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Lemon Law Questions

gfirestonegfirestone Posts: 4
Hi all,

Just wondering if lemon law rules apply based on the state where the vehicle was purchased or location where vehicle is kept? I live in NJ but purchased my JGC from a dealership in CT.

Thanks,
Greg
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Comments

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,858
    Looks like you have to buy or lease the car in New Jersey for the Lemon Law there to apply (link - pdf file)

    Seems odd, since other states (Iowa for example) don't make that a requirement.

    I'd check with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs to be sure. The Lemon Law may not be your only warranty remedy either.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • I have a 2006 Range Rover HSE and once i reached the 1200 mile mark the vehicle died while i was driving it in school zone. I took it to the dealer and after 2 weeks they came up with a bad fuel pump...naturally I didn't want this vehicle anymore but they refused to compensate me. I took it back and used it for approx. 7 days and low and behold it happened again. I've since then wrote a letter to Land Rover North America and their response is that it has been fixed once again and unfortunately they can't repurchase or replace the vehicle. Texas lemon law states that if a vehicle is considered a serious safety hazard then the consumer has a concrete case.

    What do you gents think about this?

    Thanks,
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    What do you gents think about this?

    And don't forget the ladies! Many of our most knowledgeable members are women.

    You'll need to check the details of Texas Lemon Law. Most states require some number of attempts (3 or so) to fix the problem befofe Lemon Laws can be invoked.

    tidester, host
  • sam818sam818 Posts: 127
    Check the Texas lemon law specifics. I would imagine that the "serious safety hazard" would apply to some ongoing problem. If the fuel pump has been fixed, even twice, I cannot imagine that would be considered a safety hazard.
    It is unlikely that the 2 fuel pumps would fail in sucession. Did they replace or just repair the fuel pump?
    It may be some other aspect of the car, simply associated with the fuel pump.
    Most states require that the car be out of service for a specific period before the lemon law is enacted. (usually 30 days)
    While you may have been frustrated, I cannot understand why you would "naturally" not want the vehicle anymore.
    A component can fail on any device, but that in itself shouldn't call for scrapping the entire vehicle.
  • This vehicle is for my wife who is 5 months pregnant. Imagine you're driving down the highway doing 65mph and the section you're in is under construction. The road has been narrowed to two (2) lanes and the left side has cement blocks for about 2 miles. Now imagine your vehicle dies and the only thing you have control over are the brakes and 50% of the power steering. Your throttle is DEAD!

    What would your wife do? It's a miralce that I didn't get plowed.

    It's a beautiful car, I can't however put my wife's life in danger.

    It actually wasn't the fuel pump that was bad, the tech realized this after the 2nd incident. Apparently there was a loose wire that tells the ecm that the car has been in an accident and shuts off all components.

    In addition, my left side headlight shines brighter than the Batman signal. I've reported it twice and they "adjusted and fixed the problem". Third time around I took video footage with a lead car and boy did it raise some eyebrows. It's sad to say that I have to carry my video camera to document and prove my complaints.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    I'll try to make a long story short, here.

    I'm in possession of my mother's '06 Cadillac STS. It's still under warranty. There have been several issues with this car....chief among them, the battery dies if it sits between 48-72 hours without being driven. There are many other issues with the car (bluetooth phone inoperability, voice recognition doesn't work....and many more).

    I've had this car to 3 different dealers. All of them replace the battery, but that never cures the issue. They all throw their hands up in the air when it comes to the other issues.

    I've filed with the BBB. It's coming up on a month, and I haven't heard any decision from them. I'm anticipating going the lemon law route and hiring a lawyer.

    Anyone go up against GM or Cadillac via lemon law? If so, what should I expect?

    I'm already expecting a fight since they've been so unresponsive so far.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Yours is an easy case.

    Likely scenario: File the claim yourself. It'll be set for hearing. Your case is clear-cut and will be settled with a return of the purchase price (and interest on loan, if any) with a deduction for the miles driven. GM sends you a check and you turn the car in.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Sorry, a loose wire and a bright headlight does not make for a lemon.

