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.
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.
We believe that auto manufacturers need to be held accountable, but it is still nice to see when they voluntarily recall a vehicle that is dangerous or not functioning properly. While no manufacturer is immune recalls and flaws, Nissan seems to be involved in more than most motor vehicle manufacturers.
Honda Motor Company announced last week that it would recall 1.1 million Honda and Acura vehicles here in the United States. Not to be confused with a previous recall involving 12.9 million vehicles because of Takata airbags, the reason for the latest recall is it re-replacing the infamous Takata airbag propellant that could become unstable and explode during impact. This reportedly led to 220 or more deaths worldwide, including 12 here in the United States.
There are a variety of laws that protect buyers and sellers during a business transaction. Some of these laws cover issues that are spelled out in a contract, while others are more implied. The Implied Warranty of Merchantability (IWM) falls into the latter category. While many have never heard the term used, they have a general understanding of how an IWM works – a common example is a buyer who returns a product they just bought because it does not work. This happens regardless of contract or receipt.
The word “crashworthiness” may sound like a word made up by a clever car salesperson, but it is actually one of the most important term used in vehicle defect cases. The term describes the ability of the vehicle to prevent injury to occupants in the event that there is a crash.
The Center for Auto Safety is a consumer advocacy group that has supported Lemon Laws since Connecticut drafted the first one 37 years ago. It has now looked at the laws in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and ranked them. California did pretty well in taking the 12th spot (more on that in a minute), but it was New Jersey that took the top spot, while Illinois was at the bottom.
Korean motor vehicle manufacturers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. were sued over defects that reportedly cause their engine to catch fire. According to Bloomberg and others, 350 consumer complaints involving non-collision fires were reported to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The class-action lawsuit was filed December 14 in the Central District of California. The affected models are Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Santa Fe, and 2010-2015 Kia Soul.
California Lemon Laws are some of the strictest in the country, and for good reason. Our famously car-centric culture means that we spend a lot of time in our vehicles, whether it is for personal reasons or conducting business. Either way, the roads are usually full with drivers in vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
It is an unfortunate fact that dealerships cannot or will not solve all motor vehicle issues. Whether they have fixed a car multiple times without results, or if they claim there is no issue with the vehicle, owners and their attorneys sometimes need to look elsewhere for satisfaction. The next step in this process for many is turning to the manufacturer.