A vehicle of any kind is a big investment and costs a lot ofmoney. As a consumer, you want your car to be functioning perfectly and safely,so what do you do in case the vehicle that you’ve bought is not living up toyour expectations? You can try to file a complaint with the dealer or the vehicle’smanufacturer but in case you do not get results you may contact a state orfederal government agency to address your issues.In case of deceptive or misleading vehicle advertisement ordealers you may contact your state consumer protection agency or the FederalTrade Commission. For complaints about the financial aspect like your auto loanagreement or payments you may contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.Most importantly, for complaints regarding your vehicle’s safety like issueswith seatbelts, tires, or car seats, you may contact the Department ofTransportation.
Some of the agencies mentioned will review and examine yourcomplaints while others may collate information from you and other complainantsand file a lawsuit against the company in the future.There are also LemonLaws. These are state laws that protect consumers from defective vehicles,referred to as “lemon”, that frequently fail to meet the quality and safetystandard set about by each state. There are different criteria for a vehicle tobe deemed as “lemon” for each state, but overall the following items areconsidered: The vehicle’s defects have to be evident within a certain timeframe or number of miles driven. The vehicle’s defects must be substantial and affect the vehicle’s operation, such as the transmission, engine, brakes, and other major parts of the vehicle. The vehicle’s defect is still persistent even after multiple trips to the mechanic for repair. The vehicle has to have been in the auto repair shop for a considerable number of days (usually thirty days or more) within a year.In cases of a “lemon” vehicle, you can have theissue resolved by contacting the car manufacturer.
You will have to send acomplaint letter to the manufacturer by certified mail describing the vehicle’sdefect, complete documentation of repairs (mechanic work orders and invoices),and your request for a resolution (a refund or any other solutions that wouldwork for you). If the manufacturer refuses to help, you may still be able toget a resolution. Mandatory arbitration clauses to settle disputes are found inmany vehicle contracts.Mandatory arbitration clauses are statementswritten into contracts that enable you to settle any dispute with a companythrough arbitration. These clauses are common in automotive, credit card, andeven cell phone contracts. Although arbitration can be less expensive, therequirement of it before a negative incident happens is sometimes seen to beunfair. Arbitration decisions arebinding and barring extreme unfairness during the arbitration process, thechance of appealing the decision and having it overturned is minimal.It’s best to know your rights as a consumer,especially when buying products that determine your safety and your vehicle isone of them.Are you in a dispute with your car manufacturer or need helpwith arbitration? Contact us at Hogan Injury.