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Don’t Wait for the Recall

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  December 29, 2009

General Motors has recently issued a recall for Chevrolet Corvettes from the 2005 through 2007 model years, because the roof panel may blow off. The problem stems from a defect with the adhesive bonding and removable roof panel to the frame; if the bond breaks, the roof panel could go flying off while driving. The recall affects 22,100 vehicles.

This problem has apparently been known about for some time—General Motors had previously run a “customer service campaign” for it. But it’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to go as far as possible to avoid a recall, and this particular model of Corvette has obviously been no exception.

“We’ve had several cases with customers who were complaining about the top, “said leading California Lemon Law attorney Norman Taylor. “It’s interesting to see how long it’s taken GM to recall the part.”

Taylor has much experience in such matters. He has been a California 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.

Recalls can affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles and cost a manufacturer tens of millions of dollars. Beyond even those costs is the damage done to the manufacturer’s reputation.

“Needless to say, manufacturers will do almost anything to avoid a recall,” said Taylor.

GM’s “customer service campaign” falls under what Taylor calls a “secret warranty,” just one of several tactics a manufacturer will use to sidestep issuing a recall. Under this strategy, a manufacturer will pay for repair of a particular defect in a particular kind of vehicle, even after the warranty has expired—but only for those customers who are sufficiently aggressive in their complaints.

“Manufacturers issue secret warranties in response to defects that have occurred in a widespread pattern,” Taylor explained. “These defects may have otherwise led to recalls. Manufacturers call them ‘warranty adjustment policies’ or ‘goodwill gestures.’ In the trade, they are called ‘secret warranties’ because they are communicated only to the company’s regional offices and dealers, but never to consumers.”

The lesson to be learned is, don’t wait for the vehicle recall, because it may never happen. If you think you may be driving a lemon, contact a qualified lemon law attorney right away.

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