Posted On: August 24, 2009

Ford Dealer's lemon clunker problem

Even though President Obama enthusiastically praised the "Cash for Clunkers" program as being a major success; lemon-wise, it looks like many new vehicle dealers such as those who sell Ford cars are getting a taste of their own medicine. Instead of lemon cars, Ford car dealers find themselves dealing with a lemon clunker problem.

Due to shortages in personnel in the "Clunker" program, many Ford dealers have yet to be paid back by the government in the form of rebates. Many Ford dealers, along with other dealers of car manufacturers such as Chrysler and Mazda, have decided that they will not honor the program anymore.

The Clunker program ended tonight,...but who knows when Ford dealers will be paid. In the eyes of car dealers, so far, the program appears to be a lemon dud.

Posted On: August 17, 2009

The Dealership has been really nice and cooperative, but I still have a new lemon car!

As a lemon law attorney who personally screens my own potential client inquiries, I get calls from folks who wait until it is too late to file a Texas Lemon Law claim because they wanted to give the dealership or car manufacturer (such as Ford or Chrysler) another chance to repair the truck or SUV.

I hear this line all the time and really think it should be written into a play or movie. It goes like this: "the dealership has been very professional and cooperative, but for some reason, the problem still exists."

Call me pessimistic, but my suspicion is that the dealership representatives and service managers are trained to be polite to the consumer to buy time and stall. The rationale is that you would not open a lemon law claim against an entity that you have good feelings about; or perhaps that when you do decide to open a lemon law claim, that it would be too late to do so, because you've spent a good chunk of time within the deadline period being treated kindly and smothered by the dealership.

Lesson to note: it's nice that the dealership is nice to you, but when it comes to asserting your rights, you should do it as soon as possible!

Posted On: August 9, 2009

Top two misconceptions of the Texas Lemon Law

After being woken up by a call at 11 pm on a Sunday night from a person who recently purchased a used lemon car, I decided that it's a good idea to post a blog about the top two misconceptions of the Texas Lemon Law. (Granted, I should re-program my phone answering system to not forward calls to my cell phone after hours to avoid folks calling me at arguably unreasonable hours).

1) Misconception number 1: All cars are covered under the Texas Lemon Law

- Wrong! The Texas Lemon Law mainly applies to NEW vehicles. In some very limited cases, used vehicles are covered to the extent that the manufacturer is required to repair the vehicle, but only if the used vehicle had existing warranty at the time of purchase and you timely file your claim. So, for example, if you have a used Ford lemon car, please do not call my law office. However, if you purchased a NEW Ford lemon car and it is giving you problems, then please contact me.

2) Misconception number 2: I'll keep letting the dealership be nice and courteous to me and I can file a lemon law claim at anytime.

- Wrong! When the lemon law was originally drafted in Texas and thereafter revised, the deadline to file a claim is VERY short. It is within 24,000 miles or 24 months from the date of purchase, whichever occurs first. The law does not care that you took the vehicle in to be looked at before this deadline, it cares that you file your claim within the allotted statute of limitation. (If you past this deadline, then there may still be other laws that may protect you, but contact my office for more details).