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Lemon Law Blog

Monday, September 14, 2015

It’s a Jeep Thing: Automakers Refusing to Fix Water Leaks in Certain Models

What can I do if my brand new Jeep is leaking water and the dealership is refusing to fix the problem?

If you are the proud new owner of a Jeep and are experiencing water leakage issues, you are far from alone. Across the board, nearly every make of Jeep has reportedly caused its owner issues ranging from minor dampness to full-blown mold and permanent damage. Moreover, owners have reported a noted difficulty in successfully arranging a repair with the dealership, prompting many to turn to the services of an experienced and aggressive Lemon Law attorney to right this wrong.

According to widespread customer complaints, water leakage can occur through the windows, dome lights, doors and door handles. Consumers have also reported problems with hard- and soft-top convertibles and sunroofs -- and have even had damage occur to items in the trunk due to leakage through the tail lights.

Under New Jersey and Pennsylvania Lemon Laws, the manufacturer is required to either replace the vehicle or implement a full repair free of charge, provided the customer has requested a reasonable number of repairs to fix the problem (usually three). If the manufacturer still refuses to remedy the issue, despite repeated repair attempts, it may be time to launch a cause of action under the Lemon Law for damages suffered as a result of the obvious defect. In this event, consumers can receive a replacement vehicle (or the value of what they spent on the defective model), as well as reimbursement for incidental expenses incurred – including a rental vehicle or mechanical inspection.

Keep in mind that the Lemon Laws apply to new vehicles with defects apparent within one year of purchase – so do not delay if you sense a problem.

If you are experiencing water leakage issues with your Jeep, be sure to contact a reputable Lemon Law attorney.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Experts Combat Auto Industry’s Promise that "It's Normal" for Vehicles to Consume Excess Oil Between Changes

My manufacturer is telling me it is typical for my vehicle to consume excess oil between changes. Is this true?

Manufacturers and automotive experts alike have long since touted the proverbial 3,000-mile rule when it comes to the frequency of oil changes. For some models, drivers can get away with a 7,000- or 10,000-mile interval between changes – particularly if the model is newer and installed with an oil-efficient engine.

What is not normal, however, are the latest assertions by auto manufacturers that burning oil before the 3,000-mile mark is not considered a defect, and drivers should be prepared to top off their engines between changes. Unbelievably, drivers across the nation are receiving this answer from manufacturers when they bring in their new vehicles for service – and are rightfully demanding a second opinion on the issue.

In a report conducted by Consumer Reports, a significant number of new or near-new vehicles were in regular need of engine top-offs in between regular oil changes. More specifically, the engines in the following models seemed to be the most problematic for owners: the Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A5, Audi A6, and Audi Q5; BMW 5, BMW 6, and BMW 7 series, and BMW X5; and Subaru Forester, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, and Subaru Outback.

Under New Jersey and Pennsylvania Lemon Laws, a manufacturer must repair a major and material issue with a new vehicle, or compensate the owner with a replacement and incidental damages. However, owners experiencing excessive oil consumption are being met with push-back from manufacturers quick to blame the engine specifications and/or the owners’ driving habits. In some instances, the manufacturers are offering discounts on oil rather than replacing or repairing the engine as required by law.

If you are facing an issue involving your new vehicle's excessive oil consumption or are troubled by other Lemon Law issues, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ford Takes Another Hit With Widespread 2013 Fiesta Complaints

What are the options for Ford Fiesta owners experiencing transmission problems?

Under the Lemon Laws of both New York and New Jersey, consumers having recently purchased a problematic new vehicle may be able to seek damages and replacement costs directly from the manufacturer. They may also, in many cases, be able to retrieve attorneys’ fees and incidental damages. These laws, which help to supplement applicable consumer protection laws, are designed to protect purchasers from dishonesty should a manufacturer refuse to acknowledge known problems with its product. As many Lemon Law clients can attest, these laws also protect against placement of dangerous and deadly vehicles on the roadways, as is the case in the most recent transmission-related issue plaguing Ford due to its defective late model Fiesta product.

