November 5, 2002 – The 2002 Car Complaint Index is out, and your vehicle may be on it. If it is, there's something you can do to fight back and get a brand new one.
"We're always in the car going here and there, and I want to have a dependable car so I don't break down on the side of the road with my kids by myself."
So, the Kilian family of Florence, New Jersey, bought a new 2002 Ford Windstar.
"I went to use the horn, and it wouldn't work, it had burned up."
Kathi Kilian has taken her van in for repairs more than a dozen times in two years.
Here's yet another problem with their vehicle: It takes some work to get the door open. All of these problems combined make this car a lemon.
So the Killians turned to Lemon Law attorney Craig Kimmel, who posted the federal government's 2002 Lemon List on his website.
"So what it basically says is these consumers have contacted the government saying they're complaining of problems with the car and the more complaints, the higher it comes on the list."
The top lemons this year? The Mercury Cougar, the Ford Windstar, the Ford Excursion, and the Kia sportage.
From air conditioning problems, fuel problems, brake problems, stalling, transmission, all sorts of problem.. but that's also an example of a manufacturer who recognized the problems, came out with a new model, and so far they're receiving rave reviews."
As for the Killians?
"The more things that happened, the more disgusted I got. Every time I got in the car, I just thought, please God, just let it start."
They fought back using the New Jersey Lemon Law and won a new 2003 Ford Windstar.