Archive for July, 2008

Buying A Used Car – Follow These FTC Tips to Avoid A Lemon

Buying a used car this summer? Follow these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to avoid a lemon car.

Before you start shopping for a used car, do some homework. It may save you serious money. Consider driving habits, what the car will be used for, and your budget. Research models, options, costs, repair records, safety tests, and mileage through libraries, book stores, and web sites.

Cash or Credit?
Once you’ve settled on a particular car, you have two payment options: paying in full or financing over time. Financing increases the total cost of the car because you’re also paying for the cost of credit, including interest and other loan costs. You also must consider how much money you can put down, the monthly payment, the loan term, and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Rates usually are higher and loan periods shorter on used cars than on new ones. Dealers and lenders offer a variety of loan terms. Shop around and help your teenager negotiate the best possible deal. Be cautious about financing offers for first-time buyers. They can require a big down payment and a high APR. To get a lower rate, you may decide to cosign the loan for your teen. If money is tight, you might consider paying cash for a less expensive car than you first had in mind.

Dealer or Private Sale?
The Federal Trade Commission’s Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyers Guide in every used car they offer for sale. The Buyers Guide gives a great deal of information, including:

whether the vehicle is being sold “as is” or with a warranty;

what percentage of the repair costs a dealer will pay under the warranty;

the fact that spoken promises are difficult to enforce; and

the major mechanical and electrical systems on the car, including some of the major problems you should look out for.
The Buyers Guide also tells you to:

get all promises in writing;

keep the Buyers Guide for reference after the sale; and

ask to have the car inspected by an independent mechanic before the purchase.
Buying a car from a private individual is different from buying from a dealer. That’s because private sales generally aren’t covered by the Used Car Rule, or by “implied warranties” of state law. A private sale probably will be “as is” — you’ll have to pay for anything that goes wrong after the sale.

Before You Buy…
Whether you buy a used car from a dealer or an individual:

examine the car using an inspection checklist. You can find checklists in magazines and books and on Internet sites that deal with used cars;

test drive the car under varied road conditions — on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go-traffic;

ask for the car’s maintenance record from the owner, dealer, or repair shop; and

hire a mechanic to inspect the car.

Other Costs to Consider
There’s more to buying a car than just paying for it. Other items to budget for include insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs. Here are some tips to help you save money:

Compare coverage and premiums with several insurance companies. Buy from a low-price, licensed insurer, or add your teen to your policy. Some companies offer discounts to students with good grades. Remind your teenager that it pays to drive safely and observe speed limits. Traffic violations can cost money in tickets and higher insurance premiums.

Pump your own gas and use the octane level your owner’s manual specifies.

Keep your car in safe driving condition. Following the vehicle’s maintenance schedule can help forestall costly repairs.

Look for a mechanic who is certified, well established, and communicates well about realistic repair options and costs. Find one who has done good work for someone you know.

If your used car turns out to be defective, contact a lemon law attorney, such as 1-800-MY-LEMON to assist in filing a claim against the manufacturer.

MyLemon On Philadelphia Radio Station, 98.1 WOGL

Thank you to everyone at Philadelphia radio station 98.1, WOGL, for the fantastic shout out to 1-800-MY-LEMON during the popular morning show.

Not only is our famous jingle popular with the younger set, but also with the older set as well!

Everyone at our lemon law firm enjoyed the spot, and most importantly, it allows your listeners to call Philadelphia’s largest lemon law firm for free lemon law help.

CLICK HERE to listen to this fantastic lemon law radio spot.

Philadelphia Passes Used Car Lemon Law

Philadelphia has a new lemon law covering the sale of used cars. The Philadelphia Used Car Lemon Law, sponsored by Councilman Darrell L. Clarke, was signed by Mayor Nutter on July 2, 2008.

The law protects purchasers of used cars in Philadelphia by giving them the opportunity to have their used car inspected by a licensed mechanic with 72 hours of purchase. If a defect is discovered, the purchaser has the right to seek a full refund from the selling dealer.

The Philadelphia Used Car Lemon Law is a benefit to consumers since the Pennsylvania Lemon Law only covered the sale of new cars, and does not apply to used cars.