For one Pennsylvania couple, their Ford Fiesta has been nothing but trouble since they originally purchased it new in 2013. According to their recent Lemon Law lawsuit, the vehicle has had transmission difficulties almost from the outset, requiring four separate trips to the dealership for repairs. Eventually, the dealership stopped responded to their frequent calls, and even reneged on its promise to provide a rental car to the family during one of the lengthy periods they went without the vehicle. The owners claim that they have never felt safe driving the car, particularly in heavy traffic or on the interstate. Further, they claim that the car jerksabruptly and has difficulty accelerating when necessary.

Currently, there are approximately 31 formal complaints against the Ford Fiesta submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – nearly all of which involve faulty transmissions.

Under Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law, consumers are generally entitled to a refund and/or compensation if a new vehicle exhibits major problems and cannot be repaired despite a “reasonable” number of attempts – which has been interpreted as three or more appointments with the mechanic.

If you are struggling with a defective new vehicle and would like to discuss your rights, please contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney.


Monday, August 3, 2015

NJ Audi & VW Dealerships Accused of Lemon Law Violations

What kind of activity by a dealership could give rise to a New Jersey Lemon Law violation? 


The New Jersey Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers from the unnecessary and inflated costs of constant vehicle repairs for a brand new automobile. In order to qualify for coverage under the law, a consumer must prove the following factors to be true: 
• The vehicle was purchased or registered in New Jersey;
• The vehicle must be less than two years old, or have less than 24,000 miles – whichever comes first;
• The consumer has taken the vehicle for an unreasonable number of repairs; and
• The problems substantially impact the use or safety of the vehicle.
When the above factors are met, a Lemon Law attorney can help the consumer pursue not only a refund of the price of the vehicle, but comprehensive damages to compensate for repairs, rental expenses, and any other costs incidental to the situation. 

Under the Lemon Law, manufacturers are required to work with the consumer to try and rectify problems as quickly and efficiently as possible. In addition, New Jersey’s consumer protection laws also prevent dealerships from engaging in unscrupulous practices against car buyers. 

Sometimes, however, dishonest dealerships and manufacturers engage in unfair and deceptive practices, including those recently alleged against two Sussex County outfits accused of the following: 
• Charging consumers $350.00 to unnecessarily have a VIN “etched” into a vehicle;
• Failure to timely provide consumers with permanent license & registration to replace the temporary tags issued at the time of sale;
• Selling vehicles with an existing lien;
• Charging a ‘New Car Tire Fee’ to consumers purchasing a used automobile;
• Failure to timely pay off trade-in loans; and
• Publishing advertisements with deceptive or misleading information.

Whether you are facing unreasonable repairs, or believe you may have been assessed unnecessary or bogus fees by a dealership, you should contact a reputable Lemon Law attorney. 




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Class Action Against Ford Alleges Harmful Carbon Monoxide Exposure; Lemon Laws Included

What is the status of ongoing litigation against car manufacturers in the U.S.? 

Carbon monoxide carries the dual-risk of being not only one of the most fatal gases to humans, but also one of the most undetectable. Accordingly, several New Jersey plaintiffs have launched a putative class action lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company following the detection of the gas within the vehicle while driving – an allegation the company has vehemently denied publicly, yet allegedly admitted to in private depositions. 

The New Jersey class action was filed in state court in May, 2015, and was removed to the federal court system on July 2, 2015. According to the complaint, the lawsuit involves 2011-2015 Ford Explorers, Edge and MKX models from 2011-2013 with 3.5L and 3.7L TIVCT engines.

Factual allegations against Ford

In a class action, there are generally a handful of plaintiffs chosen as “class representatives” – primarily because their allegations are virtually identical to those of the class as a whole. In this case, two representatives have been elected to spearhead the lawsuit following their noxious experience with at 2014 Ford Explorer. According to the complaint, Stephen Schondel and Linda King-Schondel of Middletown, New Jersey reported to the dealership on several occasions that the inside of the vehicle smelled of exhaust while driving. The dealership not only failed to repair the problem, but did not alert the couple of two prior safety warnings issued by Ford with regard to the possible carbon monoxide problem in select makes and models. 

This is not the first carbon monoxide class action faced by Ford, and several other lawsuits are pending in Florida and elsewhere. According to the details of those proceedings, Ford asserts that such a relatively small number of drivers have experienced the problem, that it did not consider it a pressing safety issue. The company also allegedly admitted in a statement to the Better Business Bureau that it was unable to find a remedy for the problem. 

These cases predominantly implicate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Warrant Act, also known as the lemon law.

If you are having problems with a new vehicle and are unable to obtain help from the dealership, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney. 


Monday, July 13, 2015

Attorney Timothy Abeel Wins Lemon Law Case Against Toyota

What are my options if a brand new vehicle is emitting an odd odor from the air vents? 


At Timothy Abeel and Associates, we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients – no matter how many times the manufacturer insists nothing is wrong. As experienced practitioners of Lemon Law cases, we have fine-tuned our practice to offer the area’s leading representation against manufacturers that refuse to correct defects in their automobiles, as was the case in one of our recent victories against Toyota Motor Sales. If you are experiencing a situation to that described below, be sure to contact our office right away for help in recovering the costs of repairing your vehicle. 

Attorney Abeel demands compensation from obstinate manufacturer 

Prior to our recent victory versus Toyota, the plaintiff in the case was experiencing a noxious and sickening odor emitting from the air vents of her new car. According to the allegations, the odor was so overwhelming that it caused headaches and nausea for all passengers – including several young children. 

In an effort to correct the problem, the plaintiff returned to the Toyota dealership not once, not twice, but on seven separate occasions – all to no avail. Instead of repairing the problem, the dealership insisted the odor was merely a “new car smell” that would eventually dissipate. It didn’t. And neither did the plaintiff’s complaint – which brought her to our office seeking results. 

As a client with a difficult motor vehicle situation, we had two options to help her recover the costs of repairing the problem: the Pennsylvania Lemon Law and the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Act. While both statutes offer plaintiffs the opportunity for compensation, our client’s unique situation required us to use the Unfair Trade Practices Act since the vehicle, while purchased in Pennsylvania, was ultimately registered in Florida. Fortunately, this fact worked in our favor, and the UPTA allowed the judge to award not only the value of lease payments already made, but the entire remaining balance of the lease. In essence, the court found that Toyota had acted recklessly in refusing to repair the plaintiff’s vehicle, and awarded both compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees. 

If you need help with a difficult situation involving a new vehicle, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

4 Reasons Why You Need a Lemon Law Attorney

My new car is acting up already. Should I contact a lawyer, or just take it back to the dealer? 


In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, new car owners are protected from ‘lemons’ under the states’ applicable Lemon Laws. These laws are designed to ensure both domestic and foreign manufacturers are adhering to proper protocol and – most importantly – protecting consumers from unsafe and defective machines. 

If you recently purchased a new automobile in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, and are already experiencing an issue, you need a Lemon Law attorney for the following reasons: 

#4: Free Mechanical Evaluation: In keeping with its best interests, a dealership or manufacturer will often try to “sweet talk” a new car owner into believing the malfunction or issue is minor, nonexistent, or will not be problematic. This leaves the buyer in a difficult situation, left to decide whether to take this advice at face value or spend hundreds of dollars for a second opinion from a mechanic. 

By working with a Lemon Law attorney, a free and independent evaluation by an experienced and knowledgeable mechanic is included in the representation – which will reveal the true underlying issues with the automobile. By using this process, buyers are assured an objective and reliable outcome, which can be used against the manufacturer to demand the necessary repairs. 

