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Valencia Lemon Law Blog

10 million Takata airbags still under recall

The recall of Takata airbags and inflators has been one of the biggest stories in the auto industry in the last decade. The basis of the issue was the unstable inflator propellant affected by hot and wet climates, which could cause the airbag to explode and spray occupants of the vehicle with potentially lethal metal shards. Starting in November 2015, it seemed that every few months another recall was announced, or there was an update of a previous recall.

The final chapter?

What is the Arbitration Certification Program?

The Arbitration Certification Program (ACP) serves as state regulators for California. It has the mandate to ensure that all state-certified vehicles remain in general compliance with the regulations and statutes governing the vehicle-related arbitration process involving the performance and quality of vehicles.

The ACP protects new car owners and those that qualify for the Lemon Law protections. Owners have a right to a fair and expeditious process to resolve Lemon Law issues. It does not conduct procedures, hold hearings or overturn hearings.

NHTSA upgrades new car assessment program

The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced plans to revamp its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in 2020. This will help ensure the continued safety of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists by adapting to and evaluating the latest technology manufacturers are putting in vehicles, particularly crash avoidance technology, electric vehicles and hybrids, as well as self-driving vehicles.

“NCAP is celebrating its 40-year anniversary, and we’re proud that it continues to encourage automakers to invest in safety,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens. “NHTSA’s Government 5-Star Safety Ratings Program has been replicated around the world, and for good reason: thanks in large measure to NCAP, new vehicles today are safer than ever.”

Takata recalls 1.4 million more airbags

Bankrupt airbag manufacturer Takata has recalled 1.4 million more driver’s side airbags. The reason given is the commonly cited ones of the inflator potentially exploding and hurling shrapnel into the airbag and driver, or not correctly inflating to protect the driver when activated. This new recall impacts BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volkswagens models manufactured between 1995 and 2000, but will likely include more vehicles as vehicle manufacturers determine which vehicles are affected. This includes BMW’s popular 3-Series.

This one is a little different

Common ways to void a warranty

A warranty is a contract between the buyer and the manufacturer. They are long and complicated documents, but generally, they promise to take care of all applicable repairs, provided that the owner meets expectations for maintenance and use. Owners who do not meet expectations can have their warranty partially voided or entirely voided.

What is a partially voided warranty?

Fiat Chrysler recalls Ram EcoDiesel pick-ups

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has now recalled 107,898 Ram EcoDiesel pick-up trucks with model years 2014 through 2019. This does not include gasoline-powered trucks or the new EcoDiesel 2020 model year. There will also be additional recalls of 50,000 in Canada and 1,730 located outside North America.

The cause is due to an internal investigation that recognized microscopic cracks in the coolers. In rare circumstances, this could lead to coolant leaking into the engine and causing a fire – there have been some reported in the engine compartment so far with minor injuries to four customers who attempted to extinguish them. There are no records of the flaw causing any accidents.

VW announces another recall

Volkswagen had been a trusted brand for decades. But it is still recovering from its $14.7 billion settlement in 2016 for cheating on its clean air certifications for its diesel engines. The fallout from that settlement will be felt for years as the German manufacturer continues to pay plaintiffs.

Now the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced another recall involving the physical ignition keys in the Beetle (2012-2019 models), Golf (2015-2016 and 2018-2019), Golf SportWagon (2017-2019), GTI (2015-2019) and Jetta (2011-2018). As with the July 2018 recall, which only included 33,168 SportWagon models, the keys can be removed from the ignition without putting the cars' shift in park. This recall impacts a total of 679,027 vehicles.

The truth about Lemon law arbitration

California Lemon laws are designed to protect consumers from buying or leasing a car that does not work correctly or safely. It is enforceable throughout the warranty period as well as six months after the expiration date.

Often, consumers who buy faulty vehicles will be a part of a class action involving hundreds of vehicles or left to seek compensation on their own. But more and more manufacturers are putting a mandatory arbitration clause in their contracts. Handled by a neutral third party, the supposed benefits of this format are that it is a faster and less expensive way to resolve a dispute. Consumers can sign up for arbitration by visiting the state's Department of Consumer Affairs, but many who arbitrate find that they are stuck with unsatisfactory settlements.

What manufacturer has the most vehicles recalled in 2018?

Recalls are a fact of life in the auto industry. While some manufacturers err on the side of caution, others seem to do everything possible to avoid making a public announcement regarding a design flaw or common problem. These flaws are why Lemon Laws were drafted on the state and federal level. The idea was to protect consumers from buying a car, truck, ATV, motorcycle, or leisure vehicle that is unfixable even after the recalls. Regardless of whether the vehicle was purchased new from a dealership, used from a car lot or the previous owner, the consumer has a right to get a vehicle whose quality matches its price.

Biggest recalls of 2018

Common scams that buyers need to be aware of

The internet makes it easy to research the quality and safety of cars. Moreover, buyers can also check to see if the dealer has bad online reviews. Despite all this information available, there are still scammers out there trying to sell a motor vehicle to an unsuspecting buyer fraudulently. Considering the cost of the average car these days, this can mean the loss of tens-of-thousands of dollars.

Most dealers and sales are ethical and responsible, but there are a few bad ones out there. Common ploys used by these fraudsters include: