Published on:

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”.

The producers loved how the phrase rolled off his tongue and felt that it exuded luxury – despite the fact that no such thing as “Corinthian leather” existed at the time. While this account of the birth of the term was confirmed by Montalban in an interview with David Letterman. An alternate version claims that it was the creation of the Young and Rubicam advertising agency. Either way, it seems that had little to do with the quality of the leather and everything to do with marketing.

Since that time, “Corinthian leather” has come to refer to leather with a vinyl surface coat that makes it easy to clean – hardly romantic or exotic, but practical.

So, when you are looking at a new car, drive it and get to know it – do not just count on exotic terms that the manufacturer has conjured to describe pedestrian features.

Once you buy a new car if the roof leaks and your soft Corinthian leather seats become waterlogged and cracked, you may have some recourse under existing federal and state lemon laws. Visit our site at for more information.

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

Contact Information