#3: Strong Advocacy: Automakers represent big industry, big profits, and big intimidation. Going it alone against a global corporate conglomerate will be, at the very least, extremely daunting for the average consumer. At worst, the consumer will be railroaded into accepting sub-par service and forced to pay for some or all of the costs of the repair. 

By working with an attorney, buyers can feel empowered that their position – which is fully supported by state law – will be honored and acknowledged. 

#2: Enhanced Safety:

When buying a new car, safety is one of the top concerns for most consumers. If your new vehicle is exhibiting a defect within the warranty period, chances are the problem will only continue – creating a hazardous and dangerous scenario for both the driver and passengers. A Lemon Law attorney can help rectify the problem as quickly as possible, ensure the repairs are made in a timely manner, and prevent the manufacturer from passing on the costs of its mistakes to the consumer. 


#1: It’s Free: Under the Pennsylvania and New Jersey statutes, the manufacturer is required to pay the fees and costs associated with the defective automobile. This includes the mechanic’s labor charges, attorneys’ fees, and any other incidental expenses incurred along the way (i.e., a tow truck or rental). In light of this caveat, the consumer truly has nothing to lose! 

If you are in possession of a new automobile that is not working properly, please do not hesitate to contact a Lemon Law attorney today!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

High Number of Vehicle Recalls Since 2014

How do I know if my car has been recalled?

The number of car recalls for repairs in the United States since 2014 stands at almost 100 million. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates almost 74.2 million recalls occurred in 2014. Recall industry experts estimate almost 25 million recalls for 2015. Two highly publicized recalls, Takata air bags and GM's ignition switches, boosted the number of recalls.

According to a leading report, there are roughly 254.7 million cars and trucks operating on the roads in the U.S. today. Safety is a concern because drivers often fail to bring recalled cars for repairs; one estimate is that almost 60 million vehicles with a recall are not repaired. Many vehicles have multiple recalls listed, so the actual number of vehicles affected is not readily available.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (www.nhtsa.gov) offers a search feature that allows you to look up recall information using a car's vehicle identification number (VIN). The tool provides information about safety recalls conducted over the last 15 years by most manufacturers, including safety recalls that are incomplete on a vehicle. Recently announced recalls (such as the expanded Takata air bag recall) may not appear right away because it takes time for automakers to collect VINs associated with a recall.

skilled Lemon Law attorney can successfully guide you through lemon law, breach of warranty and fraud cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 


Monday, June 1, 2015

Ford Recalls Almost 593,000 Vehicles

Why is Ford recalling close to 593,000 vehicles?

Ford has announced that they are recalling half a million vehicles.  While the reasons for the recalls vary, the overwhelming problem involves the power assist to the steering, making the vehicle more difficult to turn.  This dangerous defect affects Ford Fusions from 2013 to 2015, Lincoln MKZ sedans from the same years, and the 2015 Ford Edge.  The bolts used to fasten the steering system in place are prone to rust, particularly in cold weather climates where the cold winters and salted roads make the automobiles more susceptible to corrosion.  To save money, the recall is limited to states with cold climates, even though a consumer might have purchased a new car in Alabama in anticipation of a move to Massachusetts.  

Two, much smaller recalls have also been issued by Ford.  Approximately 50,000 Fords, including 2014 Ford Focuses, Edges, Escapes, Transit Connects, and 2014-15 Ford Fiestas are being recalled because a stalling problem.  The manufacturer indicated the problem is a faulty fuel pump.  There is also a recall of 22,6000 Lincoln MKZ vehicles because their parking lights are brighter than allowed under federal regulation.

If you purchased a new car with a defect that you have the dealer has been unable to resolve, you should contact a reputable Lemon Law attorney today!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Couple Seeks Justice After Purchase of Ford Fiesta

What should people do if they buy a lemon?

