Posted On: January 29, 2008

What the Texas Lemon Law, descriptions of Chrysler cars, and fine Corinthian Leather has in common

When you read or hear the description of a new car,...the amenities and features flow by almost lyrically. Everything is couched in glowing terms that are designed by car marketing executives to sell you not just a means of transportation, but on an idea – a fantasy. You should expect your new car to function as advertised and to have all the amenities that are described, but what if the description does not match with the actual performance of the vehicle, thereby making it a lemon car?...and what if the description include terms made up by the automobile manufacturer?

In the first case, you should most likely contact a properly licensed Texas Lemon Lawyer as soon as possible. If the second case applies, then continue reading...

One phrase that you have perhaps heard in this context is “rich Corinthian leather”. The term “Corinthian leather” has been used by Chrysler in describing leather in some of its luxury cars since the 1970’s. It was first used in ads for the Chrysler Cordoba, The name Cordoba came from the Argentine Cordoba coin which was used as part of the logo for the car.

In keeping with a somewhat Hispanic theme, the spokesperson for the Cordoba was Ricardo Montalban, Montalban is a Mexican born actor with a very lengthy career (going back to the 1940’s) and a smooth accented voice. One plausible story goes that during the filming of the commercials for the new Cordoba, Montalban improvised a bit and came out with the phrase “soft Corinthian leather”.

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Posted On: January 25, 2008

Saturn's recent timing belt recall

The article below is written by J. Jones. Ms. Jones is a law clerk at my office.

Ms. Jones summarizes ConsumerAffair.com’s recent article on Saturn’s recent recall on faulty timing belts. For the purpose of protecting your Texas Lemon Law interests and rights, it is important that you insist that the dealership or service center provide you a repair invoice for the recall repair.

In this article from Consumeraffairs.com by Joe Benton, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled a handful of Saturn cars and SUVs due to faulty timing belts. The NHTSA has reported that 20,514 Saturn vehicles are included in the recall.

Although dealers are willing to replace the timing chain free of charge, many consumers have already “fixed” the problem and can’t be compensated or helped by the Saturn dealers. One consumer, Terry, in Indiana, had to spend $1,200 to repair a broken time chain and the valves that bent. Because he had already “fixed” the “problem” (defect), he wasn’t able to take his car to the dealer to be properly corrected.

The North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC) brought the timing chain failures to the attention of NHTSA after the consumers in the state complained that the timing failures led to a sudden loss of power in the Saturn. The NCCC reports that an improper oil flow in the timing chain lubricating mechanism, contributed to the failure.

Posted On: January 20, 2008

Unlike Texas residents, Manitoba auto buyers couldn’t get "lemon" aid under any lemon laws

In the United States, a car that has been labeled a “lemon” has significant problems. Often times, the car manufacturer has been unable to fix the vehicle after numerous repair attempts. Usually, each state has its own lemon laws (such as the Texas Lemon Law). In Canada, however there is currently no similar law that protects the selling of “lemons.”

Since there is not a law in Canada that prohibits the selling of “lemons,” Canadian consumers may be unaware that they are purchasing a defective car. It has been reported that more than 130 lemons have been sold to Canadian consumers. The act of exporting lemon cars from one geographic location to another is also better known as lemon laundering. Here, manufacturers are exporting lemons from the United States and reselling it to Canadian residents without properly disclosing the lemons status of the vehicle.

The Manitoba government (Manitoba is a province in Canada) previously had no plans on adding, changing, or amending any legislation that would address this issue. Now, it has reconsidered the issue and an amendment may be tabled as early as next spring.

The article above is written by J. Jones. It summarizes CBC’s recent article on Manitoba’s lack of lemon laws for citizens of its province. Ms. Jones is a law clerk at my office.

Posted On: January 16, 2008

Texas Lemon Law versus Georgia Lemon Law

What do you do when your brand new vehicle is already out of commission and you purchased the vehicle new in Georgia? If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then the Georgia Lemon Law might be helpful in your case.

In Georgia, anyone who has purchased, registered, or leased a new vehicle gains protection against recurring defects. A new vehicle is covered under this law for the first 12 months after the day the car was delivered or the first 12,000 miles of use.

If a problem keeps occurring even after numerous attempts to repair it, the car buyer may apply for an arbitration hearing in order to decide if the buyer is entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle.

Comparatively, Texas Lemon Law has a longer deadline (statute of limitation) time period.

Specifically, Texas Lemon Law allows a consumer to participate in the lemon law administrative hearing if a case was filed within 24 months from the date of delivery or 24,000 miles. This is 12,000 extra miles/12 months extra that a car buyer in Texas has over a consumer in Georgia.

