What are you waiting for?

January 14, 2011
By: Robert Silverman

We get all sorts of consumers who call the 1 800 LEMON LAW hotline for a variety of reasons, but most callers want to discuss a situation and see if they are entitled to remedy under State Lemon Laws or Federal Laws.  In most cases, if a caller realizes that they do have a claim under the Law, they want to open it right away.  However, there are also those who take pause and ask us to wait.  We have no problem with these folks–we understand that people sometimes want to think things over for a day or two–but then there are those folks who ask us to follow up in a couple of months.  And those are the ones who leave us baffled.  Here are some of the reasons folks like to wait:

“The dealership has been so nice to us.”  Of course they have.  After all, they are paid by the manufacturer each and every time you come in for a warranty repair.  Therefore, they love customers who come in repeatedly for the same problem….it could mean continuous money in this bad economy.  As we have said, time and time again in this blog, when it comes to Lemon Law claims and those that fall under the Federal Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, the defendant is the manufacturer, NOT THE DEALER.  Dealers have no obligation or authority to assist you under the Lemon Law; they are only there to fix your problem under manufacturers warranty. You also may risk creating a hostile environment by going into the dealership and threatening a lawsuit. Frankly if you receive a repurchase, the dealer would love nothing more than for you to come in and buy another car from them.  YOU ARE NOT HURTING A DEALER BY FILING A CLAIM.  Heck, we have a number of clients who work at auto dealerships.

“I want to see if this fix holds.”  OK……after four, five, six attempts, are we going to get lucky?  Don’t get us wrong; we hope it works too.  But, what happens if the fix holds until after the warranty expires? We have seen that happen many times.  You may still have a claim but it’s much weaker due to the age and miles on the car.  And, even if the fix does hold, you have been in repeated times for the same problem.  Therefore, you are entitled to compensation based on the diminished value of the car as a result of the problem.  When you purchased this car, you paid a premium for the manufacturers warranty–a guarantee that any problems you have would be fixed efficiently and effectively.  The Law says if  continuous repairs occur, you may be entitled to some of that money back.    You may have missed work, family obligations, social engagements…why are you letting them off the hook?

“I just don’t like to sue.”  You’re not alone.  Most people don’t like to be involved in any sort of lawsuit.  The good news is that a large majority of our claims are settled through pre-litigation, meaning that many of our clients are never truly involved, other than sending in the necessary payment.  The laws provide the fee-shifting provision because you need representation and it would not be fair for you to throw good money after bad to hire a lawyer.  It would put you in a vulnerable position and the manufacturer could drag you through the court process and bankrupt you as a result.  Therefore, this is one Law that actually works in the consumers’ favor, providing the ability to go after the manufacturer with experienced representation and the ammunition needed to win the battle–at no cost and no risk.  Take advantage of this rare opportunity.  It does not come along often.

And finally “I am going to speak to the manufacturer myself.”  There are folks who think they are really smart… they are calling to fish for information and then the manufacturer will be so impressed with their knowledge that they won’t need a lawyer.  We have no problem with people knowing their rights; that’s why we have put together such a comprehensive website at www.lemonlaw.com, but we know for a fact that unrepresented consumers normally receive a heck of a lot less than those who are represented.  They have to pay higher mileage offsets, they agree to much less money than they are entitled to, they unknowingly sign documents which dismiss their claim and they make many uneducated mistakes.  Unfortunately, when that happens, there is nothing anyone can do.  Manufacturers love to take advantage of these people, knowing that there is noone these people can turn to for a second opinion.

So, if you are in three or more times or an extended period of time under the manufacturer’s warranty for the same problem, give us a a call at 1-800 LEMON LAW (1-800-536-6652) and discuss the situation with us.  You may be very surprised and happy to find out the matter can be resolved sooner than you think and most importantly, at no cost to you.

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