SoCalLemonLaw Blog

April 21, 2014

Tesla and Lemon Law?

Tesla’s “no dealer” approach is creating some debate among the lawyers who practice lemon law. Do you lose any lemon law rights because you buy Tesla cars directly from the manufacturer and you do not go through a dealer? At least in California, the answer is “no”.

California lemon law applies whether or not you buy a Tesla from a dealer or directly from the manufacturer. As I understand it, car dealers across the country are uniting against Tesla, trying to force Tesla to sell through dealers and not directly to the consumer. The dealers recently scored a victory in the New Jersey courts, but the issue has not yet been addressed by California’s courts.

In the meantime, if you have a Tesla and it’s a lemon (and yes, Tesla makes lemons, lots of them), you have your full complement of rights under California lemon law.

Breathe easier! :)

April 7, 2014

LEMON DROP OF THE DAY #1: STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE TO MAKE YOUR LEMON LAW CLAIM A WINNING CLAIM.

By Robert F. Brennan, Esq.
La Crescenta, Ca.

I have been practicing California lemon law since 1991. Since some of the attorneys I practiced with have since retired, I believe I am among the half-dozen or so longest-practicing California lemon law lawyers still active. Along the way, I have picked up a few “do’s and don’ts”
about lemon law cases and lemon law claims.

Manufacturers are getting tougher and tougher in settling these claims.
In the 1990′s, it was relatively easy to settle a lemon law claim. Now the manufacturers are making it tougher, which is why you need to know the important steps to take to make sure that if you have bought a lemon, your claim will get settled favorably to you and not ignored.

My “lemon drop” tip of the day #1: WITNESSES!!!

That’s right–the key to any lawsuit. Witnesses…and, of course, evidence.

Because cars are effectively computers with wheels these days, many of the car’s problems are intermittent in nature. Computer glitches can lead to intermittent and not continuous problems, and the manufacturer’s diagnostic tools cannot always detect intermittent problems.

You overcome this with WITNESSES and EVIDENCE. Witnesses are just
that: people who have ridden in the car with you when the car showed its defect. Write down their names and contact information and be sure to hand them off to the attorney handling your lemon law claim–hopefully, me! :)

Evidence–what good is your cellphone camera if not to capture the car’s defects when they are occurring? Of course, you preserve this evidence and get a copy to your lawyer. You should always keep the original.

WITNESSES and EVIDENCE can be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful lemon law claim.

I hope this helps!

December 5, 2013

California Lemon Law and Your Cellphone: Why You Need to Take Pictures Whenever You Have a Mechanical Failure

Hello Readers,

Welcome to December. I hope you have had a good 2013 and I hope 2014 will be even better!

These days, cars are virtual computers on wheels. Like all computers, car computers crash. Some or all of the car’s functions cease. Usually this can be only briefly or it may affect a system which is not all that important. However, sometimes computer crashes can cause serious safety hazards–cars stalling at traffic speeds, brake or transmission failures, etc.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT for you to IMMEDIATELY take out your cellphone and take a picture of the dash lights if this ever happens to you. We are reviewing a series of cases presently where this happened to the vehicle owners, but they have no evidence, other than their own testimony, of what happened. When they took the vehicles into the dealers for repairs, the dealers reported that they were unable to find any problems and that the computers had not stored any computer codes indicating any faults or defects.

More and more, it is SO IMPORTANT for you to take a picture of the vehicle while it is having its malfunction. If you cannot show the vehicle having the malfunction, at least take a picture of the dashlights, so there is documentation of what occurred on the dashboard.

Your California lemon law case may well depend on it. These days, almost all of the problems with cars are computer-related, and thus intermittent. It is critical for you to document the problem as best you can, to preserve your rights under the California lemon law.

I hope this short blog post helps you! Thanks for reading.

By.

October 21, 2013

Lemon Alert: BMW X-5, Transmission Defects

To my readers,

We are handling BMW X-5 cases with faulty transmissions, which can show up as hard jerking or hesitation in the lower gears and when taking off from a stop. If you have one of these or know of someone who does, call us at (888) 453-6665.

June 13, 2012

CONSUMER TIP: USE SMALL CLAIMS COURT FOR SMALLER USED CAR “LEMON LAW” CLAIMS

Filed under: Uncategorized — baddogbob @ 5:22 pm

May 22, 2012

“Mass Actions” Replacing Class Actions as the Best Remedy for Group Injustice.

Filed under: Uncategorized — baddogbob @ 3:19 pm

May 9, 2012

Should She Have Hired Her Own Attorney? Honda Prevails Against Plaintiff Representing Herself in Inflated Gas Mileage Claim.

I’m not going to chortle here, because I really had hoped that the lady who filed the small claims action against Honda for inflated hybrid vehicle gas mileage claims would win her appeal. But she lost. To refresh your memory, this is the case where the plaintiff, an attorney herself, opted out of a class action against Honda and instead filed her own claim in small claims court, where plaintiffs can claim up to $10,000 in damages. She won about $9800, but Honda appealed, and won.

There’s a reason you hire an attorney and you file an action in Superior Court, where the case warrants. If this case were in my office, we could have done discovery and could have provided the court with a lot of evidence and analysis to both win the case and win the appeal. As with all lawsuits, there are no guarantees, but the route that this particular lady chose left her without the ability to put more evidence into the record to support her claim. And, now that there’s a final judgment in her case, she’s out of court. She cannot belatedly roll into my office and ask for representation.

However, I do agree with her decision to opt out of the class action. Her particular class action would have been the all-too-famous “big bucks for the attorneys and peanuts for individual class members” settlement. If you have a lemon car, in general you should opt out of class actions. You can almost always get a better result in an individual case.

The moral of the story? It’s from Leviticus: there’s a time to be a part of a class action and a time to opt out; there’s a time to bring a small claims action and a time to hire an attorney. Use your judgment.

Here’s the article:

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_20583195/honda-wins-appeal-small-claims-hybrid-judgment?source=rss

May 8, 2012

Identity Theft Tip: Use Caution with Fax and Copy Machines.

Filed under: Uncategorized — baddogbob @ 1:46 pm

Consumer’s Guide to Choosing Between a Class Action and an Individual Action.

Filed under: Uncategorized — baddogbob @ 1:44 pm

April 23, 2012

Good Basic Article from Yahoo! Finance on Various Types of Dealer Fraud

Dear Readers,

This ran on Yahoo! Finance over the weekend. It is a good basic primer on various types of dealer fraud. What I liked about this article was that it covered a lot of the different types of dealer fraud that we see, and did not drone on for pages. It’s a good quick read and you need to refer to it before you buy or lease your next car. Share it with your friends as well.

http://autos.yahoo.com/news/10-outrageous-new-car-scams-to-avoid.html

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress