Articles Posted in Consumer Warranty

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Most new vehicles come with a standard 36,000 miles/36 months warranty, whichever occurs first. An extended warranty is intended to cover repairs beyond the standard warranty. Some extended warranty gives you coverage beyond what the standard warranty doesn’t cover; usually, coverage you most likely do not need.

In addition, if you have a new lemon vehicle, having an extended warranty is quite useless. If the service center can not fix the vehicle, then the issue is moot. Your best course of action is to contact a texas lemon law attorney as soon as possible.

If you plan on putting a lot of miles on your vehicle, so as to trigger the 36,000 mileage coverage quickly, then it might be a good idea to opt for the extended warranty.

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According to several consumer protection groups, lemon law complaints against automobile manufacturers was one of the top consumer complaints in 2010. Specifically, the complaints relate to misrepresentations in the sales of new and used vehicles, lemon launderings, leasing, and towing disputes (Source: North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI), the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA)).

These consumer protection groups offer the following three suggestions to avoid being a victim of fraud and ripoff:

1) Pay using a safe method — avoid paying cash. Instead, pay by credit card so that you have another layer of protection in the event you need to dispute a purchase.

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I recently found some time while working at my law office and stumbled upon a great article written by Ellen Phillips of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Ms. Phillips wrote briefly about whether one should purchase extended warranty, especially when faced with the dilemma of either not buying one and having an expensive item break, or buying one and wasting money on an item that may not need foreseeable warranty repair work done on it.

Ms. Phillip’s answer to this dilemma is to have the consumer evaluate two factors before buying deciding on whether to buy extended warranty or not. First, the consumer should determine the specific services and coverages of the extended warranty terms, and second, the cost and value of the consumer’s peace of mind. Ms. Phillips pointed to a recent Consumer Report article that pointed out that the cost of extended warranties may be as much as the actual repair work itself.

Speaking of peace of mind, having extended warranty on a product such as a car does not guarantee that you will be worry-free. For example, if you bought a new car and have taken it in 4 or more times under the Texas lemon law and the service center is unable to properly diagnose the defect and fix it, then having additional extended warranty beyond the standard manufacturer warranty period is virtually useless.
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New Jersey’s new bill, the A-1002, is now heading to the General Assembly for passage. I wonder if New Jersey’s former Lemon Law unit director, Robert Russo, has anything to do with this new law?

The A-1002 is the new New Jersey Lemon Law that not only includes automobile protections, but it will also include protections of warranties and extended warranties on consumer electronic devices such as the television, an IPOD mp3 player, or other electronic devices over $250.

The new law requires:

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Below is J. Jones’ summary of’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.

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As an attorney who frequently handles Texas lemon law cases, I often receive calls from potential clients regarding lemon law coverage for non-vehicles such as computers, electronics, and other consumer household items.

Unfortunately, at this time, the Texas lemon law does not extend to non-vehicle related items (other state and federal consumer warranty laws may help you instead). One alternative is to look up the dealer or supplier of the wheelchair and file a Better Business Bureau claim (BBB) against the people who made or sold the wheelchair.

Interestingly, this morning, I came across a very interesting article today regarding lemon laws for wheelchairs, but only if you purchased the wheelchair within the state of New Jersey. The “wheelchair lemon law” was enacted a little over ten years ago to protect NJ residents from manufacturers of defective lemon wheelchairs.

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The single most important information that consumers need to know about the Texas lemon law is the deadline to filing a timely claim. Unfortunately, the law does not require car dealers or manufacturers to affirmatively disclose this information. Therefore, new car buyers often find themselves ineligible for the Texas lemon law because they rely on the dealer’s promise that the car is fixed and have waited to long to assert their rights.

Under Texas lemon law, a consumer must open a case with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) within 24 months from the automobile’s date of purchase or within 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Please note that there is a 6 months grace period after the expiration of the deadline, but such grace period is very difficult to assess.

It is recommended that if you suspect that you have a lemon car, that you contact a Texas lemon law attorney as soon as possible — or, at minimum, open a claim with the DOT immediately.

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A consumer in Missouri is suing British car manufacturer, Aston Martin, for selling him a defective lemon car. His theory of recovery is derived from Missouri Lemon Law, federal warranty laws, and state consumer protection laws.

Like most of my clients throughout Texas ranging from the Houston, Austin, Laredo, and Dallas area, Gary Mathes paid full price for a new vehicle and later found out that the vehicle is defective. The vehicle has been subject to 12 separate repair attempts for engine, brakes, electrical, and miscellaneous other issues.

The difference between this situation and a typical lemon law case is that only a limited number of this particular Aston Martin vehicle is sold each year. This means that if the Aston Martin vehicle is deemed a lemon, then the remedy of replacement will not be available to Mr. Mathes. Alternatively, the remedy of repurchase or a monetary settlement is certainly an option.

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Too often, when faced with a new broken car, consumers are unfamiliar with their lemon law rights. Burdened with frustration and the runaround from car dealerships and the manufacturer, some consumers resort to trading in their vehicle at a substantial loss.

Recently, the Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote a brief summary about the Texas lemon law. Personally, I think that this public announcement is a very commendable thing that our local newspaper is doing.

In summary, the newspaper article accurately states that a consumer with a suspected lemon should contact the Texas Department of Transportation by calling the local toll free number immediately. In addition, there is a $35 fee, which is refundable to the consumer if the consumer wins the lemon case via the Texas DOT.

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Today I am going to do something a little different and talk about a recent personal experience with a consumer product – not a lemon car, not a big-ticket purchase, but an inexpensive electric toothbrush.

We use toothbrushes everyday and normally do not spend much time thinking about their design or history. We do not know when humans first started using tools to clean their teeth, but there is evidence of the use of “chewing sticks” by ancient Babylonians as far back as 3500 BC. The first appearance of such devices in literature is around 1600 BC in China. Following on this long history of oral hygiene, in 15th century China, boar’s hairs were fixed in bamboo to make the first toothbrush. The 19th century brought the mass production of the toothbrush in America, then modified in the 1930’s to include nylon bristles. The electric toothbrush made its appearance on the US markets in the 1960’s with continuing evolution up to the present day.

So, how does this tie in with my experience? A few months back, I saw a battery powered Crest Spin brush on sale at the grocery store in Lewisville, TX. I do not remember the exact price, but it was around $5. If you consider what electric and battery powered toothbrushes cost a few years ago (and even what expensive models go for today), this is incredibly inexpensive – especially since batteries are included.

After a month or two of use, the batteries died and I replaced them. Shortly thereafter, I noticed a loss of powered and checked the battery compartment. I found that, despite having a gasket, water had leaked into the compartment and a battery had corroded a bit as well as one of the contacts.
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