Kristine Kovacs of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is at her wits end with the Ford Motor Company.  Soon after she purchased her brand new Ford Fiesta in October of 2013, she and her husband repeatedly returned to the dealership due to transmission problems.  Sometimes the car hesitates when she tries to pull onto a road.  Sometimes the car lurches.  Kovacs says she has almost been involved in multiple accidents.  “If I had another one to drive, this one would be parked.  I won’t go on a highway with it.”  

When Kovacs and her husband attempted to get the problem resolved through Ford’s corporate office in April, they were promised a rental car while Ford repaired the transmission, but calls to follow up on the offer were unreturned.  The Kovacs family has since retained an attorney to file a claim under Pennsylvania’s lemon law.  Lemon laws are designed to protect consumers who purchase or lease vehicles with quality issues.  

The Kovacs’ experience is hardly unique.  As of May 6, 2015, 231 complaints had been filed with the National Highway Safety Commission about 2013 Ford Fiestas.  Almost 75% of the complaints concerned the transmission, which was the same issue the Kovacs family had.  Ford has written letters to their dealers indicating that “some of the affected vehicles may exhibit intermittent symptoms of loss of transmission engagement while driving, no-start, or a lack of power,” but Ford is not issuing a recall for this issue.  

Thousands of complaints are filed every year by consumers who claim that their vehicles are defective.  If you have purchased a car that you believe is a lemon, contact a Lemon Law attorney today!

 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Takata air bag recall

Japan's Takata Corporation has finally conceded, after a decade, that its airbags are defective, and has recalled almost 34 million vehicles - that's 1 in 7 vehicles on American roadways.

Six deaths and 100 injuries have been linked to the problem of exploding airbags.

Unfortunately this massive recall puts consumers in a very dangerous position and an alarming waiting game.

Takata has to make 33.8 million replacement parts, and at current production rates, it would take about 2 1/2 years for Takata to do that on its own. And as we learned today, even getting confirmation on whether your car is impacted isn't easy.

Under this historic recall are many Hondas, but also vehicles from ten other top automakers.

Could yours be one of them?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has set up Safercar.gov so you can put in your VIN to see if your car's under the recall. But the agency says the site won't be fully up and running until next week!

The VINs have to come from the carmakers, and NHTSA doesn't even have most of the numbers from them yet.

Consumer Lemon Law attorney Timothy Abeel says, "Consumers should first call their dealership to see whether their vehicle is subject to that recall."

Action News tried calling and live chatting with a few local dealerships today. During our live chats, and at least one phone call, we were told someone from the service departments would get back to us, but we're still waiting for those calls.

One service representative at a local Toyota dealership confirmed that the dealership doesn't have repair or replacements parts, and he told me this recall has been "overblown by the media!"

The advice here? Keep on calling until you get someone willing to help you. And until your airbag is fixed or replaced, ask for a rental.

Abeel says, "The consumer should absolutely demand for the loaner car."

Experts we talked to today say whether to disable defective airbags is a question for your dealer or automaker.

There are a couple things that could help speed up the process of getting replacement parts.

Honda, Takata's largest customer, has lined up other companies to make replacement inflators. And Takata now says it is also working with other suppliers.

It also tells us today it has made 3.8-million replacement inflators so far - just a fraction of the nearly 34 million that are needed.

Read More.

Japan's Takata Corporation has finally conceded, after a decade, that its airbags are defective, and has recalled almost 34 million vehicles - that's 1 in 7 vehicles on American roadways.

Six deaths and 100 injuries have been linked to the problem of exploding airbags.

Unfortunately this massive recall puts consumers in a very dangerous position and an alarming waiting game.

Takata has to make 33.8 million replacement parts, and at current production rates, it would take about 2 1/2 years for Takata to do that on its own. And as we learned today, even getting confirmation on whether your car is impacted isn't easy.

Under this historic recall are many Hondas, but also vehicles from ten other top automakers.

Could yours be one of them?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has set up Safercar.gov so you can put in your VIN to see if your car's under the recall. But the agency says the site won't be fully up and running until next week!