The above posting is K. Johnson's summary of TheWeekly.com's recent article on Georgia Lemon Law. Ms. Johnson is a law clerk at my law office.

Posted On: January 12, 2008

Chrysler to sell Nissan cars in South America

Yesterday morning, Nissan and Chrysler concurrently announced that Chrysler will begin selling Nissan cars in South America.

This is not considered the first time that both companies have worked together. In early 2004, an auto part maker affiliated with Nissan began selling transmission parts to Chrysler. (Perhaps that is why I have been receiving so many calls from potential clients complaining about Chrysler transmission defects under the Texas Lemon Law at my Dallas based law office recently?...)

This partnership between Nissan and Chrysler is occuring after General Motors (GM) rejected an alliance offerd by Nissan 15 months ago and after 80% of Chrysler's share was bought by a private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management LP.

Not all Nissans are made alike. That is because Nissan, a Japanese car manufacturer, have an assembly plant in Mexico. If a consumer were to purcahse a Nissan vehicle such as a Versa, then the chances are very high that the vehicle was a product born in Mexico and not Japan.

Posted On: January 10, 2008

Texas Lemon Law issue for Tata's $2,500 car?

In September, I wrote about the comparison between the Chevrolet Aveo and Tata's sub $3,000 car. Today, Tata unveiled what is to be currently known as the world's cheapest car at the Auto Expo in New Deli, India.

The car is priced at $2,500 -- the equivalent cost of a modern day laptop, computer desktop, scooter, a moped, or arguably a car that has been designated a Texas lemon car. Of course, for such a low price, one would have to sacrifice convenience features such as air conditioning, power steering, anti-lock brakes, and electric windows. For those who are concerned with the car's gas efficiency...fret not, the car is estimated to achieve fifty to sixty (50-60) miles per gallon.

As to the answer to the million dollar question of this title? At this time, there would not be a Texas Lemon Law issue or any state lemon law issue in the United States. The reason is because the sub $3000 Tata vehicle is currently not available for sale in North America. Rumors have it that it will most likely not meet or pass US auto safety standards.

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Photo Source: Gulfnews.com

Posted On: January 7, 2008

My Top Five (5) Texas Lemon Law Article of 2007

As we say goodbye to 2007, I have compiled a list of top 5 Texas Lemon Law articles I've written this year. The purpose of this is to re-cap articles that I find is helpful for consumers who may be stuck with a lemon car.

1) Lemon Laundering -- this article defines what lemon laundering is about and also provides a background on how the coin is termed.

2) Tricks that car manufacturers, dealers, and service centers use to avoid liability under the Texas Lemon Law.

3) Three factors or requirements of the Texas Lemon Law.

4) Deadline to the Texas Lemon Law. Don't wait until it's too late!

5) This article talks about whether used or pre-owned cars are included in the Texas Lemon Law. Keep in mind that there may be other laws that may help you as well.

Posted On: January 3, 2008

Is Honda's Airbag Deployment Defect a potential Texas Lemon Law matter?

Below is J. Jones' summary of ConsumerAffairs.com's recent article on Honda's airbag deployment defect. Ms. Jones is a law clerk at my law office.

To answer the question posed in the title of this article, I believe that the answer is yes. Most of the time, when there is an airbag related defect in a vehicle, the rebuttable presumption found in the Texas Lemon Law is triggered. The rebuttable presumption states that if the vehicle has been subject to 2 unsuccessful attempt for a serious safety hazard for the same defect, then the vehicle is presumed to be a lemon. I always cringe when I read or write about the Texas Lemon Law serious safety standard because it forces consumers to risk their lives not once, but twice, in order to prove that their car is a lemon.

Article Summary:

In this article presented by Joe Benton of ConsumerAffairs.com, a young woman and her boyfriend were getting ready to leave in their new 2006 Honda Civic. The airbags exploded into the faces of the young couple when they closed the passenger door and shifted the transmission into reverse to back out of their spot.

Honda at first claims that the door was closed to hard. After they realized how ridiculous that claim was, they changed their position to something a little more understandable, “We don’t know.”

The mother of the young girl believes that, either way, Honda is covering up the true reason of the deployment. Mom also states that their trade in proposal, which would land them with a higher balance and a $16 increase in monthly payments, is absurd.

It has been reported that other consumers have experienced similar problems with Honda airbags as well. As Mr. Benton states, “But all is not lost. Rosemary's daughter's 2006 Honda Civic wins the ConsumerAffairs.Com lemon of the Week award for the immaculate deployment of the car’s airbags.”