Congratulations to Mayor Nutter, Councilman Darrell L. Clarke, Lance Haver at the Consumer Affairs Office, and the City of Philadelphia, for giving used car buyers greater rights.

1-800-MY-LEMON, Philadelphia’s largest lemon law firm, is thrilled with the passage of this new law!

Below is a summary of the Philadelphia Used Car Lemon Law:

1. A purchaser of a used vehicle may return the vehicle within 72 hours after purchase if it is:

a. Unable to pass safety or emission inspection; or

b. Is found by a certified inspection mechanic to have an undisclosed major structural defect. *mechanic must do so in writing.

2. Upon return of any such vehicle the dealer shall within 10 days either repair the vehicle at the dealers own expense; or refund all moneys paid for such vehicle.

3. Dealers must also provide a copy of any written warranty to the purchaser within fifteen (15) days of payment for the warranty, and shall perform the repairs set forth in the warranty promptly upon presentation of the warrantied vehicle for repair. At the time of purchase, the dealer shall disclose to the purchaser, in writing in large capital letters, whether the warranty is provided by the dealer, the manufacturer or a third party.

4. Office of Consumer Affairs will take complaints and determine their merit. L&I; will thereafter issue citations and enforce. If you purchased a used car and feel the dealer is not upholding their responsibilities, contact the Philadelphia Office of Consumer Affairs at 215-686-7598

5. 1st offense is a Code Violation Notice (CVN). (accrues each day issue not rectified); Repeat offense may result in suspension or revocation of the dealer’s Automobile Sales License and/or Business Privilege License.

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Kids Just Love The MyLemon Jingle

We just had to post this…2 young girls made a very cute, and funny, YouTube video of our famous 1-800-MY-LEMON jingle (apparently it’s a very popular song with the younger set). Now, if we could just fit this into our lemon law TV commercials!

CLICK HERE to see the video.

Lemon Law My Wife

Each year our law firm, 1-800-MY-LEMON, receives thousands of requests for lemon law help. The vast majority of the requests are for defective cars, however recently we received a very unusual, and extremely funny, request for help with a defective wife!

The letter was from Dr. Anthony, a retired doctor, and he wanted to know if our firm could assist him in filing a Pennsylvania lemon law claim for his wife, and obtain a full refund.

Unfortunately for the Doctor, and many others in his position, a full refund is not a possibility. The only laws we are aware of regarding the return of a wife or husband (better known as a divorce), results in a substantial early termination penalty in the form of child support, alimony, equitable distribution and of course attorney fees!

1-800-MY-LEMON wish the good doctor the best of luck and recommend him to seek the advice of a divorce attorney.

We thought our many readers would get a kick out of this letter and we have posted it to the blog.
Click here to read the letter.

5 Lemon Law Mistakes To Avoid

Each year 1-800-MY-LEMON represents thousands of consumers seeking refunds for their defective lemon cars under the Pennsylvania Lemon Law & New Jersey Lemon Law statute.

While the lemon law can be viewed as straightforward, it is also technical, and many individuals fail to follow the proper steps in order to protect their rights.

1-800-MY-LEMON has prepared a list of 5 lemon law mistakes that consumers make prior to filing a lemon law claim. By avoiding these 5 lemon law mistakes, you will ensure that your lemon law claim proceeds most favorably to you.

1. Failing to obtain a written repair order.

The most important evidence in any lemon law claim are the repair orders documenting the defect. The law requires the vehicle be subject to repair for the defect, and the repair orders will validate your lemon law claim. Remember, a written document carries much more weight then your word. Therefore, never leave a dealership without obtaining a written repair order.

2. Failing to make sure your actual complaint is on the service report.

Always read the repair order before leaving the dealership, and verify that your actual complaint was properly documented. If you discover that your complaint was not documented, request the dealership, or service manager to change the repair order. Should they refuse to change the repair order, write down your actual complaint on the repair order next to your signature.

3. Trying to diagnose the defect or acting as your own mechanic.

Tell the service department the symptoms, and don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself. For example, If you think you have a noise in the engine, or front tire, don’t specify the location. Tell the service department that you have a noise in the front of the car. If you tell them it’s a noise in the engine and later complain about a noise coming from the front tire, it might be the same problem, but you have now made it two separate problems.