The VINs have to come from the carmakers, and NHTSA doesn't even have most of the numbers from them yet.

Consumer Lemon Law attorney Timothy Abeel says, "Consumers should first call their dealership to see whether their vehicle is subject to that recall."

Action News tried calling and live chatting with a few local dealerships today. During our live chats, and at least one phone call, we were told someone from the service departments would get back to us, but we're still waiting for those calls.

One service representative at a local Toyota dealership confirmed that the dealership doesn't have repair or replacements parts, and he told me this recall has been "overblown by the media!"

The advice here? Keep on calling until you get someone willing to help you. And until your airbag is fixed or replaced, ask for a rental.

Abeel says, "The consumer should absolutely demand for the loaner car."

Experts we talked to today say whether to disable defective airbags is a question for your dealer or automaker.

There are a couple things that could help speed up the process of getting replacement parts.

Honda, Takata's largest customer, has lined up other companies to make replacement inflators. And Takata now says it is also working with other suppliers.

It also tells us today it has made 3.8-million replacement inflators so far - just a fraction of the nearly 34 million that are needed.
Japan's Takata Corporation has finally conceded, after a decade, that its airbags are defective, and has recalled almost 34 million vehicles - that's 1 in 7 vehicles on American roadways.

Six deaths and 100 injuries have been linked to the problem of exploding airbags.

Unfortunately this massive recall puts consumers in a very dangerous position and an alarming waiting game.

Takata has to make 33.8 million replacement parts, and at current production rates, it would take about 2 1/2 years for Takata to do that on its own. And as we learned today, even getting confirmation on whether your car is impacted isn't easy.

Under this historic recall are many Hondas, but also vehicles from ten other top automakers.

Could yours be one of them?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has set up Safercar.gov so you can put in your VIN to see if your car's under the recall. But the agency says the site won't be fully up and running until next week!

The VINs have to come from the carmakers, and NHTSA doesn't even have most of the numbers from them yet.

Consumer Lemon Law attorney Timothy Abeel says, "Consumers should first call their dealership to see whether their vehicle is subject to that recall."

Action News tried calling and live chatting with a few local dealerships today. During our live chats, and at least one phone call, we were told someone from the service departments would get back to us, but we're still waiting for those calls.

One service representative at a local Toyota dealership confirmed that the dealership doesn't have repair or replacements parts, and he told me this recall has been "overblown by the media!"

The advice here? Keep on calling until you get someone willing to help you. And until your airbag is fixed or replaced, ask for a rental.

Abeel says, "The consumer should absolutely demand for the loaner car."

Experts we talked to today say whether to disable defective airbags is a question for your dealer or automaker.

There are a couple things that could help speed up the process of getting replacement parts.

Honda, Takata's largest customer, has lined up other companies to make replacement inflators. And Takata now says it is also working with other suppliers.

It also tells us today it has made 3.8-million replacement inflators so far - just a fraction of the nearly 34 million that are needed.

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Timothy J. Abeel & Associates, P.C. represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, cities include but are not limited to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, Newark, and Trenton.



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| Phone: 888-830-1474
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© 2016 Timothy Abeel & Associates, P.C. | Disclaimer
25 Regency Plaza, Glen Mills, PA 19342
| Phone: 888-830-1474
309 Fellowship Road, East Gate Center, Suite 200, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

301 Grant Street, One Oxford Center, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

101 Eisenhower Pkwy, Suite 300, Roseland, NJ 07068

About Us | Our Team | Do I Have A Case? | Auto Recalls

FacebookGoogle+TwitterYouTube

25 Regency Plaza, Glen Mills, PA 19342 | 309 Fellowship Road, East Gate Center, Suite 200, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
301 Grant Street, One Oxford Center, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 | 101 Eisenhower Pkwy, Suite 300, Roseland, NJ 07068
Phone: 888-830-1474

888.830.1474