You are at your breaking point with the car. It continues to break down on you and no matter how many times you take it in to get fixed, the problem returns. Below is a list of the top four problems/reasons why you may not have the protections of California’s Lemon Laws.
- Negligence – You Didn’t Take The Car In Every Time You Had A Problem
The car manufacturers usually describe this as “failure to properly maintain” the car. This means that you did not take the car in every time the “check engine” or “brake” lights came on. It can also mean that you did not take it in for service when it was needed. Although these are things that happen and your life is busy, the manufacturer will use it against you. The manufacturer will turn the tables and point the finger at you as the reason for the problems and why the car cannot be fixed. Always take the car in once you see a warning light and always use the dealership for service. This gives you a written record of the service and repair attempt and eliminates the manufacturer from pointing the finger at you.
- Outside Influence Caused Your Problem
This is another excuse that is used by manufacturers. This can range from something innocent like a rat getting into your engine compartment and damaging the wires which caused your problem. However, it can also extend to the manufacturer pointing the finger directly at you. In this case, the dealer is accusing you of causing the problem intentionally. The important part on this accusation is to take photographs, videos and take the car in whenever the problems occurs. If you see the term “outside influence” on your repair order, ask the service manager why that is included in the repair order. This has been used and will be continued to be used as an excuse to leave you with a lemon.
Just like you are frustrated with the fact that a dealership cannot fix your car with the same problem, the technicians get frustrated when they can’t fix the problem. Unfortunately, that means they will sometimes say that the problem “could not be duplicated” and claim that there is nothing wrong with the car. This practice makes it important to document the problem before the car goes back to the dealership for the same problem. The easiest way to do that is to take pictures of the warning lights on the dashboard or take a video that shows the problem. That is evidence that shows that there is still a problem that has not been fixed.
- Read The Work Order/Repair Estimates That The Dealership Gives To You Before The Dealer Works on Your Car
It is very important to make sure that the service advisor includes all complaints on the work order or repair estimate. If you have brought the car in for the same problem before and it is one of the issues raised in your visit, make sure that is included in the work order. Otherwise, the manufacturer might claim that the car was not brought back for the same defect. Dealerships will sometimes look at a problem on a “good will” basis and try to fix it. You want the dealership to document the problem so it is clear that you have a lemon. Remember, the dealership and the manufacturer are not the same. The dealerships are authorized to work on the manufacturer’s car and get paid for it. So if there is not a record of the same repair, the manufacturer will not know that the dealer “fixed” it for you on a good will basis. The manufacturer will think that the problem has not happened as often as you experienced it.
- Get All Repair Orders From the Dealership After Work is Performed
Under California law, you must receive a copy of every repair order that shows the work performed on your car. (California Code of Regulations section 3356). These repair orders are critical when requesting a manufacturer to repurchase your car. They show that the car was worked on for the same problem but could never fix it. It is important to keep these records since each repair attempt matters and could make the difference in the manufacturer’s decision to repurchase your car or reject your request for a repurchase. Like the good will repairs, it is important to have a record of all repairs performed on your car. Even though you brought it in, do not assume that the manufacturer will accept it. Manufacturers always require records. That is why it is important to keep all repair records and make sure that they are accurate. This helps your chances for a manufacturer agreeing to buy back your car.
If you have leased or own a vehicle that is still under the manufacturer’s warranty and has had a number of repair attempts by the dealer but the problem still exists, you need a Pasadena Lemon Lawyer to help you. Don’t let the manufacturer take advantage of you and allow you to continue to drive the defective and unsafe vehicle you are driving.
Mark Charles Law, APC is located in Los Angeles County and Pasadena. Call us at (626) 844-7710 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law lawyer today.