Posted by Sergei Lemberg, Esq. on June 24th, 2008
New Jersey Lemon Laws have teeth, but sometimes car manufacturers bite back. This was a case for one of our clients, who had a 2008 Buick Lucerne with repeated stability control malfunctions.According to J.D. Power and Associates, GM’s 2008 Buick Lucerne gets an almost perfect score in “Overall Quality Mechanical” and a perfect score in “Powertrain Quality Mechanical.” Our client’s experience was anything but perfect.
At the outset, GM didn’t think that the inoperability of the stability control system was significant. Yet the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that such control systems can cut crashes by 35 percent, and other studies have demonstrated that 10,000 traffic fatalities could be avoided each year if every vehicle had a stability control system. Indeed, the Administrator of the NHTSA testified before Congress that such systems “could be the greatest safety innovation since the safety belt.”
Ultimately, it took us five months to get GM to see the light. Thanks to NJ Lemon Law, the manufacturer finally agreed that the malfunctions were serious enough to warrant a buyback. The result? Our client received a refund for his down payment and for all of his car payments.
Posted by Sergei Lemberg, Esq. on June 16th, 2008
Massachusetts has one of the most comprehensive Lemon Laws in the country, which comes in handy when you’re trying to lean on a car manufacturer to do the right thing.
One of our recent Mass Lemon Law success stories involved a client who had a 2007 Jeep Commander with a water leak problem. Our client presented his vehicle to an authorized dealer five times for repairs, but the leak was never fixed. Three weeks after this client contacted our office, we were able to convince Chrysler to submit an offer to repurchase the vehicle.
It seems that our client’s 2007 Jeep Commander isn’t the only one with problems. A quick search of the NHTSA database shows 31 complaints for that vehicle. Many owners complained of stalling, while others complained of unexplained acceleration, brake failure, and rain leaking in and flooding the vehicle. One of the most startling complaints involved a six-year-old boy who crashed his family’s Commander into their house – even though the keys weren’t in the ignition and the engine wasn’t running!
It’s pretty nifty to see the law actually working for Massachusetts consumers, though, and we were glad we were able to help!!!