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Nothing but problems



  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I'm a lemon law investigator and deal with these cases every day. Your case was handled really well, and if the manufacturer was doing what they were supposed to, you wouldn't have needed an attorney at all.

    Irionically, I just filed paperwork with my lawfirm to lemon law my 2003 PT Cruiser GT (today) - I tried working with the manufacturer's customer people and the service district manager to no avail.

    My point on the weatherstripping - weatherstripping that falls off or makes air noise or whatever isn't regarded as a significant impairment.

    And yes, most definitely, these cases settle before going to court.

    I have, to date, been involved in 2,446 cases, yet I've only been to arbitrations 76 times and have only been to 8 trials. I'd say the majority of them settle, huh?
  • patziuspatzius Posts: 5
    It sounds like you know where I am coming from with all this.

    And to clarify from post #22: The Weatherstripping wasn't making noise, it was "raining" inside my car every time it was raining outside my car. Not just a little either. That was the one repair (outside of my warranty) that VW did pay 1/2 on. At that time my car had 32,000 miles and was 1 1/2 years only. They originally quoted me around $800 to fix this, but when they were paying 1/2, it magically only cost (between my 1/2 and theirs) only around $385. Not that I am not glad the price was significantly reduced, but that just proves to me how much they planned on making over and above the real cost of the repair.

    Anyway, I am working on getting out of this car and this lease all together. So I hope to be on happier terms with my next vehicle (as I always have been in the past). This is the 1st car I can say I truly HATE!!! It sure is cute, but what a pain in the a@@.

    Thanks for all the posts, they gave me some perspective anyway.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Lemons laws vary from state to state, but in California most definitely the defect has to be "significant". Here's how it reads:

    The Lemon Law commands that if a vehicle manufacturer or its authorized dealer(s) cannot properly repair a “material defect” in your vehicle while it is under warranty after “a reasonable number of attempts,” the manufacturer must either promptly replace your new vehicle or refund your money, at your choice. The Lemon Law applies to all vehicles (including trucks and recreational vehicles) purchased or leased in the State of California and under the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty.

    A “material defect” is defined under the Lemon Law as something which “substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle.” Most mechanical or drive-ability problems will qualify under this standard. The more serious the defect, the fewer number of repair attempts will be necessary to qualify the vehicle as a “Lemon."

    What constitutes “a reasonable number of attempts” at repair is a question of fact that can only be answered on a case by case basis. However, as a guideline, the Lemon Law states that if within 18 months or 18,000 miles of use, whichever occurs first, either the same material defect has been subject to repair four or more times, or the vehicle has been in the shop by reason of repairs for material defects for a cumulative total of more than 30 calendar days, then the vehicle is “presumed” to be a lemon.

    end of quote

    So in California, it seems unlikely that a trunk leak would qualify, but as you say, by all means consult a LL attorney. Don't presume that you are out of luck, that's good advice.

    Also, there is a misconception that the dealer buys the car back. This is not so. It is always the manufacturer who is responsible for buy-back under the Lemon Laws.


  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    has absolutely nothing to do with a lemon law case.

    In addition to the lemon laws in each state, the Magnusson-Moss act is stronger in many cases and depending on how it's applied, can render better results than just a disqualification. Mag-Moss works in many cases that aren't full-blown lemon law cases.

    Definitely consult an atttorney, but don't expect a repurchase or huge settlement. A couple of grand to make it "go away" and covering the attroeny's fees are likely all you'll recover.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    I cannot multiply.
    5*15 = 75 not 60.
    Stupid me.

  • colie74colie74 Posts: 42
    "So in California, it seems unlikely that a trunk leak would qualify, but as you say, by all means consult a LL attorney"

    Guess what? It did. The law is what the manufacturer can use to their advantage, doesn't mean a lawyer still can't send off a demand. My car was not quite 3 years old, had 20K miles on it (past the 18months/18K usage) and the trunk leak did indeed go through. I am in Cal.

    And what is the definition of "significant"?

    I never bothered with the manufacturers customer service number or so forth to try to get this rectified. After the 3rd attempt, I called an attorney and he said, put it through one more time, if still no fix, call me, we'll send off the demand. I sent the lawyer pictures and all my invoices (for ALL warrenty work). He sent off a demand and the manufacturer decided to buy back the vehicle. They could have used the law as reason to say no, but they didn't. They made good on my situation and I am very happy about that.

    It doesn't hurt to ask a lawyer, it's free.

    Ya, I read the law too, the lawyer even puts it up on his website, but he said that isn't always the case, as long as it is still under warrenty, it can still go through. Even something as simple as a leak in the trunk went through. I am glad it did, it may not mean much to some, but my own heart had a hard time dealing with the fact that I was going to trade it in and some poor unsuspecting soul was going to inherit a leak in the trunk. I didn't want to have to do that. It should be taken off the roads, it's not worth anything resale. The only way to fix it, is to strip off the under coating, find the leak and seal it up, recoat it. But the service dept. never went that far and had no plans to. I went straight to a LL attorney instead of spending more time begging for service from higher ups.

    It's over and done with, I get my money back and get to go buy a car without a trade in. I can't ask for more than that. I am very glad the manufacturer made good on this situation.

    I don't need to lighten up, I am just correcting those who continue to give advice that you can only push a car through the LL if it is safety related, and that just isn't the case. Yes, the law may say one thing, but still doesn't mean it is set in stone I guess. So quoting the law still isn't totally accurate and a person should just stop there. ASK. It doesn't hurt to ask, but do it sooner than later.

    Take care,

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    You're certainly right here:

    "I don't need to lighten up, I am just correcting those who continue to give advice that you can only push a car through the LL if it is safety related, and that just isn't the case."

