How new laws soured Wisconsin's once-strong Lemon Law – WISN Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE —

Wisconsin once boasted some of the most consumer-friendly laws in the nation, but changes in recent years have soured the state’s once-robust “Lemon Law.”

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The most significant changes that have tipped the scales away from consumers involve a cap on compensation for attorneys and a reduction in the time allowed to make a claim. Consumers also no longer have a choice between a refund or replacement vehicle.

“We have the worst law in the country, and it used to be the best,” said Wauwatosa attorney Vince Megna, who built a national reputation as the king of the Lemon Law

Megna boasts that he’s sued General Motors more than 400 times without losing, but he said changes to Wisconsin law have made it less attractive and feasible for attorneys to take on cases.

In 2011, the Wisconsin legislature passed a bill to limit attorneys’ fees after Megna collected more than $150,000 in legal fees over a car dispute.

“Which might sound like a lot, but it’s not,” he said. “You’re fighting companies that will put hundreds and hundreds of thousands into defeating you on a $8,000 case.”

The new law caps attorney fees at three times the amount of damages. Megna said that means few lawyers can afford to take on the auto manufacturers, leaving consumers stuck with lemons.

“People need to get angry, we need to get angry about this,” he said.

Consumers like Leeann Beehler of Fox Point are very angry.

Her new Honda CRV was just a week old when she said she caught a strong odor of gas.

“The cabin fills with the fumes. It’s sudden and it’s very, very strong,” she explained.

Beehler said she took the CRV to a Honda dealer six times, and each time her vehicle was returned to her with technicians claiming there were no problems.

An online search turns up similar complaints.

On its invoice, the dealer noted that Honda was aware the issue affected “other new CRVs.” Beehler said she offered to let the dealer keep her car to duplicate the problem, but Honda declined.

“We can tell you that Honda is aware of the problem, but they do not have a fix,” Beehler said her Honda dealer told her.

The company offered to let her trade in the car for a new one, but she’d have to pay the difference.

She declined. Now her $30,000 CRV sits in her driveway, where it’s been since last spring. Afraid to drive it, Beehler said she and her husband went out and purchased another car.

She’s also hired a Chicago lawyer to file a federal class action lawsuit.

“Someone at Honda has made an economic decision to fight the fight rather than take care of a handful of consumers,” said Beehler’s attorney, Alex Loftus.

Contacted by WISN 12 News, a Honda spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits. He encouraged any CRV owner experiencing a problem to take it to a dealer to get it resolved under the warranty, the same course of action that was of little help to Beehler.

Under Wisconsin’s Lemon Law, consumers used to get a choice as to whether they wanted refund or replacement. Now it’s the auto company’s choice. Megna said that’s another change that has hurt many lemon owners. The state has also reduced the time limit on Lemon Law claims. Consumers now get three years to file, down from the six years they were previously allotted.

WISN 12 News tried speaking to the lawmaker, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington), who shepherded the changes through the legislature. His office did not respond to repeated requests to talk about the impact those changes have had on consumers.

