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Trade In Instead of a Buy Back?

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  July 10, 2009

Lemon laws continue to make the headlines. Just this week, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray announced that the new, restructured General Motors has agreed to, among other items, accept lemon law claims without caps on damages or fees. The agreements came on the heels of four limited objections filed by the AG with the New York bankruptcy court, part of a multistate led by the National Association of Attorneys General that looked to preserve states’ rights.

It seems that the fight for lemon law rights always has to be fought, especially down at the consumer level. A common trick pulled by dealers trying to avoid a customer’s invocation of the lemon law is the “trade in instead of the buy back” ploy. Essentially, a dealer offers a customer a “deal” which may look attractive on the surface, but is anything but.

“The sales manager will step in and say something like, ‘Because you have been such a good customer, have I got a deal for you!” explained Norman Taylor, leading California lemon law attorney. “He will generously offer to take your defective vehicle off your hands and get you into a brand new vehicle.”

Taylor has seen such diversionary tactics in action many times. 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. He is one of the leading lemon law attorneys in southern and all of California.

The dealer is not making such an offer out of good will, despite what you might be told. “You will soon learn that your vehicle, now deemed ‘used,’ isn’t worth that much as a trade in,” Taylor continued. “The new models are more expensive, even with the so-called ‘goodwill discount.’ The bottom line is that you will end up having to pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of giving back your lemon and getting something decent to drive. That’s not how the lemon law usually works.”

If you have actually been sold a defective vehicle, and this can be proven, the law entitles you to either a buy-back or replacement vehicle—but manufacturers and dealers will attempt to use the “trade-in” and many other deceptions to keep you from your rights. That is why it is vital, as soon as you suspect you are driving a lemon, to seek expert advice from a qualified lemon law attorney right away.

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