    But please understand that considering the number of cases I see, you're certainly the exception, not the rule.

    To see a full repurchase on something like that is very rare and shows an extremely good attorney, weak manufacturer rep, or both.

    The one manufacturer I see doing this unusual step-up is GM, though - I applaud them for that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well, no, your car did not qualify under the law, but in effect we are still all saying the same thing. Your defect was not judged significant enough under the law but you hired an attorney and they settled, more or less outside the law's stricter interpretation. I bet they could have beat you on it, too.

    Going to court is not about justice it's about maneuvering, and that being the case, any suit can be presented for settlement, sure. No argument from me about that.

    I think you won on a real long shot, so congrats. I would have bet the other side on this one. Now I know to be more optimistic.


  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    that involve dash rattles and wind noises - not a big bunch of maoney or a repurchase, but a win and some cash for the owner anyway.

    Once suit is filed, the other side starts incurring costs - a couple grand more to make it go away is just the way it works.
  • jackiepezjackiepez Posts: 1
    Lemon laws are different from state to state. I bought my 2001 Cabrio in Florida. The LL there is great. Three times in the shop for the same problem, OR 15 days in the shop, not consecutively, in a one year period, and your car's a lemon. Period end of story. No court necessary, just your money back.

    I got all my information on line from or something like that, filled out a couple of forms, sent a letter to the factory, and the LL business bureau in FL, had a meeting with VW and got my money back. No questions asked. It was THAT easy.

    By the way, I thought what are the chances of getting a lemon of the same car two in a row, (I really liked the car) and I upgraded to the GLX and took a shot and got a second one. Bad move.

    I have 30k miles now. It's been in the shop for all kinds of stupid stuff. From the leak in the weather stripping, to the door handle stuff peeling off, t o bigger problems such as the electrical problems that everyone seems to be having. Hmmmmm what else? Strut mounts, more electrical problems... There was almost $1000 worth of warranty work done this time.

    By the way, you can negotiate the deductible for the extended warranty. With this car, you shouldn't have to pay for the warranty because you're gonna need it. Mine is $100. I only have $500 more to go and I'll break even.

    If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have bought the second one. Do I still like my car? Yes. But only when it's not in the shop which is about every 4-5 months or so.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    "Lemon laws are different from state to state. I bought my 2001 Cabrio in Florida. The LL there is great. Three times in the shop for the same problem, OR 15 days in the shop, not consecutively, in a one year period, and your car's a lemon. Period end of story. No court necessary, just your money back."

    It HAS to be a substantial impairment of use, safety or value. So, if your radio quit 3 times, you DON'T get a new car, no matter which way you INTERPRET the law. Remember, consumers don't get to interpret the law to their favor - that's up to a judge or state agency.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Florida is very specific that the "nonconformity" as they call it, be "substantial". Here's how it reads:

    "(16) "Nonconformity" means a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle" (Florida Lemon Law, Definitions, Section 681.102, para 16).

    So peeling door handles don't qualify.

    Also, under section 681.104, you don't get another car automatically after three unsuccessful repairs or 15 days down time. What you get to do is file a notice to the manufacturer who then has 10 days to respond to you and then another 10 days in which to correct the defect that had previously not been repaired the last three times. So looks like 20 days after you send in your proper forms is D-Day for the manufacturer, presuming he fails a 4th time to fix the car.


  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    it has to be a SUBSTANTIAL DEFECT, not a repetitive annoyance.

    I wish people would read/hear more than just what they want to read/hear.
  • My, 1999 Jetta GL has been a huge problem from day one, I am getting ready to get rid of it after having to replace the tranny the fuel tank, the Mass air flow regulator, the window regulators multiple times, it flys through brakes, the suspension is jacked and my water pump siezed last saturday destroying the timing belt and making the car undrivable. I would like to make the point these are just the big problems. Now I am left with a car sitting in the shop for god knows how long because even though the water pump is under warranty, it is back ordered, and VW refuses to give me a loaner car despite the fact it is a warrantied issue, because that option expires at 25,000 miles. I should also make the point my sister, her fiance, and my brother also have the same model Jetta's (we bout them all within a couple months of each other) and all of us regret it!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I read about them, the more the current and recent Jettas and Beetles seem like boutique cars: nice to look at, nice to sit in, fun to drive around the block the dealer is located on, but just not up to the task of daily driver, year in and year out.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    ... except when you realize that forums like this are there to discuss problems and do not reflect statistical measures of reliability.

    Would you like to hear about my gas-mising, ten-year old Golf that costs me way more for gas, tax, and insurance etc. than purchase price depriciation and repairs?

    - D.
  • "... except when you realize that forums like this are there to discuss problems and do not reflect statistical measures of reliability."

    I would say discussing reliability issues is discussing a problem.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    (having owned 13 various models), in my position, I see more VW cases than I do Ford, GM and Chrysler combined - consider the huge difference in sales numbers for VW products versus the big three, even in a metroplitan area like Philly and the three surrounding states.

    Your older VW is the exception, not the rule - the current models are WAY behind the mark on reliability.
  • bsmoodhabsmoodha Posts: 17
    My daughter is in S. Cal. in college and her 91 ca. check eng. light came on. Nobody out there can put this car on a Diagonostic Machine ie: PEP Boys etc. just the dealer. 4 sensors indicated faults. O2, mass air flow, throttle position sensor and water temp. = $1,200 to START maybe more per Dealer. Then I can't get parts for this car except the Dealer ie: NAPA nor PEP Boys can get these parts. Buy NISSAN and Toyota, I had 2 and they ran for 245,000m and 145,000m no failures.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    sensors wear out, 'tis true. but these four pricey little stinkers all at once? gawd.
This discussion has been closed.