Don’t Let the Dealership Dictate the Dialogue on Your Lemon Car or Truck
Norman Taylor & Associates
May 25, 2010
Discovering that the automobile dealership where you have your lemon car repaired has been less that honest with you and that they deliberately mislead you, that they incorrectly document your defects and a really long list of other deceptions, is a hard lesson to learn. Here at Norman Taylor & Associates we see the worst, but we have also learned many things that consumers can do to preserve their rights under the California lemon law.
Today’s lesson is simple and relatively inexpensive. The short version can be stated in one sentence. “Always carry a camera when you drive your vehicle.” Why, you ask, should I do that?
Here is an example of why you should have a camera available. You come out and start the car in the morning. The check engine light is flashing. You drive the car to the dealer and before you get there the warning light goes off. You tell the service writer about the check engine light and he or she gives you the look, you know the one. It says, “If you say so, Pal.” After the repair attempt, the dealer will almost always say, “No Problem Found.” If you brought a picture of the Check Engine Light, they definitely would have made a stronger effort to find out what was wrong.
Here’s the best way to take the photos. Take a picture of the instrument panel in such a way as to include the mileage, or if that’s not possible something with a current date. Modern cell phones will allow you to take photos and sometimes to make short movies. This could be really helpful if you have a problem that causes the vehicle to run very rough, or the RPM needle swings up and down when the vehicle is at idle or the vehicle is pulling to the left or right. If your phone doesn’t have these abilities, you can purchase a disposable camera that will do the job. You just put it in the glove compartment. And what about those oil leaks? The dealership says they can’t see any. You show them pictures…now you are in control of the dialogue.
No one wants to buy a lemon car. Almost without exception, every potential client I’ve spoken with just wanted to buy a car that was trouble free. They didn’t want to be embarrassed when their vehicle stalled on the freeway, scaring the wits out of their passengers and wasting time that should be spent at work. They didn’t want to wait around while their car was towed to the dealership for endless repairs. It is bad to be the effect of life and our automobiles are definitely a part of life. It is far better to be cause over our lives, and knowing how to prepare for problems with our vehicles is just good common sense. Having a camera handy in your car or truck gives you an edge when seeking recourse under the California Lemon Law.