WEBVTT ATES WHYSHE HAS A CAR SHE CAN’T DRIVE.>> LEEANN BEEHLER SAYS HER NEWHONDA CRV WAS A WEEK OLD THEFIRST TIME SHE SMELLED IT.>> I THOUGHT I PARKED OVER APUDDLE OF GAS.>> THE SMELL OF GASOLINE FLOODEDTHE CAR’S INTERIOR.>> CABIN FILLS WITH FUMES,SUDDEN AND STRONG.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE SMELL WENTAWAY, BUT IN THE FOLLOWING WEEKSREPEATEDLY RETURNED.SHE TOOK IT TO A HONDA DEALERSIX TIMES.,>> THEY GAVE IT BACK TO US ANDSAID WE FIND NO PROBLEM WITHYOUR CAR.A QUICK GOOGLE SEARCH TURNSUP SIMILAR COMPLAINTS AND ON ITSINVOICE THE DEALER NOTED THATHONDA WAS AWARE IT AFFECTEDOTHER NEW CRVS.BEEHLER SAYS SHE OFFERED TO LETTHE DEALER KEEP HER CAR TOTRY TO DUPLICATE THE PROBLEM BUT, HONDA DECLINED.>> WE CAN TELL YOU HONDA ISAWARE OF THE PROBLEM, BUT DO NOTHAVE A FIX.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE COMPANYOFFERED TO LET HER TRADE IN THECAR FOR A NEW ONE, BUT SHE’DHAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE.>> WE HAVE THE WORST LAW IN THECOUNTRY, AND IT USED TO BE THEBEST.>> WAUWATOSA ATTORNEY VINCEMEGNA BUILT A NATIONALREPUTATION AS THE KING OF THELEMON LAW.>> I SUED GENERAL MOTORS 400TIMES WITHOUT LOSING.>> BUT MEGNA SAYS RECENT CHANGESIN WISCONSIN LAW HAVE GUTTED THECONSUMER PROTECTIONS THAT MADETHAT POSSIBLE.IN 2011, THE LEGISLATURE PASSEDA BILL TO LIMIT ATTORNEYS’ FEES,AFTER MEGNA COLLECTED MORE THAN$150,000 IN LEGAL FEES OVER ACAR DISPUTE.>> WHICH MIGHT SEEM LIKE ALOT,BUT IT IS NOT.YOU ARE FIGHTING COMPANIES THATWILL PUT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDSINTO DEFEATING YOU ON AN $8,000CASE.>> THE NEW LAW CAPS ATTORNEYFEES AT THREE TIMES THE AMOUNTOF DAMAGES.HE SAYS THAT MEANS FEW LAWYERSCAN AFFORD TO TAKE ON THE AUTOMANUFACTURERS LEAVING CONSUMERS, STUCK WITH LEMONS.>> PEOPLE NEED TO GET ANGRY.WE NEED TO GET ANGRY ABOUT THIS.>> LEEANN BEEHLER IS ANGRY.>> WE HAD TO BUY ANOTHER CAR.>> SHE ALSO HIRED A CHICAGOLAWYER TO FILE A FEDERALCLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT.>> SOMEONE AT HONDA HAS MADE ANECONOMIC DECISION TO FIGHT THEFIGHT RATHER THAN TAKE CARE OFCONSUMERS.>> MEANWHILE, BEEHLER’S $30,000CRV HAS BEEN SITTING IN HERDRIVEWAY SINCE LAST SPRING.SHE’S AFRAID TO DRIVE IT.>> IT IS NOT HEALTHY, BURNS YOUREYES, NOSE, THEN YOU WORRY ABOUTIS MY CAR GOING TO BLOW UP.>> SO WE CONTACTED HONDA,PATRICK, AND IT’S SPOKESMAN SAYSTHE COMPANY DOESN’T COMMENT ONPENDING LAWSUITS.HE ENCOURAGES ANY CRV OWNEREXPERIENCING A PROBLEM TO TAKEIT TO A DEALER TO GET ITRESULT UNDER THE WARRANTY, BUTOBVIOUSLY THAT DID NOT HELPLEEANN BEEHLER MUCH.>> AND THERE HAVE BEEN OTHERCHANGES THAT AFFECT CAR BUYERSSTUCK WITH LEMONS?>> YES UNDER WISCONSIN’S LEMON, LAW, CONSUMERS USED TO GET TOCHOOSE IF THEY WANTED A REFUNDOR REPLACEMENT.NOW IT’S THE AUTO COMPANY’SCHOICE WHICH MEGNA SAYS HAS HURTMANY LEMON OWNERS.PATRICK: YOU TRIED TALKING TTHE LAWMAKER BEHIND THE CHANGES?>> ASSEMBLY SPEAKER ROBIN VOS ISFROM BURLINGTON.HE SHEPARDED THE CHANGES THROUGH

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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When life gives you a lemon car, do this – ABC News – ABC News

Sahib Bhatia is a busy high school student who relies heavily on his car. But when the vehicle kept having the same problem over and over, Sahib realized he had a “lemon” on his hands.

Could the ABC News Fixer help him out?