    However, read up on the lemon law in your state so you can trigger it if need be.
  • OOOhhh do I have a lemon law story for you guys but it is still on going so I will wait a few days to tell all the details.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    ...but it is still on going so I will wait a few days to tell all the details.

    But it is so much more dramatic and suspenseful when it's delivered in real time! :)

    tidester, host
  • Normally I have no problem doing that but since it is techinicaly a legal proceding I guess I should wait till it is over.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    cc....thanks!

    Just to give a time line....I've had the car to 3 different Cadillac dealers. None of them have fixed the issue. They just keep looking for things I may be doing wrong. Or, they deny any issues exist.

    I've been in contact with Cadillac Customer Care (what an oxymoron). They have done little more than to drag their feet. I've talked to at least 6 people from Cadillac corporate. I keep repeating the same maladies over and over again to each new person at Cadillac I talk to. They then pass the issues on to someone else. No one makes a decision.

    I've filed with the BBB (as it states in the owner's manual). I haven't heard diddly from them for over a month (they state it takes up to 40 days for them to render a decision).

    I have contacted a Lemon Law legal firm. They accepted the case (I'll assume they don't accept a case unless they have a reasonable belief they can win it). If they don't win the case, I don't pay them. So, that's a relief (but I'm still stuck with the Lemon). IF they do win, they say that they tack on their fees to the judgement, and Cadillac has to pay (hope so).

    What a long and arduous process....and one that doesn't endear me to Cadillac, or GM. No wonder they're in such deep trouble.

    I've outlined the steps I've taken above. Am I missing anything? More questions.....? Do you know how long GM/Cadillac can stretch this out? Are there any other outcomes I may not be aware of (aside from them giving the money back)? How long does it take to get the money from GM if/when the case is heard and closed? Or, does the check come from the selling dealer?

    Cadillac told me several weeks ago they were going to try to do a "trade-assist" (not my first choice for a resolution). But, since then, they've not mentioned anything about such a deal. Don't know if that "deal" is off the table since I filed with the BBB and a lawyer. They may have changed their minds on a trade assist and may have planned to go to battle with me.

    One final note....I noticed on "Click and Clack's" WEB site (the guys who do Car Talk on PBS radio) they give the name, address, phone #s of GM honchos and my state's Attorney General's office. They recommend contacting GM's/Cadillac's honchos, as well as the Attorney General's office if a quick resolution doesn't present itself. I'm at that point. Anyone else try this? If so, results?
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Sorry, graph, I'm licensed to practice law in Ohio. Now that you have counsel, I'm ethically prohibited from offering anything that could be construed as legal advice to you.

    Suggest you pose your questions to your attorney.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    cc....didn't realize you were in OH. Thanks, anyway.

    I guess the long fight continues.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    For those interested, I believe the Cadillac STS "lemon" has been resolved. Just a brief background, my Mother bought a brand new '06 STS, in '05 (I had mistakenly thought it was an '05 model originally). Car is totally loaded....V8, AWD, Nav, etc. My mother is 83 and didn't drive the car much. Through a series of very unfortunate circumstances (my Mother couldn't pass the eye test to renew her license...then, became ill), the car came into my posesseion. It's still under the new car warranty.

    While there were issues with the car when my mother was driving it, her selling dealer kept telling her the issues were a result of her not driving the car much, and not understanding how the car operated.

    Once the car was gracing my driveway, I found that none of the issues were her fault, in the least. Some of the inoperable features of the car were never used, so no one knew the issues existed. One particular issue, battery dies if the car isn't driven for 36-48 hours. In addition, I came to find out other things did not work because I tried to use them. Among them was...

    --passenger airbag would not initiate as functioning when a someone occupied the passenger seat (safety issue).
    --Voice recognition of the radio/stereo/HVAC/Nav just did not work. It recognized NONE of the commands listed in the manual.......ever.
    --Bluetooth phone capability was inoperable. There were exactly 4 different phones that Cadillac said would work with their bluetooth system. None of them were current models...most of the models are no longer even made
    --the Bose surround sound system never could play surround sound disks in 5.1 mode...no matter how and what I did (all according to the owner's manual's description of how it was supposed to work).