4. Continuing to take the vehicle in for repair, after the 3rd attempt, and not calling a lemon law attorney.

The Pennsylvania and New Jersey Lemon Law gives the dealer 3 repair attempts. After three repair attempts the manufacturer may be responsible for buying the car back from you. Therefore the best course of action is to seek the advice of a experienced lemon law attorney such as 1-800-MY-LEMON.

5. Trying to handle the claim yourself, or calling the manufacturer directly.

The lemon law encourages you to hire a lemon law attorney. The law specifically requires payment of all attorney fees by the manufacturer. An experienced lemon law attorney can successfully contact the manufacturer and obtain compensation for your lemon law claim. Finally, should the manufacturer refuse to compensate you for your lemon law claim, the attorney can file a law suit seeking damages for your lemon law claim. Why go it alone, when you can have an expert on your side, and best of all, completely free to you.

In The Market for A Used Car – Follow Advice to Avoid Buying a Lemon Car

In the market for used car? The following is a list of recommendations from the Lemon Law Attorneys at
1-800-MY-LEMON, to ensure that you don’t end up with a lemon car.

The Kelley Blue Book and N.A.D.A. Appraisal Guides have been the standard for determining car values for years and now you can check prices online.

Next, check on the vehicle’s history. If you have the vehicle identification number, you can use a service such as Carfax to purchase a history report on that vehicle. However, the report will only show what has been reported to insurance companies or government agencies. If the vehicle was in an accident, for example, and this was not reported, that information will not appear on the report.

Always inspect the car thoroughly in order to see signs of damage or fraud. This is especially true regarding the mileage shown on the odometer. Cars with low mileage may have had their odometer rolled back. A quick check can show if the odometer reflects the accurate mileage. For example if a car’s odometer shows 4,000 miles but the pedal pads are worn, one can assume that the mileage shown is incorrect.

A valuable source of information are the contents in the glove compartment. Many times the original paperwork for the car, such as prior sales orders or repair orders, are left in the glove compartment. Look at the mileage on these documents and compare to the odometer.

Another clue to discover problems is to check the tire wheels or rims for marks from wheel weights. The more marks, the more often the tires have been balanced, indicating age. Another method to check for fraud is to turn the key on with the engine off. Always compare the warning lights you see, to the owners manual. If any of the warning lights do not work or display, then someone may have tampered with the vehicle to hide a problem.

Finally, and most important, have the car thoroughly examined by an auto expert who is ASE certified. If the dealer or salesperson refuses to let you have the vehicle inspected, walk from the deal. Chances are the dealer is hiding something from you.

The above are just a few methods you can use to protect yourself from buying a used lemon car.

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Lemon Law Air Banner – Flying Over The NJ Beaches

Back by popular demand, the 1-800-MY-LEMON air banner! The banner, which flys during the summer months from Cape May to LBI, produces hundreds of phone calls to our firm, and most importantly, lots of visibility for our free lemon law services. It is by far our most successful advertisement, and has become a local favorite at the Jersey Shore. So, next time you are at the Jersey beach, look up in the sky and you will see the only lemon law firm with it’s own air banner.

1-800-MY-LEMON Proud Sponsor of The Longport, NJ July 4th Mile Run

1-800-MY-LEMON is proud to announce the sponsorship of The 2008 Longport, New Jersey July 4th Mile Run. Several employees from our firm, including lemon law attorney David J.Gorberg, will participate in this annual event, which benefits the Longport Fire Department.

1-800-MY-LEMON has provided New Jersey lemon law representation to many New Jersey consumers and the firm is proud of it’s ongoing commitment to the local communities.

Court TV Interviews David J. Gorberg & Associates

Court TV put together a fantastic news article about Bruce Springsteen’s longtime drummer, Max Weinberg, being sold a 93k lemon.

Mr. Weinberg, who is also the bandleader on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” filed a lemon law lawsuit against a car dealer who promised the musician a vehicle in “suburb condition” (sic), but allegedly sold him a lemon with a leaky transmission, a rusty and greasy underbody, and a bent and welded front frame.

Court TV interviewed David J. Gorberg & Associates, on how to protect yourself from buying a lemon.

To read more about the story click here.