Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania Lemon Law’

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.

Toyota Sudden Acceleration – Lemon Law Rights

1-800-MY-LEMON, The Lemon Law Lawyers, have received many phone calls from Toyota owners requesting lemon law information about the sudden acceleration problem and recalls of the floor mats as well as gas pedal.

Toyota first acknowledged that there was a problem with its vehicles in September of 2009 when it warned its customers to remove the floor mats from certain models. They claimed that the floor mats may have been trapping the accelerator in the depressed position. Finally acknowledging that there was a defect in its vehicles, Toyota recalled 3.8 million vehicles in October of 2009 and millions more in November of 2009. On January 21, 2010, Toyota announced a recall of another 2.3 million vehicles, this time claiming that the vehicles had a potentially defective accelerator. Days later, Toyota stopped the production and sales for several models with gas pedal problems.

The following Toyota vehicles are affected by the most recent accelerator pedal recall:

• 2009-2010 RAV4;
• 2009-2010 Corolla;
• 2009-2010 Matrix;
• 2005-2010 Avalon;
• 2007-2010 Camry;
• 2010 Highlander;
• 2007-2010 Tundra;
• 2008-2010 Sequoia,

Clearly, there is an overlap with the recall of the vehicles with floor mat problems recognized in the fall of 2009 and that of the accelerator defect in 2010. It is unknown whether Toyota’s recall for the floor mat problem was in fact a result of faulty analysis; that the real problem was the defective accelerator. In any event, Toyota has been aware of sudden acceleration problems with their vehicles for years. If you are driving a Toyota and have experienced acceleration problems, please 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).

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.