    In the 4-5 months the car has been in my possession, the battery has been replaced 4 times...but no permanent fix was implemented. The dealers just keep putting new batteries as a fix.

    I had the car serviced by 3 different local Cadillac dealers to get the issues resolved. NONE of them could resolve ANY of the issues.

    That brought me to file with the BBB (as is stipulated in the owner's manual). That got Cadillac's Customer Service attention. But, while all the same servicing dealers called to "explain" their inability to rectify the issues, they all either said the issues were "customer misunderstandings" of the features (although none of them could fix, or get the features to work). One denied that there were any issues at all (I suppose 4 new batteries and an airbag malfunction aren't issues to them). One had no clue as to how to fix the issues (other than wanting to rip out the entire interior and rebuild it). Another flatly said I didn't have any "beef" with Cadillac, or their dealership's handling of the service issues.

    This prompted me to "go the next step" in contacting a lemon law firm.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    continued....

    Once the lawyer accepted the case, and sent a letter to Cadillac, things ratcheted up even more. My filing with the BBB (maybe coincidentally) seemed to be getting more attention. And, now Cadillac's zone office got involved.

    An appointment was set up with the Zone Manager. I went over all of the service receipts and the (non) work done on the car. While the zone manager was a cordial person, he said the issues were "fixable". He asked me to leave the car with the Cadillac dealer closest to my home (not the selling dealer) and gave me a Caddy loaner (DTS...blech!). A week passed. They said the car was fixed and to come pick it up. Did so. Purposely left the car in my driveway, undriven for 3 days. Dead battery was the result. Plus, the inoperable features and airbag sensors they claimed were fixed.....weren't fixed. Same issues existed. Called zone manager. Told him of the results. He asked for me to send it to yet another Caddilac dealership. I refused. He said I was being unreasonable. I said he was stalling and becoming arrogant. Another call to my lawyer, and yet another letter was faxed to Cadillac with this new turn of events.

    That was earlier this week. Yesterday, the zone manager calls me and asks me what would make me happy. All I want is my Mother's money returned to her for what she paid for the car. Zone manager said that wouldn't happen. He did offer to take the car back, refund the purchase price to my Mother predicated on her buying another Cadillac with the refund. I'm not interested. Neither is my Mother (in fairness, she no longer cares about how the situation turns out and has turned the whole debacle over to me). My MOther says she can't drive any more. She has no need for a car, but if I want another Cadillac, go ahead and get the one they offer for me to use. Problem is, I will never buy a Cadillac, based on this experience, alone. Another call from the Cadillac Zone Mgr, stating he would expand his offer of a new (similarly priced vehcile) from GM's entire lineup (excluding Corvettes....which was probably the only thing I'd be interested in).

    continued......
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    At this point, I've been fighting with Cadillac for a couple of months, and being ashamed that I'm wearing down from all the denials, ignorance, arrogance and stalling that Cadillac has shown, at this point, I'm starting to think of what may be of interest to me in GM's stable of cars.

    After speaking to my lawyer, while he thinks the case is strong, he does admit that it will probably take another 45-60 days to come to a resolution. He also states that the hearings are 50-50 as to a positive (in our favor) resolution. Plus, he suspects that there will be deductions for mileage on the car, if the resolution is in our favor.

    I confer with my Mother. She says that whatever I decide is fine with her. I get free from whatever I choose (God love my Mother).

    Now, I've got a decision to make. Keep up the fight? Or, look at the stable of vehicles GM makes and see if there's something I could use. I've already got my own personal car...don't really need another. What could be similarly priced and is something I can use?

    Any Cadillac is out, for obvious reasons as I stated before. 'Vettes are off the table per the Zone Manager. That leaves Pontiac, Buick, Saturn, Saab, GMC and Chevy.

    No Buicks...No Saturns....No Pontiacs...No Saabs!!!! None of them sell anything I find interesting. That leaves us with Chevies and GMCs.

