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Why Dealers Brush Off Defective Vehicles

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  March 20, 2009

General Motors has just announced the recall of over 2 million defective vehicles, cutting a wide swath across their 2009 production line. Close to 277,000 brands under Buick, GMC, Pontiac and Saturn are being recalled for a faulty gear shift mechanism that may not engage the transmission’s “park” setting. This could cause the vehicle to roll away after it has been parked and the owner has left the vehicle.

While this is certainly a significant recall, it is unfortunately just another indicator of the volume of defective vehicles put onto the market in the U.S. And also unfortunately, consumers may run into considerable difficulty working with a dealer to get a defective vehicle replaced.

The reasons for this are based in profit. “Manufacturers are shipping large numbers of defective vehicles to dealers,” said Norman Taylor, leading California Lemon Law attorney. “There is nothing dealers can do to change that. At the same time, these dealers are under tremendous pressure to meet sales quotas.”

Taylor is certainly an expert in such matters. 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.

Another factor enters in which makes it even tougher on the dealer when it comes to defects. “The manufacturer sets a warranty repair budget for a dealership,” Taylor explained. “When the budget is depleted, the dealership is penalized. For example, the dealership may have to eat repair costs.”

Manufacturers also create a variety of bonus programs for dealers, based not on the quality of product or service but on staying within the warranty repair budget. When the budget is exceeded, these bonuses are withheld from the dealership’s management. There are also games run by manufacturers wherein the “winner” is the dealership with the lowest number of warranty hours billed over the game period.

The best course of action for a consumer with a defective vehicle is to contact a qualified lemon law attorney right away. Such a professional can guide a consumer to quickly have the vehicle replaced or to receive reimbursement, instead of spending months or even years being put off by a dealer.

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