Read Sahib’s letter to The Fixer below, and find out what happened. And check out The Fixer’s tips for making a successful case when your new car seems to be a dud.

Do YOU have a consumer problem? Maybe The Fixer can help! Submit your problems at ABCNews.com/fixer.


Dear ABC News Fixer:

I have a 2015 Dodge Challenger. It started having problems about six months after I got it, even though it was new. I have taken it in seven times for repairs. It costs me time and gas money to go drop off the car each time. Still, the problem has persisted.

Eventually I took matters into my own hands and called the manufacturer and began a “Lemon Law” case. They keep telling me they are investigating. At one point, they offered me $2,500 to close the case and keep the car, but I decided to continue with the lemon process. However, I am still waiting for a resolution.

I am frustrated. I believe it is time to get some help from you. Thanks.

-Sahib Bhatia, Fresno, Calif.

Do you have a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.


Dear Sahib:

First, one thing you left out of your letter: You’re a high school student! You were dealing with trying to fix the car (seven times!), plus researching your state’s Lemon Law and staying on top of your case – all while keeping up with homework, applying for college and playing on your school’s tennis team.

That’s a lot to handle. You had done so much work and were so organized, the ABC News Fixer was more than happy to give this a little push over the finish line.

You told us the first sign of trouble came one day as you drove on the highway about six months after getting the car. As you approached your exit, the shifter lost power and the “check engine” light came on. The car stalled, but luckily you were already at the ramp, so you coasted down and rolled to a stop. The car was stuck in neutral and you couldn’t turn it off because the shifter wouldn’t shift into park.

After some stressful attempts, you finally got the car into park and turned it off.

Later, when the dealership looked at it, they couldn’t find the cause. You kept driving – and it happened again. And again. When you hit a pothole…when you stopped in a fast-food drive-thru.

You took it in seven times at two different dealerships, but the problem kept happening.
Luckily, you kept good records. And you looked into the California Lemon Law, which protects consumers who have persistent problems with new vehicles.

Your dad filed the case with the manufacturer – his name was on the sales contract – but you took charge of the phone calls. That became your new hobby, calling the manufacturer to try to get an update on your case.

You told The Fixer you think many consumers would have gotten tired and given up after six months of repair attempts at two different dealerships and another two months of dealing with the manufacturer.

But you kept at it.

We reviewed your documents and got in touch with Fiat Chrysler, which owns the Dodge brand, asking about the delay.

Shortly after, you got some good news – they were offering your choice of a replacement vehicle or the monetary value of your car. You opted for the money.

We asked Fiat Chrysler about the long wait, and a company spokesman said that’s just the way it is — it’s a complex process, with the title needing to clear from owner to manufacturer.

The company said that in the end, they were glad they could take care of this “in the interest of customer satisfaction.”

You were smart to stay organized and keep good records of all the problems you had with the car.

Lemon laws vary from state to state, but are generally for new cars that have persistent, substantial issues.

In your home state of California, a car is a lemon if, within 18 months or 18,000 miles, there have been two or more attempts to repair a serious problem that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, or four or more attempts to repair the same issue, or if the car has been in the shop for more than 30 days.

Here are some more tips for success in a Lemon Law case:
• Act quickly. Check the deadline to file in your state. You don’t want to lose out because you waited too long to file. And be sure to contact the manufacturer, not the dealer, to file your lemon case.
• Keep excellent records. Write down the purpose and date of each repair and note how long your car was in the shop each time.
• If you win, you will get a replacement vehicle, or the cash value minus the mileage.
• Don’t expect to get reimbursement for after-market items. If you lose your case, you can still go to court.

Note: Lemon laws don’t apply to used cars. That’s why used car buyers need to be especially careful. Here are some great tips on buying a used car.

And if you’re wondering where lemons end up, they can be repaired and resold, but their registration must disclose that they were once a “lemon buy-back” vehicle.

-The ABC News Fixer

Do you have a consumer problem? Contact The ABC News Fixer at www.ABCNews.com/fixer. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
View Original Article
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How new laws soured Wisconsin's once-strong Lemon Law – WISN Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE —

Wisconsin once boasted some of the most consumer-friendly laws in the nation, but changes in recent years have soured the state’s once-robust “Lemon Law.”

