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Lemon Law Lessons- Vehicle Abuse

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  August 18, 2008

You’ve heard the expression, “you can’t have it both ways.” This concept certainly applies in the lemon law. Here’s how. When your car, truck, motor home or boat has repeated defects that the dealership cannot fix, the vehicle may qualify for the lemon law. However, if you cause the defects through misuse or use for which it was not designed, it’s not going to qualify.

If you buy a new BMW ‘seven series’ and take it out to the Mojave Desert for a little off-road fun, and for some unexplained reason (think common sense) the suspension won’t stand up to that neat bit of airborne acrobatics off the brim of a sand dune you tried, you aren’t going to get far accusing BMW of not making a good car.

If the buyer tells the salesperson that he is buying the new Chevy Silverado 2500 with towing kit so that he can tow his bass boat to tournaments, it better be able to tow the bass boat. Having come to an agreement that this is why he is buying the boat, the “Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose” comes into play.

This is the “both ways” we’re talking about. A truck ought to haul things, either towed or loaded. If it coughs and dies while towing its rated load, it’s not ‘fit’, and it may qualify as a lemon. If the brakes are so puny the whole vehicle shakes and shivers, and produces that scary burning smell, it’s not ‘fit’ for its intended purpose.

“No, Mr. Smith, I don’t think this is what the manufacturer had in mind for this car.”

As always we want to hear what you think about this part of the law, or for that matter any part of lemon law or auto fraud. It’s what we have been doing for the past 20 plus years. But we haven’t heard it all, or seen it all.

Thanks for visiting. Give us your two or twenty cents. We’d really like to hear what you think.

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