    I do tow things, but only rarely. I do haul stuff semi-regularly in the summer time, though. Plus, I tailgate quite a bit for sporting events in the fall/winter. We don't get much snow in my 'burg, but when it does snow, it's usually a big one.

    OK, that leaves me with a truck choice....Trail Blazer, Tahoe, Avalanche, Silverado, Yukon, Sierra, Envoy. Pickups don't appeal (although the new Avalanche looks like nice iron). Don't remotely like the Trail Blazer, nor the Envoy (can GM put any cheaper interiors in a vehicle?).

    It's now down to the Tahoe and Yukon. Drove both. These have as much luxury as anything I've seen from the other brands (surprisingly). No differences between the Yukon and the Tahoe. Liked the style of the Tahoe a little bit better. But, can I find one that will be nearly the cost of a loaded STS (approx $50K). Didn't think so, but indeed you can.

    Finally closed a deal on a Tahoe LTZ. Cadillac is throwing the money from the STS towards the Tahoe, including all fees (about even-steven), and paying my lawyer.

    While I'm relatively upset at myself for "caving" in. I think, under the circumstances, we made out as best we could while considering the risks of a total refund in front of some sort of mediator.

    What I've learned....

    --Cadillac (and probably all of GM) is loath to admit their mistakes
    --part of Cadillac's MO in dealing with faulty products is to deny, delay, denigrate
    --Cadillac likes to wear people down with their complaints
    --Cadillac's dealers (at least those around me) are in dire need to train their service staff much better

    We'll see how this Tahoe works out. But, from the Cadillac experience, there needs to be more emphasis on the execution of their feature set.....and, their problem resolution.

    In fairness (keeping in mind I've only had this Tahoe for a few days), Chevy's implementation of the NAV system and voice recognition features, are worlds better than Cadillac's. Plus, the build quality, material quality, and little things like control feel, seams, execution of the entire vehicles are worlds better in the Tahoe than it is in the Cadillac. While the two vehicles are as different as night and day, the drivetrain is smoother in the Tahoe (and the STS had the heralded Northstar). The Tahoe rides better than the Caddy (who would have thunk that). The Tahoe feels more confident than the Caddy. This is a big truck, but it drives much smaller than it is. Only time will tell how the Chevy goes as far as reliability, but it certainly can't be any worse than the STS (or can it?).

    Not the resolution I wanted, but a good resolution......so far. As mentioned, time (and mileage) will tell all.

    GM has got problems. The Cadillac epitomizes what's wrong with GM. Hopefully (for GM's sake), their new models rectify the issues. Hopefully, they can rediscover what it is that gets customers to buy their products, again and again (like Honda and Toyota). If not, they're doomed to becoming what everyone predicts.....a dinosaur that can't get out of its own way.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Glad to hear it worked out for you, graph. I've bought two new GM products in recent years. It's highly unlikely that I'll ever buy another because, like you, they wouldn't take care of a known problem on my '02 Chevy Avalanche (which was otherwise a great vehicle).

    For whatever reason, the bedcovers on these vehicles discolor over time. Most of the other gray or off black (differs by year) body parts do not. I don't know - maybe a different supplier makes the bedcovers. Chevrolet simply would not honor their warranty and replace the defective part.

    Hope you have better luck with your Tahoe.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    cc....thanks. Funny you should bring up the issue of discoloration of the Avanalanch. When I picked up the Tahoe, there was a guy complaining of the same exact thing (discoloration of the bed cover). Don't know the year his was, but it was the previous generation's body style.

    Looking at his truck, he had a point. He was showing the service manager the difference between his and a picture he took of it when new. There was definitely some sort of "fading" or discoloration of the bedcover compared to the pictures he took of his truck when new. It was pretty serious discoloration, too. I heard the service manager tell the guy it was caused by the chemicals in the car washes he used. Gee....does that mean his Avanlanche doesn't stand up well to being washed? Crazy explanation, IMHO.

