A defective car can cause an owner or a borrower quite a few problems especially if the defect within the car is not caused by the handling of the client. Each and every consumer or client that is faced with this kind of problem has the right to file a complaint. Below are further information and guidelines that can help your in case you are having the same problem.
Complaints About Cars
A “lemon” law is established a practiced by most states in the country. This “lemon” law protects the car buyers in situations wherein they have already purchased a defective car and it can no longer be repaired despite the efforts made by the buyer. Most states have this law applied only to new cars but you can contact your state’s consumer protection office if your state also covers used cars. Different states have different “lemon” law requirements. Generally speaking, for a car to be able to qualify under the “lemon” law, here are few of the things that has to be considered:
- Number of miles or months driven – the defect within the car should have happened within a certain number of months or a certain number of miles the car was driven. This is not general, different states may have different requirements in the duration or the mileage of the car.
- Substantial defects – the defects of the car should be substantial or significant such as damages in the car’s ignition, engine, brakes, transmission, or other major parts of the car. The said damages should directly have an effect on the car’s performance.
- Reasonable repair attempts – multiple attempts and chances should be given to qualified mechanics to fix and repair identified damages. If the efforts are futile and the defects were not resolved despite the chances given, the car qualifies under the “lemon” law.
- Number of days in the shop – a significant number of days should be counted. The car should have stayed at the mechanic’s shop generally for 30 days or more within a year.
To resolve your problems with regards to the defects, here is a step by step process:
- Contact your car manufacturer
- Send a certified letter(DOC, Download Word Reader) to the car manufacturer. The letter should include the problem of the car in details, copies of invoices and work orders, and your request for a refund or any other solution you might have in mind.
If the car manufacturer refuses to help, you can still resolve the problem through the mandatory arbitration clauses. Most car contracts have this clause that protects both consumers and sellers from these kinds of issues, however; the companies has more advantage to this clause than the client. You can contact your state attorney general or consumer protection office to be able to get the rules specified to the place where you live.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) AUTO LINE is a “lemon” law complaint program that covers car warranty issues against participating manufacturers.
Mandatory Arbitration Clauses
Mandatory arbitration clauses are phrases written and found within a contract that gives protection to both parties. These phrases indicate that in case of a dispute with a certain company, it can be resolved through arbitration. These clauses and phrases prevent consumers from filling a lawsuit against a certain company they are in dispute with. Mandatory arbitration clauses are usually common in contracts and deals involving automotives, credit cards and cell phones but can now be seen in the terms and conditions of different websites regardless of the product or service the offer or sell, coupons, or corporate social media profiles. One of the biggest advantages of arbitration is that it is less expensive, however; it is sometimes deemed unfair to make a deal or arbitration a requirement even before a negative incidents occurs or even before knowing the extent of damage of the problem. One of the biggest disadvantages however, is that the decision behind the arbitration is binding and once can no longer appeal to it even if the company has been proven to be severely negligent.
Prior to signing a contract or closing a deal with a company, or even checking a website; make sure that you have read and understood the terms of service and look out for the mention of “arbitration”, “binding arbitration” or “resolution programs” – these terms are usually in fine print and can be easily ignored and missed by clients. There are some companies that allow their clients to opt-out of the mandatory arbitration clauses if clients are able to do so within 30 days.