Advertisement

The most significant changes that have tipped the scales away from consumers involve a cap on compensation for attorneys and a reduction in the time allowed to make a claim. Consumers also no longer have a choice between a refund or replacement vehicle.

“We have the worst law in the country, and it used to be the best,” said Wauwatosa attorney Vince Megna, who built a national reputation as the king of the Lemon Law

Megna boasts that he’s sued General Motors more than 400 times without losing, but he said changes to Wisconsin law have made it less attractive and feasible for attorneys to take on cases.

In 2011, the Wisconsin legislature passed a bill to limit attorneys’ fees after Megna collected more than $150,000 in legal fees over a car dispute.

“Which might sound like a lot, but it’s not,” he said. “You’re fighting companies that will put hundreds and hundreds of thousands into defeating you on a $8,000 case.”

The new law caps attorney fees at three times the amount of damages. Megna said that means few lawyers can afford to take on the auto manufacturers, leaving consumers stuck with lemons.

“People need to get angry, we need to get angry about this,” he said.

Consumers like Leeann Beehler of Fox Point are very angry.

Her new Honda CRV was just a week old when she said she caught a strong odor of gas.

“The cabin fills with the fumes. It’s sudden and it’s very, very strong,” she explained.

Beehler said she took the CRV to a Honda dealer six times, and each time her vehicle was returned to her with technicians claiming there were no problems.

An online search turns up similar complaints.

On its invoice, the dealer noted that Honda was aware the issue affected “other new CRVs.” Beehler said she offered to let the dealer keep her car to duplicate the problem, but Honda declined.

“We can tell you that Honda is aware of the problem, but they do not have a fix,” Beehler said her Honda dealer told her.

The company offered to let her trade in the car for a new one, but she’d have to pay the difference.

She declined. Now her $30,000 CRV sits in her driveway, where it’s been since last spring. Afraid to drive it, Beehler said she and her husband went out and purchased another car.

She’s also hired a Chicago lawyer to file a federal class action lawsuit.

“Someone at Honda has made an economic decision to fight the fight rather than take care of a handful of consumers,” said Beehler’s attorney, Alex Loftus.

Contacted by WISN 12 News, a Honda spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits. He encouraged any CRV owner experiencing a problem to take it to a dealer to get it resolved under the warranty, the same course of action that was of little help to Beehler.

Under Wisconsin’s Lemon Law, consumers used to get a choice as to whether they wanted refund or replacement. Now it’s the auto company’s choice. Megna said that’s another change that has hurt many lemon owners. The state has also reduced the time limit on Lemon Law claims. Consumers now get three years to file, down from the six years they were previously allotted.

WISN 12 News tried speaking to the lawmaker, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington), who shepherded the changes through the legislature. His office did not respond to repeated requests to talk about the impact those changes have had on consumers.

