicle under warranty with major repair problems in southern California, you may have a lemon law claim against the manufacturer. Neale & Fhima is proud to serve southern California clients who have a Lemon Law claim. If you require legal advice about a possible lemon vehicle, please call 949-661-1007 for a no-charge consultation.