Auto Recalls

Saturday, March 11, 2017

When You Have to Watch the Watchdog

Q:  Can used car buyers assume that certified preowned means recall-free?

Dealer fraud, which is prohibited in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, can happen in certified vehicle misrepresentations as well as the following instances where dealers misrepresent the status or history of a vehicle:

  • Car Misrepresentations
  • Prior Accidents
  • “Yo-yo" Financing
  • Backdating
  • Negative Equity Nondisclosure
  • Odometer Fraud
  • Failure to Provide Paperwork

If you've been following the “certified preowned-open recall” issue in the news or in our recent blog post you’ll know that a recent Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) ruling affected the advertising practices of General Motors and two other large used car dealers.
Read more . . .

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pennsylvania Statewide Auto Dealer Investigation Uncovers Fraud

Q: How does the law protect car buyers and what can buyers do to protect themselves from dealer fraud?

There's a reason used car salesman have historically had a less than favorable reputation. It's called dealer fraud.


Read more . . .

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Used Car Buyers –Not Dealers--are Responsible to Check and Repair Safety Recalls

Q: Is there dealer fraud or false advertising in the used car industry?

This is the kind of thing that gives used car salesman that stereotypical shyster reputation.

Is it right that large used car dealerships can claim in advertising that their ‘certified’ preowned vehicles have been "careful carefully inspected and repaired" even when there could be outstanding unrepaired safety recalls for the vehicles?

Well that's with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently decided was acceptable advertising in a settlement with General Motors (GM) and two other large used car dealers. Not only do the used car dealers not have to make recall repairs, but they don't even have to specify any recall problems.

Read more . . .

Monday, January 16, 2017

Help! My Car is Possessed!

Q: Can I get a full refund of the price of my new car if it has multiple problems?

Are self-driving cars something exciting out of a science fiction movie-- like the flux capacitor-fitted DeLorean® in Back to the Future®? Or, are they something scary out of a horror movie like Stephen King’s Christine®? The answer may depend on whether you get a “lemon” or not.

Having a car with a mind of its own is not for everyone. While many people love the new, high-tech “auto pilot” feature of self-driving cars such as those by the industry’s pioneering manufacturer, Tesla®, others report being unnerved at the thought of their cars behaving erratically as the newer technology is developing and being tweaked.

Take the case of one of Tesla®’s “biggest fans”—a California man who owns a Roadster and Model S but who also reportedly got one of the early Model X’s-- “back when the falcon door still had serious concerns".

Read more . . .

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Impact of Driverless Cars on Recall Rates

Q: How will defects in driverless cars affect vehicle recall rates?

As lemon law attorneys and those they represent know all too well, nothing is more frustrating than repeatedly bringing your new leased or purchased vehicle into the dealership or the mechanic’s shop for constant repairs of the same persistent problem.

In general, the lemon law protects those who buy or lease new vehicles from persistent repair problems that impact the vehicle’s use, value, or safety in the first year or two of possession, depending on the state you live in. Sometimes, your “lemon” is the rare bad one in the bunch with that particular problem and you may need an attorney to get you out of the deal with a full refund, cash settlement, or replacement vehicle.

Other times, your “lemon” is part of a proverbial orchard’s worth of similar vehicles with the same problem system. In the latter case, the manufacturer may issue a voluntary or mandated

Read more . . .

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Drivers Beware: Some New Cars Are Still Being Produced Using Takata’s Volatile Airbags

Does my car have a recalled Takata airbag?

The Takata airbag recall is now considered the biggest automotive recall in United States history.  Over 28 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled and the recall is still far from over.  The airbags pose a hazard because they degrade over time, leading to rupture and potentially creating flying metal shrapnel.  Thus far, ten people have died as a result of ruptured Takata airbags and more than 100 have been injured. 

The problem with Takata’s airbags is that the chemical mixture (ammonium nitrate) used to inflate the airbags grows unstable over time and when exposed to moisture.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fatal Tesla Autopilot Accident Raises Safety Concerns

Is more regulation needed over autonomous driving features?

On May 7, a Tesla Model S operating in its beta autopilot mode crashed into an 18 wheeler turning left in front of it in Williston, Florida.  The car skidded under the truck, ripping its roof off, then plowed through two fences before crashing into a utility pole.  Tragically, the 40-year-old driver from Ohio died in the accident.  While the accident is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), many are questioning the safety of autonomous driving features.

Tesla’s Autopilot Feature

Several of Tesla’s vehicles now come equipped with an autopilot option.

Read more . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Recalled Jeep Cherokee Crushes Star Trek Actor

Are multiple, non-intuitive electronic vehicle control systems dangerous?

He was among the crew that could “boldly go where no one had gone before”. Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Chekov in the recent Star Trek Beyond movie series, battled scores of alien enemies on the big screen. However, he was powerless against his 2015 Jeep Cherokee on his own driveway.

The 27 year-old was tragically killed when his Jeep rolled down the driveway, pinning him between it and a brick mailbox. Preliminary reports do not expect foul play.

Read more . . .

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Volkswagen Hit With Yet Another Recall

What are your rights if your vehicle is recalled?

If you recently purchased a Volkswagen, what you were really drawn to besides style and capability was the vehicle’s safety record.  Volkswagen has been a favorite among American consumers for many years, and has been rated as top safety picks many times.  Unfortunately, the brand many of us know and love has been struggling lately after a string of problems has led to massive recalls.

