Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey Lemon Law’

Does the Lemon Law Apply to My Wife?

 

Each year 1-800-MY-LEMON, receives thousands of requests for lemon law help. The vast majority of the requests are for defective cars, however occasionally we do receive some very unusual inquires, like this request for help with a defective wife!

 

This letter 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!

We wish the good doctor the best of luck and recommend him to seek the advice of a divorce attorney or just buy some flowers for your wife.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wisconsin Court Orders Mercedes-Benz to Pay Large Fines Due to Lemon Law Statutes

A judge has ordered Mercedes-Benz USA LLC to pay $482,000 in damages and legal fees to a Wisconsin customer who was sold a defective car and not given a refund on time. The conflict had been ongoing for four years and remains one of the largest cases involving a single car under a state lemon law.

Car owner Marco Marquez, a 37-year-old businessman from Waukesha, purchased the E 320 for $56,000 from a Milwaukee dealership in 2005. Almost immediately, the car often would not start, and despite replacing the battery, the problem continued. After several repair attempts, the dealership said the problem could not be fixed.

Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland said the company, a unit of the German car maker Daimler AG, is disappointed the judge overturned an earlier verdict in favor of the company. On Friday, the company’s lawyer asked the court to put the judgment on hold pending an appeal.

Marquez hired a lawyer who sent the company a refund demand in October 2005. The company agreed to the refund, but failed to provide one within 30 days. On the 31st day, Marquez’s lemon lawyer filed the lawsuit on behalf of Marquez seeking double damages and attorneys’ fees.

Mercedes-Benz acknowledged the car was defective, but accused Marquez of acting in bad faith.The company says an employee asked Marquez for information about his auto loan on the 30th day so the refund could be granted, but Marquez failed to follow through. Marquez’s lawyer claims Mercedes-Benz had the information it needed for the refund but was stalling.

A judge ruled in Marquez’s favor in 2007, awarding $202,000 in damages and legal fees. But an appeals court in 2008 overturned that decision and ordered additional proceedings, saying a jury should decide whether Marquez intentionally prevented the company from giving the refund on time.

A jury sided with the company last year, agreeing Marquez acted in bad faith. But in a rare move, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren overturned the verdict, saying it was not backed up by evidence. He ruled in Marquez’s favor, citing a clear “lack of urgency” by Mercedes-Benz to refund his money.

In the meantime, Marquez has continued to drive the vehicle in question, which now has 56,000 miles. He said it was back in the shop for repairs twice last year but has been drivable.

If you find yourself in a similar situation with a lemon car, call us for more information about your Pennsylvania Lemon Law and New Jersey Lemon Law rights at 1-800-MY-LEMON (1-800-695-3666).

The Lemon Law Attorneys at David J. Gorberg & Associates have arbitrated, settled and litigated thousands of lemon law claims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, recovering millions of dollars for their clients. Find more information at www.mylemon.com or call 1-800-MyLemon.

Source: The Associated Press

Avoid Buying A Lemon Car & Know Your Lemon Law Rights

Calling all cautious consumers – some proactive methods practiced while seeking and before purchasing a car can save buyers the hassle of finding out they own lemon cars after the fact.

  • Research manufacturers and dealer websites to find the specifications and models of desired cars. Check consumer safety and protection agencies, like the Center for Auto Safety (CAS). Fortunately, all motor vehicles used for primarily personal use are covered under the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Lemon Law.
  • After selecting a model and make, search for the right dealer with a good profile. This is a vital step in avoiding buying a lemon car.
  • If buying a used car, don’t purchase it without a thorough check by the mechanic first. It may be worth spending money on the car before buying it to avoid a much greater amount on fixing it up after it is purchased.
  • Check the financing terms being offered by the dealer and compare them with other financing companies.
  • When buying a used car, always make sure that the vehicle is covered by a road worthiness certificate or a warranty.

Knowing your lemon rights can significantly help you track the information needed if you do purchase a lemon car. MyLemon.com’s lemon law attorneys recommend that all vehicle owners:

  • Maintain a Complete Vehicle Record – Documenting your various attempts at fixing a particular defect is extremely important for your lemon law case. Never leave the dealer or manufacturer without a detailed statement of what was done to the vehicle, as well as any charges that may have been included.
  • Inquire about TSBs – When an automobile manufacturer discovers a defect or repair for a certain model of automobile, they send instructions to alert dealerships using what is known as TSBs. Make sure that the dealer representative who you are dealing with writes down your TSB request on the repair order.
  • Be Assertive – If you are having problems getting the problem properly fixed, ask to speak with the manager or a higher up to address your problem and concerns.
  • Be Wary of Certain Statements – The dealership may have something to gain by accusing the driver or owner of the vehicle of being responsible for the defect. This is often done because the dealership is unable to fix the problem.

If you think you have purchased a lemon car, check the New Jersey or Pennsylvania lemon law, and consult a lemon law attorney for your next steps.

The Lemon Law Attorneys at David J. Gorberg & Associates have arbitrated, settled and litigated thousands of lemon law claims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, recovering millions of dollars for their clients. Find more information at www.mylemon.com or call 1-800-MyLemon.

Emergency Vehicles Added Under the New Jersey Lemon Law

February 19, 2010 – A new bill passed to cover emergency vehicles under the New Jersey lemon law protection, including ambulances, fire trucks, police cars and other vehicles. The changes outline conditions for company reimbursement or replacements of emergency vehicles.

It all started when Doug Fenichel, APR, a volunteer emergency medical technician with Flanders (NJ) Fire Company and Rescue Squad, found himself treating a cardiac patient in the back of an ambulance that had broken down.

After a closer look, he discovered that the ambulance had a number of engine problems, and the vehicle had been to Ford dealers multiple times for the same engine problem.

Fenichel notified the 24th District legislators, and a bill was unanimously passed in December 2009.

The stipulations include:

  • Manufacturers of new vehicles are required to correct defects that are originally covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • It applies to new vehicles that develop repeated defects or unusable periods during either the first two years or 18,000 miles.
  • A new vehicle is considered a lemon if it has one or more defects that continue to exist after three attempts at repairs, or after the vehicle has been out of service for a total of 20 cumulative calendar days.

“It is a significant matter of public safety to include emergency vehicles under lemon law protection,” says lemon law attorney David Gorberg. “Taxpayers should benefit greatly from the expansion of the current lemon law, while emergency vehicle manufacturers should be held accountable for their product.”

The Lemon Law Attorneys at David J. Gorberg & Associates have arbitrated, settled and litigated thousands of lemon law claims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, recovering millions of dollars for their clients. More information at www.mylemon.com or by calling 1-800-MyLemon.

Toyota Has Yet to Formalize Buy Back Plan Under the Lemon Law

An article written by the Los Angeles Times insinuating that Toyota delayed recalls and deflected blame to human error has elicited some heated debate and an official response from Toyota. The LA Times investigation puts the death toll from unexpected, sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles at 19 since 2001. While Toyota has issued its biggest recall to address the problem, it maintains publicly that proof of a defect is yet to be validated.

In response the suggestion the Toyota has withheld important safety information from consumers, the company released a statement asserting that ‘communications with consumers about safety recalls are strictly regulated and
Toyota adheres to these regulations. Toyota has absolutely not minimized public
awareness of any defect or issue with respect to its vehicles.’

The Los Angeles Times investigation reported that some Toyota consumers have had their vehicles bought back under lemon law for unintended or sudden acceleration. But Toyota indicates that is has no buy back policy.

‘Toyota has no policy to buy back vehicles under the Lemon Law or any other
buyback program for customers complaining of unintended or sudden
acceleration. The customers to whom you refer may have interacted with Toyota dealers who on their own have always been able to deal with dissatisfied customers to preserve goodwill.’

Despite the conflicting stories on consumer buy backs, the definitive cause and scope of acceleration issues, and the final outcome of the widespread recall, Toyota has settled several lawsuits related to sudden acceleration. Beyond the acknowledgement that ‘Toyota at times has resolved and will continue
to resolve matters with litigants through confidential settlement when it is in both
parties’ interests to do so’, there is no official comment by the company as to any specifics of the agreements.

“Anyone who owns a Toyota or any other vehicle who has suffered injury or loss of the use of their vehicle from an acceleration event should check with an experienced lemon law attorney in their state to see what remedies are available,” suggests David Gorberg, New Jersey and Pennsylvania lemon law attorney and founding partner of a lemon law firm. “The lemon laws are very different in every state, and these state guidelines determine the eligibility for compensation for each consumer.”

Some states have increased consumer lemon law protections. New Jersey’s Lemon Law, revised in October 2009, now allows a vehicle to be decalred a lemon after a single potentially harmful event. In New Jersey, car dealers are only granted ‘ one attempt to correct the defect if the defect is one that is likely to
cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven’.

While Toyota has taken some steps in terms of consumer notification and recalling vehicles, it is clear that the company has a distance to go to ease consumer concerns about the harmful potential of defects related to unexpected acceleration.

The Lemon Law Attorneys at David J. Gorberg & Associates have arbitrated, settled and litigated thousands of lemon law claims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, recovering millions of dollars for their clients. More information at www.mylemon.com or by calling 1-800-MyLemon.

New Jersey Improves Lemon Law Consumer Notification

New Jersey took significant steps to improve consumer protection and the remedies available to consumers unfortunate enough to end up buying a lemon. With the new requirements, a copy of the revised New Jersey lemon law must be provided to consumer in bolded font at least 10 points or larger at the time a vehicle is purchased or leased.

The revised notification must state:
IMPORTANT: IF THIS VEHICLE HAS A DEFECT THAT SUBSTANTIALLY
IMPAIRS ITS USE, VALUE OR SAFETY, OR THAT IS LIKELY TO CAUSE DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY IF DRIVEN, AND WAS PURCHASED, LEASED OR REGISTERED IN NEW JERSEY, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED UNDER NEW JERSEY’S LEMON LAW TO A REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OR YOUR LEASE PAYMENTS.

Here is a summary of your rights:

1. To qualify for relief under the New Jersey Lemon Law, you must give the manufacturer or its dealer the opportunity to repair or correct the defect in the vehicle within the Lemon Law’s term of protection, which is the first 24,000 miles of operation or two years after the vehicle’s original date of delivery, whichever is earlier.

2. If the manufacturer or its dealer is unable to repair or correct a defect within a reasonable time, you may be entitled to return the vehicle and receive a full refund, minus a reasonable allowance for vehicle use.

3. It is presumed that the manufacturer or its dealer is unable to repair or correct the defect if substantially the same defect continues to exist after the manufacturer has received written notice of the defect by certified mail, return receipt requested, and has had a final opportunity to correct the defect or condition within 10 calendar days after receipt of the notice. This notice must be received by the manufacturer within the term of protection and may be given only after (i) the manufacturer or its dealer has had two or more attempts to correct the defect; (ii), the manufacturer or its dealer has had at least one attempt to correct the defect if the defect is one that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven; or (iii) the vehicle has been out of service for repair for a cumulative total of 20 or more calendar days, or in the case of a motorhome, 45 or more days.

4. If substantially the same defect continues to exist after the manufacturer has had the final opportunity to repair or correct the defect, you may file an application for relief under New Jersey’s Lemon Law.

FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR RIGHTS AND REMEDIES
UNDER THE RELEVANT LAW, INCLUDING THE MANUFACTURER’S ADDRESS
TO GIVE NOTICE OF THE DEFECT, CONTACT THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT
OF LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY, DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, LEMON
LAW UNIT, AT POST OFFICE BOX 45026, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY 07101, TEL. NO. (973) 504-6226.

In addition to outlining the notification of lemon law rights at the time of sale, the new lemon law in New Jersey increases the time frame within which consumers are eligible for compensation from 1 year to 2 years and the maximum mileage also extends from 12,000 to 24,000. This means that a New Jersey car owner can qualify for remedies within 2 years of purchase if their car has not exceeded 24,000 miles.

“We applaud the state of New Jersey for taking action to protect its consumers” says New Jersey Lemon Law attorney David Gorberg. “For most people, a vehicle is the most expensive asset outside of a home. People rely on their car for the safety of their family, and getting to work reliably. We need to make sure our residents are protected when things go wrong with the car they have invested in.”

Car Dealership Faces License Review from Lemon Law and Overstocking Complaints

A car dealership is facing license review due to multiple complaints of poor business practices, including selling vehicles with dangerous mechanical problems and exceeding the number of vehicles allowed on the lot at one time.

Repeated investigations of Griffin Powers’ dealership in Bellingham, MA reported that the dealership was keeping more cars in inventory than its 44-car limit. The owner attributed to the higher number of people selling their vehicles for cash. Powers did have the inventory within his license guidelines during a September 2009 inspection.

Of greater concern though, have been multiple complaints related to serious mechanical problems. One customer who bought a used BMW complained that the front left wheel came off the car on the Interstate only 2 days after purchase. The dealership did not follow through with a reimbursement for repairs and after the car broke down again, the customer gave up on putting more time and money into the vehicle.

Normally business license renewals are straightforward and without issue. But when Powers met with the board in charge of license renewals, the number of complaints exceeded other businesses according to board Chairwoman Dawn Davies. While some of the complaints were addressed at the meeting, the board exercised their option to postpone their decision on the license renewal until December. Several receipts were presented for buy backs for customers requesting to return their vehicle under the lemon law, but many other complaints were lacking proof of resolution.

Under most state lemon laws, car dealerships are required to make it clear when a vehicle has been purchased as a buy back, or lemon. An audit in Massachusetts recently revealed a high percentage of dealerships who failed to put notices on vehicles that were buy backs. A recent Wisconsin dealership was forced to pay $93,000 to compensate consumers who had bought buyback vehicles without being forewarned. Some states have increased consumer protection, allow a vehicle to be deemed a lemon after only a single incident involving a life-threatening failure of a steering or braking system. New Jersey Lemon Law is one example of improvements in consumer protection.

Many states are realizing that protecting their consumers is especially important in this economy, when consumers have less to spend and are putting more at risk for large, important purchases. Besides a house, a vehicle can be the most expensive purchase most people make. You have to know you’re protected when things go wrong. If you are worried about the safety of a vehicle you recently purchased, don’t wait; contact an experienced lemon law attorney in your state.

