June 8, 2012

Question: Under the Texas Lemon Law, how do I know where to sue?

Answer: Most people who contact my lemon law office about a problem vehicle are everyday folks who never thought they would need to contact an attorney when they originally bought their new vehicle. Often times, it is their first time contemplating a lawsuit against any company. Suing a car manufacturer such as Kia, Chrysler, Ford, or Mazda can be a daunting task -- think David and Goliath. Finding out where to sue and which attorney to contact is also another often asked question.

Some clients find that they have relocated to a different state or county. Others wonder what happens when the car dealership closed down or moved.

The term jurisdiction is a legal term of art that basically means which court has the power to handle or hear your case. For lemon law cases, jurisdiction usually occurs at the county level; typically the county where the vehicle was purchased.

For example, if Bob bought his Toyota Camry at Super Dealer in Houston, Texas and Bob ends up moving to Austin, Texas; then Bob will need to file suit in Harris County, not Travis county. In terms of which attorney Bob needs to hire, my recommendation is to find an attorney who focuses his or her practice handling Texas Lemon Law cases. As long as the attorney is licensed in Texas, a Dallas attorney such as myself, can take on the case.

January 25, 2012

Lemon Law Alert: Defective Chrysler Dodge Journey Brake Pads and Brake Rotors

Owners of 2009 and 2010 Chrysler Dodge Journeys should be on high a alert of a potential design defect in the vehicle's braking system. Our law office is noticing a pattern of increase consumer concerns and complaints relating to premature defective brake rotors and pads.

The 2009 and 2010 Dodge Journey SUVs weigh approximately 3,800 pounds. Our research leads us to believe that the brake pads and rotors may be the ill-fitting (in terms of size and thickness) to handle the Journey's weight and size. This will cause your brake to wear much sooner than normal and may potentially cause brake failure within the first 10,000 to 12,000 miles of driving.

When you take your Journey to an authorized Chrysler service center for warranty work, some possible "band-aid" repairs may include: shaving/ resurfacing brake rotors and replacing brake pads. Remember to keep all your repair invoices to document your repair attempts.

To our knowledge, there is no pending recall to the 2009 and 2010 Dodge Journey that is specific to its braking system. We hope that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) will issue one soon, as this defect may potentially be a serious safety hazard, as defined under the Texas Lemon Law.

If you own a 2009 or 2010 Dodge Journey and have experienced any problems with its braking system. Please contact my office as soon as possible. 1-888-333-3813.

March 29, 2010

Chrysler Lemon Law Frequently Asked Questions

I am currently working on a Texas Lemon Law case against Chrylser and have been searching several databases for information regarding engine-related defects in Chrysler cars. I stumbled upon this frequently asked question (faq) document drafted in part by allpar and thought I will post a segment of the faq for those who may be interested in reading this information about Chrysler vehicles.

Please be advised that this posting is not legal advice. Each case is different. If you suspect that you may have a viable new Chrysler lemon vehicle, then you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Keep in mind that there are Texas Lemon Law statute of limitations. My Law Office is not responsible for any action, if any, that is taken as a result of this faq.

To read the Chrysler faq, click here => Download file

April 20, 2009

2008 Jeep Liberty Case Settled and Client Testimonial

Earlier this year, a husband and wife from Lampasas, Texas (Lampasas is 30 miles west of Killeen, Texas) contacted me in regards to a new 2008 Jeep Liberty that they purchased in 2008 that keeps manifesting an abnormal knocking noise near the engine area. Like most lemon law victims, they took the vehicle in numerous times and the problem never went away.

After months of frustration in dealing with the Chrysler service centers, the couple called my office and I took on their case. I am happy to report that the the case settled in favor of my clients and they are now happy with the results of their lemon law claim. This is the link to their testimonial. (Look for this testimonial entry: T. and D. B., Lampasas, Texas, April 13, 2009).

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September 24, 2008

Some differences between Texas Lemon Law and California Lemon Law

Two new car buyers purchased the same year, make, and model vehicle from Chrysler. The main difference between these two buyers is that one purchased their vehicle in Texas, while the other purchased it in California.

Quiz: in the event that both vehicles are defective lemon cars, which consumer is better off and more likely to get a repurchase or replacement?

Answer: the California car owner is more likely to win their lemon law case. Why, you ask?

The reasoning is because each state has its own version of the "lemon law." The California Lemon Law has provisions that are much more consumer friendly than Texas Lemon Law. As to why California law is better than Texas law?...my suspicion is that car manufacturers have been more successful in effectuating lemon law legislation by utilizing lobbyists and special interest groups in Texas than in California.

Here are some significant differences between Texas and California lemon law:

1) California lemon law has an automatic attorney fee shifting provision that forces the car manufacturer to pay the consumer's attorney fee if the consumer wins. Texas only allows consumer attorneys to become involved only if the car manufacturer is represented by an attorney first (otherwise, the consumer will have to pay for their own attorney fee).

2) The mileage deduction for a vehicle repurchase or replacement in Texas assumes that the average lifespan of a vehicle is 120,000, which is an extremely heavy deduction against the consumer, as compared to California.

3) California law covers small business vehicles, while Texas law focuses on personal consumer use.

4) Texas has a "30 day" repair presumption similar to California, but the only way the rebuttable presumption is triggered is only if the dealer or manufacturer failed to provide the consumer with a comparable loaner vehicle.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. For further comparisons, please contact your state's lemon law lawyer. For more information about the California Lemon Law, go here.

August 19, 2008

Primary difference between New York & Texas Lemon Law

I recently visited another lemon law blog that specifically caters to consumers in other non-Texas states. Since December 2007, attorney Sergei Lemberg has been posting great and insightful blog articles pertaining to the lemon laws in the state of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maryland.

In his recent blog post dated on August 18th, 2008, Mr. Lemberg outlines the requirements of the New York Lemon Law. Luckily for New Yorkers, the New York Lemon Law appears to cover consumer owners who were not the original owner of the subject vehicle. Unfortunately, this is where the Texas lemon law primarily contrasts with the New York Lemon Law.

In January of 2008, Mr. Lemberg was also featured in the New York Daily Newspaper about his recent legal work for consumers such as Carmine Maiorano, who purchased a defective Dodge Magnum. Mr. Lemberg was able to take on the case against car manufacturer Chrysler and assist Carmen with his defective Chrysler car.

For more information about Mr. Lemberg's blog, go here.

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”.

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

December 10, 2007

Texas Lemon Law issue with Chrysler's recent recall on 500,000 vehicles?

With Chrysler's recent announcement of 500,000 recalled vehicles, it is very possible that there may be a Texas lemon law issue involved here. The recall pertains to 2001 - 2002 Dodge vehicles for the following models: Dakota trucks, Durango sport utility vehicles (SUV), Ram vans, and Ram pickup.

The reason for the recall is due to faulty gearshift blocker and bracket assembly components. With a faulty gearshift blocker or bracket assembly, your vehicle could shift out of park, even your without your key being in the ignition. No, this is nothing similar to the robot autopilot car I wrote about several weeks ago.

So far, there has been 9 known nonfatal injuries related to this product defect.

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Unfortunately, Chrysler will not be notifying owners of this vehicle until January 2008. It seems like this is a terribly irresponsible thing to do, especially since it took Chrysler 6 to 7 years to finally announce a defect on its 2001/2002 model vehicles and the fact that nine injuries and incidents had to occur before the Detroit-based company is willing to do anything about the issue. Now, they're going to wait an additional minimum of 21 days to let owners know about it. What if a Chrysler car owner suffers from this defect from now until January? ...and what if this 10th incident becomes fatal?

Continue reading "Texas Lemon Law issue with Chrysler's recent recall on 500,000 vehicles?" »

November 1, 2007

Chrysler will probably reduce its model line to be more competitive

Recently, the new CEO of Chrysler, LLC, Bob Nardelli, has hinted that he intends to reduce five of Chrysler's vehicle lineup. There are numerous speculation as to which models will meet its doom. However, suspicion is placed on the Pacifica, Dakota, Commander, and Compass.

As a lemon law attorney who handles defective car cases on a daily basis throughout the state of Texas, I personally would like to see the Chrysler 300 meet its fate on the guillotine. Don't get me wrong, the car looks great, but there has been so many known issues with it.

Asked why Chrysler is eliminating some of its models, the company answers that several models overlap each other and has arguably self-competed/cannabilized against each other.

October 27, 2007

SUV crash test results -- substantial safety issue in Texas?

Last week, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released the results of tests to evaluate how well midsize SUVs (sports utility vehicles) protect their contents from front and side impacts. Here in Dallas, it seems that almost everyone drives an SUV of some size -- so, this testing was quite welcome.

Frontal safety was determined from examining injury (as modeled by a Hybrid III test dummy) and the amount of intrusion into the vehicle’s occupant compartment during a 40 mph offset front crash. In the case of side safety, a side impact was simulated by a mobile barrier impacting the vehicles with an object at 31 mph.

The models evaluated were the: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Xterra, Toyota 4Runner, and Ford Explorer. All these models received a rating of “good” for frontal crash protection with the exception of the TrailBlazer which was rated “acceptable”.

Continue reading "SUV crash test results -- substantial safety issue in Texas?" »

September 28, 2007

Chrysler seeks refund on sales tax for Lemon Law repurchase and replacement settlements

Under most state lemon laws (including Texas Lemon Law), when a consumer gets a new repurchase or replacement settlement from the car manufacturer, they are also entitled to a reimbursement for sales tax, title, license (TTL), and other relevant fees. Thereafter, car manufacturers such as Mazda and General Motors (GM) will in turn apply to the state to get those TTL fees refunded back to it. However, such is not the case in the state of Connecticut.

Chrysler (LLC), once known as DaimlerChrysler Corporation, is appealing its case to the Connecticut Supreme Court on the issue presented above. Previously, the Connecticut tax department, along with the state's Superior Court both ruled against the private car manufacturer.

Although TTL fees may seem like small amounts to be fighting over -- especially to the state Supreme Court; when you consider the aggregate costs of all TTL fees involved in lemon law buybacks to all fifty states, then the amount may significantly reach the potential million of dollars.

For more information about Chrysler's fight, click here. For more details about TTL refunds for Texas lemon law buyback, click here.