WEBVTT ATES WHYSHE HAS A CAR SHE CAN’T DRIVE.>> LEEANN BEEHLER SAYS HER NEWHONDA CRV WAS A WEEK OLD THEFIRST TIME SHE SMELLED IT.>> I THOUGHT I PARKED OVER APUDDLE OF GAS.>> THE SMELL OF GASOLINE FLOODEDTHE CAR’S INTERIOR.>> CABIN FILLS WITH FUMES,SUDDEN AND STRONG.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE SMELL WENTAWAY, BUT IN THE FOLLOWING WEEKSREPEATEDLY RETURNED.SHE TOOK IT TO A HONDA DEALERSIX TIMES.,>> THEY GAVE IT BACK TO US ANDSAID WE FIND NO PROBLEM WITHYOUR CAR.A QUICK GOOGLE SEARCH TURNSUP SIMILAR COMPLAINTS AND ON ITSINVOICE THE DEALER NOTED THATHONDA WAS AWARE IT AFFECTEDOTHER NEW CRVS.BEEHLER SAYS SHE OFFERED TO LETTHE DEALER KEEP HER CAR TOTRY TO DUPLICATE THE PROBLEM BUT, HONDA DECLINED.>> WE CAN TELL YOU HONDA ISAWARE OF THE PROBLEM, BUT DO NOTHAVE A FIX.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE COMPANYOFFERED TO LET HER TRADE IN THECAR FOR A NEW ONE, BUT SHE’DHAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE.>> WE HAVE THE WORST LAW IN THECOUNTRY, AND IT USED TO BE THEBEST.>> WAUWATOSA ATTORNEY VINCEMEGNA BUILT A NATIONALREPUTATION AS THE KING OF THELEMON LAW.>> I SUED GENERAL MOTORS 400TIMES WITHOUT LOSING.>> BUT MEGNA SAYS RECENT CHANGESIN WISCONSIN LAW HAVE GUTTED THECONSUMER PROTECTIONS THAT MADETHAT POSSIBLE.IN 2011, THE LEGISLATURE PASSEDA BILL TO LIMIT ATTORNEYS’ FEES,AFTER MEGNA COLLECTED MORE THAN$150,000 IN LEGAL FEES OVER ACAR DISPUTE.>> WHICH MIGHT SEEM LIKE ALOT,BUT IT IS NOT.YOU ARE FIGHTING COMPANIES THATWILL PUT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDSINTO DEFEATING YOU ON AN $8,000CASE.>> THE NEW LAW CAPS ATTORNEYFEES AT THREE TIMES THE AMOUNTOF DAMAGES.HE SAYS THAT MEANS FEW LAWYERSCAN AFFORD TO TAKE ON THE AUTOMANUFACTURERS LEAVING CONSUMERS, STUCK WITH LEMONS.>> PEOPLE NEED TO GET ANGRY.WE NEED TO GET ANGRY ABOUT THIS.>> LEEANN BEEHLER IS ANGRY.>> WE HAD TO BUY ANOTHER CAR.>> SHE ALSO HIRED A CHICAGOLAWYER TO FILE A FEDERALCLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT.>> SOMEONE AT HONDA HAS MADE ANECONOMIC DECISION TO FIGHT THEFIGHT RATHER THAN TAKE CARE OFCONSUMERS.>> MEANWHILE, BEEHLER’S $30,000CRV HAS BEEN SITTING IN HERDRIVEWAY SINCE LAST SPRING.SHE’S AFRAID TO DRIVE IT.>> IT IS NOT HEALTHY, BURNS YOUREYES, NOSE, THEN YOU WORRY ABOUTIS MY CAR GOING TO BLOW UP.>> SO WE CONTACTED HONDA,PATRICK, AND IT’S SPOKESMAN SAYSTHE COMPANY DOESN’T COMMENT ONPENDING LAWSUITS.HE ENCOURAGES ANY CRV OWNEREXPERIENCING A PROBLEM TO TAKEIT TO A DEALER TO GET ITRESULT UNDER THE WARRANTY, BUTOBVIOUSLY THAT DID NOT HELPLEEANN BEEHLER MUCH.>> AND THERE HAVE BEEN OTHERCHANGES THAT AFFECT CAR BUYERSSTUCK WITH LEMONS?>> YES UNDER WISCONSIN’S LEMON, LAW, CONSUMERS USED TO GET TOCHOOSE IF THEY WANTED A REFUNDOR REPLACEMENT.NOW IT’S THE AUTO COMPANY’SCHOICE WHICH MEGNA SAYS HAS HURTMANY LEMON OWNERS.PATRICK: YOU TRIED TALKING TTHE LAWMAKER BEHIND THE CHANGES?>> ASSEMBLY SPEAKER ROBIN VOS ISFROM BURLINGTON.HE SHEPARDED THE CHANGES THROUGH

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Kitchen Shrink: Lemon Law; Let's put the squeeze on sourpusses – La Jolla Light

KITCHEN SHRINK:

After I recently treated myself to an anti-aging birthday facial, I was reminiscing of an incident years ago when my girlfriend and I indulged in a spa day of pampering, including a stress-relieving massage, invigorating facial and light, healthy lunch.

Sipping on a cool glass of lemon-infused water while waiting for the facialist in a dimmed room, the heady scent of eucalyptus and background chorus of tropical Rainforest birds filling my senses, I noticed a pile of cut lemons on a plate. I reached for one, and squirted more juice into my glass.

While taking a good swig of the thirst-quencher, the esthetician entered the room. She alarmingly asked what I had been doing with the cut lemon as those were used on the previous client to treat her acne break out. Yikes! It was then I learned of the many uses of the marvelous citrus, which I can now laughingly share with you.

The lip-puckering juicy lemon, a native of the Himalayan foothills of the North Eastern region of India, and close relative to other acidic fruits (including the orange, grapefruit and tangerine) has global appeal, adding a salty and tangy essence to many ethnic and mainstream dishes. Every part of this sassy citrus is delightful — the juice, pulp, skin or zest and even the leaves can be used to make minty or fruity lemonades or Arnold Palmers, sweet and savory sauces, vinaigrettes, soups like Greek lemon chicken called avgolemeno, pilafs, piccatas, risottos and pasta dishes.

This sunny fruit particularly enlivens seafood treasures (crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, poached salmon, to mention a few) and steamed greens, along with scrumptious baked goods and desserts (meringue pies, tarts, ricotta pancakes, sorbets, silky curds, scones, biscottis and muffins), and let’s not forget lemon-based cocktails. It also prevents cut apples from oxidizing and turning brown, while keeping guacamole green.

Beyond the kitchen, lemon has a slew of beauty, health and household uses. It makes your pearls sparkle, controls gum bleeding, freshens your breath, lightens your hair and makes it shine, soothes insect bites, removes pesky warts, and wards off free radicals keeping skin supple and glowing.

There’s more. The botanical berry calms upset tummies, tempers a hangover headache, puts the skids on crystals that form into kidney stones, and pushes colds and flu under the bus by boosting the immune system with its load of Vitamin C.

Also packed with essential minerals from calcium and copper to potassium and iron, the mighty citrus ratchets up blood and bone health, and maintains fluid balance. While its store of B-complex vitamins bolsters the nervous system, its A’s amp eye health.

Some helpful home tips include using lemons to neutralize kitty litter boxes, freshen fridges, remove stains from clothing and give your duds a botanical fragrance, and polish pots and pans.

But not all lemons are created equal

The popular elliptically-shaped Eureka with thick knobby yellow rind comes in two varieties —pale and pink fleshed, the latter creating a quintessential summer delight of pink lemonade. Eureka’s sour sibling, the practically seedless Lisbon variety has a thinner more refined rind, and yields more juice. While the mellow Meyer, not considered a true lemon since it’s a hybrid cross likely between a lemon and a mandarin, has supple orange-tinged skin, and a sweeter, less acidic juice.

To pick a winner look for firm, bright, glossy yellow skin. It should have good heft for its size, and be free of wrinkles, blemishes and soft spots. For juicier lemons, choose thinner-skinned ones, and where possible buy organic, especially when zesting.

In my travels I’ve discovered beautiful Mason jars stuffed with silken-skinned preserved lemons in a tangy brine. These pickled wonders are not only the cornerstone of fragrant Moroccan stews (tagines) of chicken, lamb, beef, and fish, but dial up everything from vinaigrettes, vegetarian dishes and fruit salads to Bloody Marys, tapenades, sauces and salsas.

———

•••• Recipe: Preserved Lemons

Ingredients:

• 6 lemons (your choice)

• 4 tablespoons kosher or sea salt

• 1cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

• 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

• 1 pint-size Mason jar

Method: Slice lemons in quarters, careful to keep intact at the stem end. Place 1 tablespoon of salt at the bottom of the jar and stuff remaining salt into cut lemons, closing the segments so the fruits are kept whole. Place lemons, peppercorns, bay leaf and cinnamon stick in Mason jar, and enough lemon juice to immerse the lemons. Tightly cover and keep in a warm spot in your kitchen for about one month until fully ripened. Refrigerate and use for up to six months.

For a speedier preserved lemon methodology, e-mail kitchenshrink@san.rr.com

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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When life gives you a lemon car, do this – ABC News

Sahib Bhatia is a busy high school student who relies heavily on his car. But when the vehicle kept having the same problem over and over, Sahib realized he had a “lemon” on his hands.

Could the ABC News Fixer help him out?

Read Sahib’s letter to The Fixer below, and find out what happened. And check out The Fixer’s tips for making a successful case when your new car seems to be a dud.

Do YOU have a consumer problem? Maybe The Fixer can help! Submit your problems at ABCNews.com/fixer.


Dear ABC News Fixer:

I have a 2015 Dodge Challenger. It started having problems about six months after I got it, even though it was new. I have taken it in seven times for repairs. It costs me time and gas money to go drop off the car each time. Still, the problem has persisted.

Eventually I took matters into my own hands and called the manufacturer and began a “Lemon Law” case. They keep telling me they are investigating. At one point, they offered me $2,500 to close the case and keep the car, but I decided to continue with the lemon process. However, I am still waiting for a resolution.

I am frustrated. I believe it is time to get some help from you. Thanks.

-Sahib Bhatia, Fresno, Calif.

Do you have a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.


Dear Sahib:

First, one thing you left out of your letter: You’re a high school student! You were dealing with trying to fix the car (seven times!), plus researching your state’s Lemon Law and staying on top of your case – all while keeping up with homework, applying for college and playing on your school’s tennis team.

That’s a lot to handle. You had done so much work and were so organized, the ABC News Fixer was more than happy to give this a little push over the finish line.

You told us the first sign of trouble came one day as you drove on the highway about six months after getting the car. As you approached your exit, the shifter lost power and the “check engine” light came on. The car stalled, but luckily you were already at the ramp, so you coasted down and rolled to a stop. The car was stuck in neutral and you couldn’t turn it off because the shifter wouldn’t shift into park.

After some stressful attempts, you finally got the car into park and turned it off.

Later, when the dealership looked at it, they couldn’t find the cause. You kept driving – and it happened again. And again. When you hit a pothole…when you stopped in a fast-food drive-thru.

You took it in seven times at two different dealerships, but the problem kept happening.
Luckily, you kept good records. And you looked into the California Lemon Law, which protects consumers who have persistent problems with new vehicles.

Your dad filed the case with the manufacturer – his name was on the sales contract – but you took charge of the phone calls. That became your new hobby, calling the manufacturer to try to get an update on your case.

You told The Fixer you think many consumers would have gotten tired and given up after six months of repair attempts at two different dealerships and another two months of dealing with the manufacturer.

But you kept at it.

We reviewed your documents and got in touch with Fiat Chrysler, which owns the Dodge brand, asking about the delay.

Shortly after, you got some good news – they were offering your choice of a replacement vehicle or the monetary value of your car. You opted for the money.

We asked Fiat Chrysler about the long wait, and a company spokesman said that’s just the way it is — it’s a complex process, with the title needing to clear from owner to manufacturer.

The company said that in the end, they were glad they could take care of this “in the interest of customer satisfaction.”

You were smart to stay organized and keep good records of all the problems you had with the car.

Lemon laws vary from state to state, but are generally for new cars that have persistent, substantial issues.

In your home state of California, a car is a lemon if, within 18 months or 18,000 miles, there have been two or more attempts to repair a serious problem that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, or four or more attempts to repair the same issue, or if the car has been in the shop for more than 30 days.

Here are some more tips for success in a Lemon Law case:
• Act quickly. Check the deadline to file in your state. You don’t want to lose out because you waited too long to file. And be sure to contact the manufacturer, not the dealer, to file your lemon case.
• Keep excellent records. Write down the purpose and date of each repair and note how long your car was in the shop each time.
• If you win, you will get a replacement vehicle, or the cash value minus the mileage.
• Don’t expect to get reimbursement for after-market items. If you lose your case, you can still go to court.

Note: Lemon laws don’t apply to used cars. That’s why used car buyers need to be especially careful. Here are some great tips on buying a used car.

