Lemon Law News
Lemon Car's "Silverman" Lining
Webster's New World College Dictionary defines a Lemon as something, especially a manufactured article, that is defective or imperfect. Nobody goes out to intentionally buy a lemon, unless your in the grocery stores produce section, some studies report that one-in-ten people buying a car are buying a lemon.
Most people spend a lot of time determining which car to buy. The car's price tag must fit into a specific budget, while others believe a car must help define the car owner's personality.
Car shoppers focus on colors, fuel economy, exteriors, audio components; the list can be endless.
You put all of this money into your car and then the air conditioner doesn't work or the rear defroster or the engine. Maybe your situation is worse - you go through three transmissions and the car still doesn't run right or you take it to the dealer time and time again and all he says is "you just aren't driving it right."
According to Bob Silverman of the Lemon Law Firm of Kimmel & Silverman, it happens time and time again to people across the state and there is something you can do about it, it's called the Lemon Law.
"The good news is that under the New Jersey Lemon Law, residents from all across the state are entitled to completely free legal representation in lemon law cases against auto manufacturers," said Silverman." This is a completely cost-free service, which many people don't know about."
Kimmel & Silverman handles about 24 percent of all the Lemon Law cases across the country. The firm has helped more than 19,000 lemon car owners over the past ten years, and has handled all upfront court and administrative costs, and doesn't charge their clients any fees.
According to Silverman, State and Federal Statues are clear that if the plaintiff wins, the manufacturer is responsible for all attorney's costs. "If the plaintiff loses - which very rarely happens - there are also no charges," Silverman explains.
Rose Dee, a 28-year old, Yardville mother of three, knows how disappointment can lessen the car buying experience.
In September 1999, Dee purchased a car from a local car dealer. Everything was fine for a while, but then she started hearing noises and was getting a shaking from her steering wheel and a rattling from her front end.
Dee returned to the dealer's service department for help. She was told the car needed a new part. The car was fixed and Dee was back on the road again in her new car.
A few hundred miles later the problem resurfaced. Dee went back to the service department, this time, according to the dealer service manager, it was the same part only on the other side of the car.
Dee sensed that the problem ran deeper that just a few defective parts and started to do some research on the New Jersey Lemon Law.
"I tried to follow what my lemon law research suggested," Dee said. "I took the car to another dealer, but they just agreed with the other dealer's diagnosis and sent me away."
Dee began researching her options and discovered the New Jersey Lemon Law that led her to an experimental phone call.
"I just took a chance one day and called 1-800-LEMON LAW," Dee explained. She didn't know where the phone number was going to take her but she figured if it connected somewhere it might be good.
"It was very good experience for me," Dee said."They were on the ball and they were great. Everything was explained to me up front."
Silverman explains that the process can be cleared up in as little as four or five months, but others can take longer.
Dee's case was settled in a little more than four months - with a $10,020 settlement that she turned into a down payment on a new minivan for her growing family.
Silverman explained that there are several tips he stresses that may help you later when your vehicle is in the shop now:
- 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.
- When buying or servicing your car, ask about Technical Service Bulletins. The TSB's alert dealerships about defects or repairs in certain models. Ask the dealership to write your TSB request on the repair order evenif told no TSBs exist for the concerns you are experiencing.
- 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.
- And lastly, don't be misled.
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