Posted On: February 19, 2008

Used Texas Lemon car that does NOT qualify under the Texas Lemon Law?

Ever wonder what happens to life after death? Of course, I will not be analyzing such a complex issue, but in a similar line of thought,... have you ever wondered what happens to lemon cars that have been repurchased or bought back from car manufacturers? Or, ever wonder what happens to wrecked or salvaged cars?

Last week, fellow Lemon Law attorney and blogger, Jonathan Rudnick, wrote a short article that might have partially answered this hypothetical question. His article focuses on how there exists an entire market for buying and selling damaged cars.

This makes sense, because it is impractical and unprofitable for car manufacturers to simply dismantle and take lemon cars out of commission when it is so much easier to possibly sell it to another uninformed buyer who is in the market of buying a preown car. The Texas Lemon Law covers used car cases in very LIMITED situations. As a general rule, the law is intended to protect new car buyers.

I challenge car manufacturers such as Ford, Chrysler, and Mazda to re-consider their practices of lemon laundering and think about how unethical it is to pass along their problems to consumers. If there has been a lemon law buyback on a car with airbag or seat belt defects, does it make sense to put it back into the market used car market?

Lemon car recycling is bad.

Posted On: February 15, 2008

The Texas Lemon Law hates nice guys (consumers) and I agree

Dave, a fellow internet blogger, recently wrote about his experience of how a consumer can be put in a disadvantaged position for being a nice person. I must say, I do agree and hear about these situations more often then not.

In a nutshell, Dave experienced defects on his Ford truck early on during his ownership of the vehicle. He brought the vehicle in at least 7 times to the Ford service center. Each time, they repaired something, but the problems keep coming back. Now that Dave's warranty is about to expire, he finds himself with limited options.

The reason why his options are limited is because the Texas Lemon Law hates nice guys. Well, maybe it does not really hate nice guys, but it is certainly unfriendly to consumers who have a legitimate reasons for not pursing their claim early.

The law requires that you file a claim with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) within the first 24,000 miles or 24 months, whichever occurs first. After you miss that deadline, you have a 6 months grace period. After that, your options may be significantly more limited.

Some lessons to learn from Dave's experience includes,... file your lemon law claim early! If you do not file early, at least speak to a lemon lawyer like myself as early as possible to know your rights and what to look out for. My parents always tell me, "the worse thing you could do is wait until after you've broken the dish to find out the ceramics are fragile -- ask first and ask early."

To read more about Dave's experience and article, go here.

Posted On: February 12, 2008

Similarities between Texas Lemon Law and Michigan Lemon Law

Renee Walsh, a fellow blogger and attorney, recently wrote a very informative blog article regarding the Michigan Lemon Law and the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

Ms. Walsh's article mentions the lack of coverage that current Michigan Lemon Law has on used or preowned cars. Thereafter, she explores alternative remedies that a consumer may have against sellers of used and defective cars. The article also outlines the the exact language of the Michigan consumer protection statute.

Similar to Michigan, Texas has a Texas Lemon Law that aims to protect buyers of new cars. Further, Texas also has a consumer protection law, entitled Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). The DTPA has been successfully used to sue car car dealers for deceptive and dishonest practices.

For more about the article, please go here.

Posted On: February 11, 2008

How to complain successfully and get out of your Texas lemon car.

Although my Texas lemon law office tries to take on as many cases against the car manufacturers as possible, we can not accept every potential client's case that goes through our door. In the event that you can not find a lemon law attorney to represent you on your lemon car, then I would recommend you not give up.

Juliet Bickford, WSLS Anchor for Channel 10 in Roanoke, Virginia, offers the following suggestions on how to complain effectively and successfully. After reading through her recommendations, I would have to say that I agree with her suggestions in light of lemon law car cases.

Some highlights of her suggestions include ... addressing your concern with a manager or supervisor on duty. If that fails, then go straight to top management (company president, vice president, and etc). If that does not work, then try reporting the company to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If all else fails, consider taking the company to small claims court.

In addition to Ms. Bickford's list of helpful tips, I would also add: 1) keep good written records and notes of everything so that you can substantiate your position, 2) send all your correspondences as soon as possible -- do not wait until the statute of limitations (deadline or warranty) runs out, and 3) be persistent.

To read more on Ms. Bickford's article, go here.

Posted On: February 5, 2008

Steroid use, Texas Lemon Law, and the Texas DTPA

When you buy a new car or other consumer product, you expect to get what you pay for...you expect to not have to sue the car manufacturer under a Texas Lemon Law claim. You make your decision based on specifications and advertisements produced by the manufacturers and distributors. You evaluate your options and consider what features are important to you and how much you are willing to spend. All of this is pretty well known and standard when you are buying a car or a blender or a couch, but what happens when you are paying for entertainment?

One fan of the New York Yankees is suing the team after evidence of steroid use by several of their players came to light in the Mitchell report on drugs in sports. Specifically, Matthew Mitchell, a long time fan, is seeking $221 in repayment for tickets he purchased claiming that the behavior of the team is akin to consumer fraud.

Similar to a typical Texas Lemon Law related case, Mr. Mitchell is seeking refund of his ticket price for five games in which pitcher Andy Pettitte was involved. Mr. Pettitte was named in the Mitchell report and has admitted to using human growth hormones, though he claimed that this was used to hasten healing after an injury – not to enhance on field performance.

Mr. Mitchell believed that he was buying tickets to baseball games during which his favorite players would be competing naturally – without chemical enhancement. He feels that this is the position that was put forth by the team, and that, given the widespread steroid use, this was a misrepresentation on the part of the team. The case was filed in small claims court in Brooklyn.

We will keep you posted as to the outcome. So far as we know, no such case has been put forward against our local Dallas team, the Texas Rangers.

Consumer fraud can take all forms and may be present in many different types of consumer transactions. If you believe that you have been the victim of consumer fraud with respect to your new car, we may be able to help you. For more information, visit our web site at www.texaslemon.com

This article was written by C. Fischer. Mr. Fischer is a consultant to my office.