Dealing with the Dealer
Throughout this blog, you may find a few statements that we repeat over and over again. Why? Because no matter how many times we say it, people still don’t believe it. So, here we are again, reminding you that in most lemon law and breach of warranty claims, THE DEALER IS NOT THE DEFENDANT. They are merely the middlemen and they do not have the authority to get you a buy back or a new vehicle. Rather, it’s the manufacturer who is the defendant and many times when a service manager can’t do anymore to fix or diagnose a problem, they will whisper 1-800 LEMON LAW under their breath. Treat your service team with respect and try your best not to air your frustration with them. You rely on them to help you get your vehicle repaired and you do not want to create a hostile relationship.
Today, we thought we would give you some tips on how to deal with the dealer when your car is in the shop.
First and foremost, when bringing your car into the shop and describing your problem to the service manager, try and be as detailed as possible. Is there a leak? Where is the leak coming from? Do you smell mold? Is your floor mat wet? Did you see water spots in your headliner? Is there a noise? What does the noise sound like? Is it coming from the front or rear? Is it in the morning when you are starting the car up, or after the car is running? Is it on highways or in the neighborhood? Every detail, description or clue can help the service manager and his team properly diagnose the problem.
You may also want to visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website prior to your repair to determine if there are technical service bulletins or similar consumer complaints on your vehicle. Bring this information with you to show the service manager.
When you pick up your car, make sure that you give the service manager a few minutes to discuss which repairs were done. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand something. And, most importantly, always ask for a repair invoice. Now, some folks may say “My car is under warranty. Why would I need an invoice?” Invoices provide a paper trail which is the key to any lemon law or breach of warranty claim. They outline the problem you complained about, what was done to fix the problem, a list of any components that may have been replaced, and dates the vehicle was in the shop. Make sure you get a receipt at the time you pick up your car. Do not let them mail it to you. You want to review it to make sure everything is correct and if not you want them to revise it on the spot. Also, it’s very important to keep these invoices in a safe place, and we don’t mean the “circular file.” These invoices could be your ticket to getting out of a lemon car. Once you have three invoices for the same problem, you want to consult a lemon law attorney to see if you are entitled to remedy under State and/or Federal Law.
Questions regarding your repairs and how to deal with your service manager? E-mail us and we will be glad to answer them.