Lemon Survival Kit
Lemon Law Tips for Dealing With Dealerships
Following these five tips when dealing with dealership service managers may help you while your vehicle is in the shop for repair.
Never Leave the Repair Facility...
Without a copy of the work orders. A complete record of the vehicle history is very important, especially with repeated problems. Although not absolutely necessary to prove your claim at a later date, copies of the records prevent the dealer from writing several repair visits as one, a common practice.
Ask About "Technical Service Bulletins"
Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) are instructions from the manufacturer that alert dealerships to defects or repairs in certain models. Dealerships do not generally tell the customer about TSBs unless asked, so speak up. Ask the dealership to write your TSB request on the repair order, even if you are told no TSB exists for the issues you are experiencing.
You paid a lot for your vehicle, so don't be afraid to go over anyone's head if your vehicle isn't repaired properly. Part of the price of the car is the warranty service for which repairs are being made. You paid for it; you should get your money's worth.
At present, the Federal Trade Commission has determined that no manufacturer has an "arbitration program" in place which complies with Federal minimum standards. What this means is that the FTC finds these programs to be unfair to consumers.
Do Not Be Misled
In some situations, the dealership may claim that the consumer is causing the problem. This is a common tactic when the dealership cannot fix the problem, or when the manufacturer has no repair to correct the condition. Ask about the Technical Service Bulletins mentioned earlier and stick to your guns. Your situation is not as unique as the dealership claims.
If you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to email us 24-hours a day.
Download our Lemon Dodger worksheet if you're looking to purchase a vehicle.
To obtain a vehicle history on your car, visit CARFAX.com
To obtain the value of your car for sale, visit KBB.com.
To find out if technical repair bulletins or recalls have been issued for your vehicle, go to NHTSA.gov.