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The Ledbetter Law Firm, APC

Los Angeles, California, Lemon Law Blog

Vehicle defect in braking systems concerning for drivers

New vehicles promise improved safety through the addition of many high-tech features. In fact, advanced safety features are among the top reasons why consumers purchase new vehicles. However, some safety advocates wonder if these features may create more danger, especially if they do not work properly. A prime example is the Nissan Rogue's automatic emergency braking system. California drivers of these vehicles may learn of this vehicle defect at the worst possible moment.

Several high profile news stories revealed that AEB systems can fail to activate, resulting in deadly collisions, as occurred with the Tesla automated vehicle. The difference between avoiding a collision and suffering catastrophic injuries can be a fraction of a second, so defective AEB systems are certainly something to cause alarm. In the past year, over 800 consumers have filed complaints about a defect in the AEB systems of their Nissan Rogues.

Vehicle wear occurring early or often can cause serious problems

All vehicles experience issues at some point. In many cases, the problems could be fixed with routine maintenance, such as getting new brake pads, but some California vehicle owners may feel that their vehicles are showing problems too soon or too often. Unfortunately, early or often wear could point to serious problems.

As mentioned, one issue that vehicle owners often need to contend with is getting their brakes changed. However, certain defects with a vehicle could result in the brakes wearing more quickly than anticipated. If an owner ends up replacing brakes too often, it is wise to have the vehicle checked for defects or other issues that may need to be addressed by the dealership or manufacturer.

How many repairs qualify a car as a lemon?

You wanted a luxury car since you were a child. You had posters on your walls. You daydreamed about it as you drove your old Honda Civic. You started saving money as soon as you got out of college and landed a full-time job, knowing how expensive the car would be -- but knowing you had to have it.

Now you finally bought it, and you hate it. It's not that the car didn't seem good on the lot. It appeared to be everything that you had dreamed of. You thought it was perfect. The issue is that it simply keeps breaking down. You have had it in the shop for far too long over that first year of ownership. Every time you have to call a cab to get to work, you wonder if you made a huge mistake.

Issues with an RV could lead to recalls, lemon law claims

Buying an RV or another similar vehicle is a major purchase. It is somewhat comparable to buying a new home as many people will use the vehicle as living quarters while traveling or for other reasons. Because of the importance of this type of vehicle to those who buy them, California consumers want to make sure they run properly. Issues with an RV or motor home could be disastrous.

It was recently reported that Thor Motor Coach has issued a recall due to a problem with multiple models of its motor homes. Apparently, the battery isolation manager or batter isolation relay could experience an early failure or experience electrical arcing due to battery cables becoming loose. If arcing occurs, there is an increased chance that a fire could start inside the vehicle.

Vehicle warranty can be important in lemon law claim

When making a purchase, especially a significant one, many California consumers want to know that they have some kind of buyer protection. Often, a warranty can provide this protection by allowing consumers to return or exchange products when certain conditions apply. For individuals buying vehicles, their warranties are of great importance.

Under federal law, manufacturers and sellers who provide written warranties must ensure that the terms of the warranties are clear to the consumers. This law is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and applies to consumer products not sold for resale and not those for commercial purposes. The act also requires that a warranty meets certain stipulations, such as designating the warranty as either full or limited, stating information about the coverage in an easily readable document, and ensuring the availability of the warranty where the product is sold.

Starting the lemon law claims process

Buying a vehicle is a significant commitment. It means complying with California laws for registration and insurance, keeping up with routine maintenance and usually paying on a loan. This already expensive purchase can become even more costly if the vehicle requires multiple returns to the dealer for repairs. After several trips to a mechanic, a car owner may wonder how to begin the lemon law claims process.

Since this process can be complex, the first step for many is to seek the advice of an attorney who handles consumer law. Such an attorney will likely recommend starting the claims process by sending notice to the car manufacturer and the dealer. This certified letter provides the appropriate parties with information about the vehicle's defects, including a description of the efforts the car owner has already made to resolve the issue.

Avoiding buying a lemon is not always easy

Because buying a vehicle is a major step, many California consumers will shop around and do their research before making a decision. They may look at safety ratings, costs, reviews and other information before moving forward with such a purchase. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts at avoiding buying a lemon, some vehicles can develop problems over time that pose serious concerns.

It was recently reported that General Motors has issued a recall of approximately 3.5 million vehicles. The vehicles are specifically SUVs and pickup trucks manufactured between 2014 and 2018. The issue affects the braking ability of the vehicles, which can pose serious safety issues. In fact, the issue has resulted in 113 accidents and 13 injuries that have been reported.

Is purchasing buyback vehicles wise for California drivers?

In some cases, vehicle manufacturers may buy back vehicles that owners did not find satisfactory for various reasons. Some California residents may consider purchasing a buyback vehicle because it could look like a better deal. Unfortunately, some buyback vehicles can continue to pose problems even to new owners.

There is a certain stigma around buying a repurchased vehicle because it could make it more difficult for the new owner to sell later. In many states, the title of the vehicle will have the buyback information included. To some future buyers, this may be a negative aspect that could prevent a sale, even if it is being sold at a more reasonable price.

Are airbag issues turning Toyotas into lemons?

As much as most consumers would like to have the perfect vehicle, nearly every make and model has its issues. Some problems could be minor that a slight adjustment could fix, and others may be substantial and put the entire effective use of the vehicle into question. Unfortunately, those issues could also put drivers at risk for financial losses due to purchasing lemons, or even put them at personal risk of suffering injuries.

California readers may be interested in a recent recall issued by Toyota. Though concerns about airbags have been prevalent in the past, they continue to be an issue with this recall. Apparently, the airbags in 191,000 Toyota cars in the United States and Japan may not work correctly in the event that the vehicles are involved in accidents. Specifically, some 2003 to 2008 Corolla models and 2005 to 2008 Matrix models were recalled.

Some in Los Angeles may not be able to count on their seat belts

One of the things drilled into the heads of new drivers is to wear their seat belts at all times. These restraints do save lives, but only if they work properly. Sadly, it is possible that some here in Los Angeles may not be able to count on their seat belts, which could put their lives in danger.

More than 100,000 2015 Lincoln MKZs and Ford Fusions are the subject of a recall because of defective seat belt cable anchors. An overheating issue could cause failure of the seat belt during a crash. At that point, the injuries suffered by drivers and their passengers could easily increase in severity.

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