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Dealers ‘Slicing and Dicing’ a Defect

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  June 18, 2009

Lemon laws continue to be needed today—and continue to be strengthened in many states. In one example, the state of New Jersey has just enhanced their own lemon laws, which extends the period of vehicle warranty coverage from 18,000 to 24,000 miles. The improved laws will also make a significant distinction between the types of manufacturer’s defects; a serious, life-threatening defect can legally be considered a defect after the problem cannot be corrected after a single repair attempt, as compared with three or more failed repair attempts required for lesser defects.

Dealers have caught on to the changes and already have interesting ways to deflect a vehicle problem and make it appear as something other than the actual defect. “As an example, the ‘check engine’ light comes on one day and the car stalls,” explained leading California lemon law attorney Norman Taylor. “The dealer will try to make this problem look like something else, something less serious. As possibilities, there might be four different repair orders with four different stated problems, such as ‘a short in the electrical harness,’ ‘broken or disconnected vacuum hoses,’ ‘emission control system problem,’ or ‘ignition system fault.’

Norman Taylor has seen the use of such tricks on many occasions over many years. He has been a lemon law specialist since 1987, and he and his firm, Norman Taylor and Associates, have handled over 8,000 cases for consumers with a 98 percent success rate.

“If the dealer can write down something different on each repair order, the stalling problem can be made to look like it is not really the defect,” Taylor continued. “Then the manufacturer can argue that it has successfully repaired four different problems, instead of having repeated failed repair attempts for the same problem.”

Such tricks do nothing at all for the consumer except waste their valuable time and money—and thus “benefit” the manufacturer and dealer by making it appear that there is no defect at all. The key to overcoming such diversionary tactics—and there are many of them out there—is to contact and retain the services of a qualified lemon law attorney the very instant that you suspect you are driving a lemon. An attorney such as Taylor has years of experience and has seen it all. He and his firm can guide you through the distractions to the actual realization of your rights under the lemon law.

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