Posted On: March 9, 2008

Are Texas lemon cars found in Consumer Report's top 10 vehicles?

Consumer Reports recently announced its top 10 cars for 2008. What I find interesting is that I have had represented clients under the Texas lemon law and Texas DTPA claims for most of the cars listed below.

So, this begs the question, does Consumer Report's prize for best car lower your probability of being stuck with a new lemon car? My short answer is no. All make and models of cars have a certain percentage that are built defective -- it is part of the quality control process. Interestingly, Chrysler vehicles are not included in this list.

Starting in the small sedan category is the Hyundai Elantra. The Hyundai Santa Fe wins for midsize SUVs. Best pickup truck goes to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab. Nods go to the Lexus LS460L for luxury cars, starting at $77,000. Unfortunately for Toyota, the Honda Accord gets the win for family sedan. Upscale sedan goes to Infiniti G35 while the Mazda MX-5 gets the "fun to drive" prize. My current car, the Toyota Rav4 is appointed the best small SUV. The Toyota minivan award goes to the Sienna. Last but not least, the best green car goes to the Toyota Prius.

Posted On: March 7, 2008

Hawaii Lemon Law results for 2007

The state of Hawaii recently released it's Lemon Law results for 2007. In total, there were about $490,000 worth of replacements and refunds. The program requires that consumer participate in SCAP, also known as the State certified Arbitration Program.

Of the vehicles that were replaced under the state lemon law, Ford and General Motors ranked the highest while Toyota and Honda ranks the lowest. Nissan is still in the middle, improving in 9th place, compared to 2006's 14th place.

Personally, I feel that $490,000 worth of lemon car repurchase or replacement for a relatively sizable state like Hawaii is a small amount. If an average car is $20,000, then only 24.5 cars won a lemon law case in Hawaii. This leads me to believe that perhaps many lemon claims may have been rejected because of Hawaii's strict lemon law requirements...or perhaps because the requirements are implemented irregularly.

Posted On: March 3, 2008

Missouri Lemon Law restricts consumers to only suing dealer

In Missouri, the House recently approved a lemon law bill that limits consumer's right to only sue the car dealer and no one else. That's right, no one else, including the car manufacturer or others who were involved in selling the consumer the lemon vehicle.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Jay Wasson and harshly opposed by Kansas City representative John Burnett, who is a Democrat. The lemon law bill is called HB1970 and has been sent to the Senate. There is currently no calendar date for it and the proposed effective date for it is 08/28/2008.

I personally would oppose this bill because it is written too narrow. There are many situations where it is important for the consumer to have the right to sue other parties besides the car dealers in lemon law related claims, especially in resale situations.

I urge folks who reside in Missouri to please write to your state representative and voice your opposition to this bill. For more information about the bill, go here and here.