    I drove a new Avalanche. Nice vehicles (just too big for what I'd use it for). Actually, the Tahoe is big, too (just about a foot shorter than than the Avalanche). I'm a little discouraged about the MPG of the Tahoe. I knew it wasn't going to get good MPG. So far, I've only been through two tanks of fuel. One was all in-town (got 15 MPG). The other was all highway (got 20 MPG). That's close enough to the EPA estimates that I've really got no complaint. So much for the V4/V8 "trick" that GM states improves MPG. Hopefully, it will get better MPG as the truck breaks in. I've noticed that most GM vehicles get better MPG as the engines break in.

    But, you're right about one thing. GM may very well be building better vehicles. The Tahoe does indeed have some of the tightest tolerances better materials than anything else I've ever driven. Until they get their act together in taking care of their customers, they'll continue to be in a world of trouble.
  • jmonroejmonroe Pittsburgh areaPosts: 5,540
    Any Cadillac is out, for obvious reasons as I stated before. 'Vettes are off the table per the Zone Manager.

    That’s a real bummer, the only thing GM makes that is worth anything and it’s not in the mix.

    Kinda like I tell my wife when she tries to justify things she gets on sale; “you paid the going rate, companies don’t give things away that they can sell at full boat”. I don’t think she gets it but I keep saying it, oh well.

    I’m sure it’s for this reason they don’t /won’t, put the Vette’s into the mix regarding any settlement.

    I’m sure you did your best at trying to negotiate that they put the Vette on the table. Sometimes you’re just up against guys that hold all the cards. :sick:

    In a personal/selfish way I’m sorry you couldn’t pull this one off. I would have driven to Cincy so you could have given me a ride in the Vette down to the dock and then you could have taken me for that long awaited ride in you boat. Like I needed more reasons to dislike GM. :sick: :sick:

    Liked the style of the Tahoe a little bit better. But, can I find one that will be nearly the cost of a loaded STS (approx $50K). Didn't think so, but indeed you can.

    I knew those Tahoe’s weren’t cheap and like you, I never thought Chevy made something that costs as much as an upscale Caddy, either. :surprise:

    You done good, let us know how the Tahoe works for you and if Chevy knows how to fix their products if the need arises.

    Here’s hoping you won’t need this service.

    jmonroe

    '09 Genesis V8 and '12 Legacy Limited 6 cyl

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    j....I'm disappointed in myself for not carrying the whole ordeal through to get the complete resolution that was warranted.

    GM has got the procedure down pat, however. They try to make you feel as if their customer is the one that's at fault for their products being faulty.....no matter how overwhelming the evidence is.

    Then, they go through a whole deny (they claim not to be culpable) and delay (drag their feet ad infinitum over making a decision) process. After all of that, they then claim they need an inordinate amount of time to get the paper work done.

    All-in-all, they hope that their customer gets frustrated enough to just give up.

    In reality, the case was pretty "cut and dry". The car has multiple electical issues causing the battery to die. Their dealerships couldn't find the problems. To me, you make your customer happy and either replace the car immediately (after the 3rd attempt to fix it), or you give them their money back, no hesitation.

    GM did their best not to have to do anything.

    I've only had the Tahoe for several days. While I don't know whether it's a good or bad vehicle, all initial impressions are very good. That said, my overall opinion of GM is still bad. If I hadn't been forced to take another one of their vehicles, I wouldn't have done it. Probably will never look at a GM vehicle ever again, for any reason.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,217
    I think you did great!!... It was a negotiated settlement. It probably wasn't realistic to expect to be made whole.. They aren't going to give you their worst case amount, if there is a chance they could prevail in court.

    I know, given your mother's circumstances, that you would have preferred to just have the money back... but, from their point of view, that issue really didn't have anything to do with them.. To get the full amount of the purchase price credited to a new vehicle was a very good result. I congratulate you on your victory!! ;)

    It is a bummer about the Vette, though.. :(

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    You should have pushed on the Corvette, if you were really interested. They are selling significantly discounted, actually down near invoice. Many dealers sell at the employee discount amount. A dealer even offered to furnish the discount number, etc to me.