Oklahoma Joins New Jersey in Better Lemon Law Protection for Consumers

Starting this month, Oklahoma consumers will have better, clearer options if they find themselves owning a lemon under Senate Bill 812. The new law can be credited to the efforts of Angie Vera, who discovered the complexities and frustrations of the Oklahoma Lemon Law first hand.

The new lemon law specifies a formula that must be used in the calculation of “reasonable usage” fees that are charges that car manufactures can charge the consumer when trying to return a lemon. Prior to the new changes, these fees were arbitrarily left to the manufacturer’s decision.

Like in Massachusetts, Oklahoma cars returned under the lemon law must be specifically labeled as a “Lemon Law Buyback” before the vehicle can be resold, leased, or transferred. Furthermore, the manufacturer must offer the new purchaser of any lemon the same warranty as the original purchaser had, with a 12,000 mile or 12 month limit (whichever comes first). Or, the manufacturer can provide the consumer with a statement explaining why the car was returned. Finally, the new lemon law takes a strong position on any vehicle returned for braking or steering system failures by prohibiting the resale of any vehicle returned for these issues.

These changes echo lemon law improvements in other states. Last month, New Jersey lemon law changes expanded protection for consumers who encounter problems with their new vehicle from 18,000 miles to 24,000 miles. Under the old law, a consumer had to suffer through 3 repair attempts. Now, any unresolved defect that could cause serious injury or death qualifies a car as a lemon after a single attempt.

“Oklahoma has taken important steps to protect the safety and financial stability of their consumers. Manufactures need to get on board with ensuring the safety of their customers if they want to earn their trust and get repeat business”, said leading lemon law attorney David J. Gorberg. “Oklahoma and New Jersey have set great examples of improving lemon law protection and awareness of lemon law rights. We have a lot to thank Angie Vera and other consumers who continue to raise awareness about lemon law protection – especially where safety is concerned.”

Many states fall behind Oklahoma and New Jersey. Pennsylvania lemon law only protects consumers up to 12,000 miles or one year and requires 3 repair attempts before the consumer is entitled to a new car or full refund. These repairs must be performed by an authorized dealer, otherwise the consumer is not protected under the lemon law.

“Lemon laws vary greatly from state to state,” warns Gorberg. “Always contact a qualified lemon law attorney who knows the laws in in your state and how to help you get the best settlement.”

Lemon Law Protection and Awareness Improving in NJ and MA

Some states are tackling lemon law protection for their residents head on. While federal law dictates some standard measures of consumer protection for vehicle buyers, such as an odometer disclosure and a window sticker indicating if a car is being sold as is or with a warranty, each state has very different policies for protecting consumers under the lemon law.

Massachusetts Lemon Laws require the placement of a bright yellow sticker in the window to notify consumers of their lemon law rights. Last week, a recent study by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation of over 1900 new and used cars for sale at dealerships found many cars missing the required lemon law notification sticker in the window. Of the new cars for sale, 25% were missing the sticker. For used cars, nearly 1/2 were missing the sticker. Only 8 car dealerships of the 73 reviewed were in full compliance of the state lemon law.
“It’s very encouraging to see some states improving protection for consumers with defective vehicles and bringing awareness to dealerships that they need to comply with the lemon laws in their states if they want the trust of their customers”

An improved New Jersey lemon law signed last month expands the protection for consumers who encounter problems with their new vehicle from 18,000 miles to 24,000 miles. Under the old law, a consumer had to wait until the manufacturers made 3 repair attempts. Now, any unresolved defect that could cause serious injury or death can qualify a car as a lemon after only 1 repair attempt.

“It’s very encouraging to see some states improving protection for consumers with defective vehicles and bringing awareness to dealerships that they need to comply with the lemon laws in their states if they want the trust of their customers”, said leading lemon law attorney David J. Gorberg. “We’d like to see other states following the example of New Jersey and Massachusetts by stepping up lemon law protection and awareness of lemon law rights.”

Some states have a longer way to go. Pennsylvania lemon law ranks lower in lemon law protection than many states, with protection only up to 12,000 miles or one year. Pennsylvania requires 3 repair attempts before the consumer is entitled to a new car or full refund. These repairs must be performed by an authorized dealer, otherwise the consumer is not covered.

In states with active state agencies and consumer groups, dealerships are coming to realize that their compliance with state lemon laws could earn or lose the trust of their customers. This direct translation to the bottom line is good news for the driver looking for reliability and a good response when things go wrong.

David J. Gorberg & Associates, The Lemon Law Attorneys, has arbitrated, settled and litigated thousands of lemon law claims to date, throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, recovering millions of dollars for it’s clients.