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Valencia Lemon Law Blog

Ford recalls Fusions and Lincoln MKZs over faulty seat belts

Ford Motor Company recalled more than 100,000 of its 2015 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models over defective seat belts, which have caused at least one injury. Ford announced that the defect was a cable within the seat belt system that can become overheated during a crash and may not be able to restrain a passenger adequately. The company says dealers will apply a protective coating to keep the cable from overheating.

Recall affects 103,374 vehicles in the U.S.

Which cars have faced recalls most often?

As a consumer, you want to feel confident in the products you purchase and in the companies that you invest in. The car you drive is more than just a vehicle that you use to commute to work and to complete your daily tasks — it's a status symbol and also a reflection of your personality. So the last thing you want is that pesky letter in the mail that reveals a recall that impacts your car.

According to Cheat Sheet, these are the cars in the United States that face the most recalls on an annual basis:

What happens to the car loan if you bought a lemon?

Most people do not pay cash for their new or new used vehicles, which means that they have a car loan that they are paying each month. One reason to buy a new or expensive used car is to ensure that the vehicle is reliable and safe. But what happens when the vehicle turns out to be a lemon? As is always the case with loans, it is best to avoid costly mistakes, but it quickly gets complicated when the loan involves a car that does not function properly and qualifies as a Lemon.

Continue to pay the loan

Jeep continues to have transmission problems

The Jeep brand is famous for its four-wheel drive transmissions. Nevertheless, despite decades of designing and building these drivetrains, the company now owned by Fiat Chrysler has once again recalled 2014 Jeep Cherokee with the 3.2-liter V-6 engines because of the famed crossover’s ZF nine-speed automatic transmission continues to exhibit multiple quality and safety problems. This recall involves 81,000 vehicles.

According to Car and Driver, owners continue to report such issues as the clutch becoming stuck, causing the transmission to drop into neutral. This is even though there have been at least 11 software updates regarding:

Honda recalls off-road vehicles

The explosion in the popularity of recreational off-highway vehicles (known as ROVs, ATVs, UTVs or more generally OHVs) is obvious to anyone who lives or vacations in rural areas. These vehicles are used by recreational enthusiasts, ranchers, hunters and others riding on backroads, dirt trails or going across open country. About the size of a golf cart, these four-wheel vehicles typically feature open side-by-side seating, a possible a back seat or rear storage area, roll bars and other common off-road modifications.

Still relatively new compared to cars, trucks, motorcycles, and leisure vehicles, there have been some growing pains. American Honda Corporation has now recalled all model year 2016-2019 Honda Pioneer 1000 ROVs because of instances of a stuck throttle pedal. This has led to 15 reports of the throttle pedal sticking in the open position, involving six crashes and resulting in a report of a concussion and a broken nose. The vehicle has a listed top speed of 67 miles per hour and limited by a governor. All told, the recall involves 80,000 ROVs.

Dodge recalls Ram 1500s

The inside of the new Dodge Ram 1500 looks closer to that of an airplane than a pick-up truck from 30 years ago. Despite all these bells and whistles, Fiat Chrysler recently announced that it recalled nearly 300,000 Ram 1500 trucks in the United States. The reason filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency is airbags and seatbelt pretensioners that could potentially deactivate during a crash.

According to Car and Driver, this means that Ram 1500s built through April 29, 2019, will need to go in for servicing. The problem lies in the occupant restraint controller processing unit, which determines whether to deploy safety bags and pretensioners. Reportedly, the unit shuts down too soon when the truck is turned off, much like a memory clean up that happens when a computer is shut down.

How to ensure used car buyers get recall notices

New motor vehicles are required by law to have any outstanding recall issues fixed before these vehicles can be sold, but the same is not true for used ones. Those buying a used car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicles can and should then take several easy but essential steps to protect themselves. These will enable the owner to become aware of any critical safety problems that can be fixed for free through a recall. As always, it is better to do it this way rather than find out after it is too late.

Tips from experts

Careful record keeping makes a difference

One of the most frustrating parts of owning a car or truck is taking it in to be fixed or maintained. Many are annoyed at the cost involved not to mention the inconvenience or the time spent in the waiting room for the work to be done. Rarely are even simple things inexpensive, so there is a tendency to barely glance at the work order and run for the door with your keys in hand. This, however, is a mistake.

Careful record keeping is essential

Harley-Davidson does another global recall

Few motor vehicle manufacturers have a stronger brand identity than Harley-Davidson. Thus, it made headlines when the company issued a global recall for faulty brakes on 250,000 of its biggest models in early-2018 as well as for 238,300 bikes for a clutch issue in late-2018.

Now the Milwaukee-based company has issued another recall in 2019. This time it involves 44,000 Street 500 and Street 750 models. The company has found that certain models manufactured between May 2015 and December 2018 (model years 2016-2019) have brake pads that drag on the disc. This is due to the corrosion of the caliper piston. The dragging could lead to premature wear of the pads and/disc.

Few quality standards for self-driving cars

We have a Lemon Law here in California as well as a federal version. It basically means that defective cars and vehicles must be replaced by manufacturer if after several attempts to fix the vehicle under warranty still does not work properly.

The Lemon Law protects buyers from getting an unfixable car. However, according to autosafety.org, there are no performance standards for self-driving cars where the manufacturer is held accountable. The organization goes on to propose the adoption of safety standards, just as there are for conventional cars and trucks.