    Of course, the zone manager probably did not want to admit to the discounted Corvette sales....
  • vplankvplank Posts: 2
    can you give me more information as to how to go about co of lemon law. I tried to contact bbb the first month I got my Hyundai Accent. They too have treated me as if it is all my fault including the factory rep. He said we (my husband and I) do not know how to drive a car. One of the reasons we bought the car was the salesman told us it had a really great safety rating. When we got it our insurance went up. I asked why the insurance company told me it was really badly rated due to the outcome of accidents., When we told the dealer they said "they must be mistaken and the insurance company was trying to rip us off" Then our car has been with in the service dept. or I have called every other month in the year we have had it. The car itself it bad and yes after one year of me complaining they finally found something wrong with it that they said may have been wrong with it from the beginning. But the car is still doing the same thing. I wanted a suv when I got it but the salesman talked me into this BECAUSE it was supposed to get good gas mileage. My husband even asked if the gas mileage would be that good if we were being pulled down hill by a big truck they said OH NO IT IS AVERAGE OF 36 mpg. Every vehicle I have ever had I have always gotten better gas mileage than the dealership has said except this one. I hope you do take time to read this and respond since you have gone through the same thing. I would like to have what I wanted in the first place. I do not have money for tags sale tax etc for a new different vehicle.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    You are describing two entirely different issues. Speaking very broadly, the lemon law (which varies from state to state) only applies if there have been at least three unsuccessful attempts to repair a significant problem. Suggest that you start by reading the lemon law literature that came with your car.

    I don't see any misrepresentation here. The car has an EPA mileage rating of whatever it is. Your mileage may, of course, vary. A "really great safety" rating (by the government) does not have to be utilized by your insurance company. In addition, regardless of how the car is safety rated it is, I believe, a small car that simply isn't likely to fare particularly well if hit hard by, say, a big SUV. Next time, call your agent for a rate quote before you buy.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    vplank....I can't disagree with what cccompson has told you.

    Lemon Laws vary from state to state. MPG ratings are stated by the U.S. EPA, not by the vehicle manufacturer. I doubt there would be a case for lemon law based on your MPG complaint. As far as insurance rates, again that's as much a function of your insurance company and your driving/credit record, as it is to the safety rating of your car. Matter of fact, safety ratings have little to do with the insurance rate.....the cost if fixing your vehicle, in the event of an accident, your driving record and many times, your credit record have more to do with your rate.

    I don't know what other issues you're having with your Hyundai. In general, MPG is a function of EPA tests (which have come under fire by many sources), not manufacturer claims. Insurance rates have little to do with the safety of your car. Car manufacturers have no input as to what your rates will be.

    My recommendation is to keep your car. Drive it until it's paid off. Then, buy something you really want.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    " I would like to have what I wanted in the first place. I do not have money for tags sale tax etc for a new different vehicle."

    You won't be able to get an even trade-your Accent for an SUV. If anything, you'd get the depreciated value of your 1 year old car in the form of a buyback. You'll need to keep accurate records of your fuel mileage.

    I'm with Ccompson and Graphicguy on this one.
    Fuel mileage is a fiddly thing; can be affected by alot of variables.

    Why did you call the BBB during your first month of ownership?
    Did the shop ever keep your car a couple of days to try to duplicate the 'fuel smell at start up' condition?
  • What is the lemon law in TN? My Magnum has been in the shop 4 times in less than a year b/c the a/c doesnt work and the car leaves a large stain on my driveway. The dealership is YET to fix it. Whole dealership experience was terrible. They said the car had 100 miles on it, but when I picked it up it had over 1000. Is that enought to be considered used? Is that illegal?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,261
    bigal....don't know if Chevy changed their "plastic" suppier or not. I've heard a lot of grumblings about the discoloration of the external cladding and cargo cover on the previous generation of Avalanches. Don't know if it's the same stuff they used on the S-10 or not. It wouldn't surprise me, though.

    tn...lemon laws change from state to state. I'm in OH so I don't know much about TN lemon laws. Stick around....ccc may have an answer for you, however.
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