In the past year, the German automaker was discovered to have participated in an emissions cheating scandal.  Basically, the cars were programmed to know when they were undergoing emissions and at that point would produce a low amount of emissions.
Read more . . .

Monday, February 22, 2016

Further Recalls of Ford Pickups with Takata Airbag Defects

How many more vehicles are involved in the latest Takata recall?

One of the most serious and far-reaching vehicular recalls has just expanded again. On January 27, it was reported that Ford is recalling about 391,000 Ranger pickups because the driver's air bag inflators, manufactured by Takata Corp., a Japanese company, have once again been shown to potentially explode with excessive force on impact, resulting in serious injuries and even death. This is not the first time Ford Rangers have been targeted for recall over an air bag issue. They were also recalled last year to replace the passenger air bag inflators.

Obviously, this problem with the Ford pickups is an extension of the immense Takata inflator scandal that has rocked the automotive industry and put the public on further notice that they cannot expect auto manufacturers to routinely provide them with safe vehicles.

 As the turmoil around Takata inflators continues to grow, the statistics have become staggering. The recalls already cover 14 auto and truck manufacturers, and approximately 24 million vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of recalls is likely to further expand to include other automakers.

The Case Behind the Recent Recall

This most recent recall covers trucks from the 2004 through 2006 model years in both the United States and Canada. The recall was announced just days after a South Carolina driver died as a result of his injuries from an inflator explosion. In this case, Joel Knight, a 52-year-old man, died after his 2006 Ranger accidentally hit a cow in the road, and then struck a fence.

The accident, which occurred not far from Columbia, would have been considered moderate if not for the inflator rupture. According to the family attorney, the fatality resulted from Mr. Knight being struck in the neck by metal shrapnel, not from the crash itself.

Reasons for Recalls

According to government officials, automakers will have to recall another 5 million vehicles equipped with the faulty Takata inflators. While some of the recalls will be based on the crash that killed Knight, others will be necessary as a result of air bags failing laboratory tests.

Problems with the Airbags

Apparently, at the root of the problem with the Takata airbags is the chemical ammonium nitrate. This substance is used to cause a small explosion to create gas in order to inflate the air bags during a crash. Tragically, however, the chemical, when exposed to high heat and humidity, can deteriorate over time, burning fast enough to blow apart the metal canister intended to keep the explosion contained.

Clearly, the airbag defect is an extremely serious one that has already resulted in 10 deaths (including Knight's) and more than 100 injuries. Ford has stated that it will be sending letters to owners about the recall beginning the week of February 22nd. While the auto company has some replace parts available, it is working collaboratively with air bag manufacturers to make additional inflators as quickly as possible. Ford says customers can find out if their trucks are included in the recall by going to, clicking on "safety recalls," and then entering their vehicle identification number.

Fortunately, not all cars that are "lemons" are as dangerous as those described, but for those undergoing the continued expense and inconvenience of defective vehicles, it helps immeasurably to have a Lemon Law attorney on your side.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

As Volkswagen Works to Retain Customers’ Trust, Owners Find Ambiguities in ‘Goodwill Package’

The embattled European car conglomerate Volkswagen has had a tough year. First, the car maker came under significant global scrutiny after it admitted to altering its vehicles in order to pass American emission standards tests – hiding the fact that its diesel models emit nitrogen oxides in extremely high levels. Then, the company admitted that it had installed software (also known as “defeat devices”) in 11 million models worldwide that worked to trigger faux emission rates during testing sessions, only to return to normal levels once the emissions assessment concluded – rendering all emissions testing thus far essentially useless.

One would think, after all the negative press over the past 12 months, Volkswagen would engage in the most valiant of efforts to regain the trust of its loyal diesel constituents. And it has certainly made an attempt, known as the “VW Goodwill Package.” However, many are beginning to read (and question) the fine print – prompting inquiries over how good-natured the company actually is, notwithstanding its ongoing international legal woes.

The Goodwill Package applies to all 2-liter diesel models, and purports to offer a $500 prepaid Visa card, a separate $500 card that can only be used at Volkswagen dealerships and three years of roadside assistance. Moreover, the company vehemently insists that accepting the Goodwill Package will not impact an owner’s right to sue the company, and includes the following language: “affected customers eligible for the Goodwill Package are not required to waive their rights or release their claims against Volkswagen Group of America in order to receive the Package."

However, a separate section reads as follows: VOLKSWAGEN PREPAID VISA ® LOYALTY CARD CARDHOLDER AGREEMENT IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.  THIS AGREEMENT CONTAINS AN ARBITRATION PROVISION REQUIRING ALL CLAIMS TO BE RESOLVED BY WAY OF BINDING ARBITRATION. Again, prompting many to question whether they are further waiving any rights by accepting this Goodwill Package.

Officials for Volkswagen insist that the binding arbitration agreement applies to any disputes involving the gift cards, which were created by third parties not affiliated with VW. However, the prepaid card agreement makes several more mentions of the cardholder’s waiver of the right to a trial by jury, and that any disputes or conflicts must be resolved by arbitration in the convenient location of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In sum, time will tell whether VW plans to invoke these clauses against diesel owners seeking compensation for faulty emissions reports and the installation of “defeat devices.” Until then, always read the fine print.

If you are a VW diesel owner with questions about your rights, contact a product liability attorney.

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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


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