And if you’re wondering where lemons end up, they can be repaired and resold, but their registration must disclose that they were once a “lemon buy-back” vehicle.

-The ABC News Fixer

Do you have a consumer problem? Contact The ABC News Fixer at www.ABCNews.com/fixer. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
View Original Article
Written by:

How new laws soured Wisconsin's once-strong Lemon Law – WISN Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE —

Wisconsin once boasted some of the most consumer-friendly laws in the nation, but changes in recent years have soured the state’s once-robust “Lemon Law.”

Advertisement

The most significant changes that have tipped the scales away from consumers involve a cap on compensation for attorneys and a reduction in the time allowed to make a claim. Consumers also no longer have a choice between a refund or replacement vehicle.

“We have the worst law in the country, and it used to be the best,” said Wauwatosa attorney Vince Megna, who built a national reputation as the king of the Lemon Law

Megna boasts that he’s sued General Motors more than 400 times without losing, but he said changes to Wisconsin law have made it less attractive and feasible for attorneys to take on cases.

In 2011, the Wisconsin legislature passed a bill to limit attorneys’ fees after Megna collected more than $150,000 in legal fees over a car dispute.

“Which might sound like a lot, but it’s not,” he said. “You’re fighting companies that will put hundreds and hundreds of thousands into defeating you on a $8,000 case.”

The new law caps attorney fees at three times the amount of damages. Megna said that means few lawyers can afford to take on the auto manufacturers, leaving consumers stuck with lemons.

“People need to get angry, we need to get angry about this,” he said.

Consumers like Leeann Beehler of Fox Point are very angry.

Her new Honda CRV was just a week old when she said she caught a strong odor of gas.

“The cabin fills with the fumes. It’s sudden and it’s very, very strong,” she explained.

Beehler said she took the CRV to a Honda dealer six times, and each time her vehicle was returned to her with technicians claiming there were no problems.

An online search turns up similar complaints.

On its invoice, the dealer noted that Honda was aware the issue affected “other new CRVs.” Beehler said she offered to let the dealer keep her car to duplicate the problem, but Honda declined.

“We can tell you that Honda is aware of the problem, but they do not have a fix,” Beehler said her Honda dealer told her.

The company offered to let her trade in the car for a new one, but she’d have to pay the difference.

She declined. Now her $30,000 CRV sits in her driveway, where it’s been since last spring. Afraid to drive it, Beehler said she and her husband went out and purchased another car.

She’s also hired a Chicago lawyer to file a federal class action lawsuit.

“Someone at Honda has made an economic decision to fight the fight rather than take care of a handful of consumers,” said Beehler’s attorney, Alex Loftus.

Contacted by WISN 12 News, a Honda spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits. He encouraged any CRV owner experiencing a problem to take it to a dealer to get it resolved under the warranty, the same course of action that was of little help to Beehler.

Under Wisconsin’s Lemon Law, consumers used to get a choice as to whether they wanted refund or replacement. Now it’s the auto company’s choice. Megna said that’s another change that has hurt many lemon owners. The state has also reduced the time limit on Lemon Law claims. Consumers now get three years to file, down from the six years they were previously allotted.

WISN 12 News tried speaking to the lawmaker, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington), who shepherded the changes through the legislature. His office did not respond to repeated requests to talk about the impact those changes have had on consumers.

WEBVTT ATES WHYSHE HAS A CAR SHE CAN’T DRIVE.>> LEEANN BEEHLER SAYS HER NEWHONDA CRV WAS A WEEK OLD THEFIRST TIME SHE SMELLED IT.>> I THOUGHT I PARKED OVER APUDDLE OF GAS.>> THE SMELL OF GASOLINE FLOODEDTHE CAR’S INTERIOR.>> CABIN FILLS WITH FUMES,SUDDEN AND STRONG.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE SMELL WENTAWAY, BUT IN THE FOLLOWING WEEKSREPEATEDLY RETURNED.SHE TOOK IT TO A HONDA DEALERSIX TIMES.,>> THEY GAVE IT BACK TO US ANDSAID WE FIND NO PROBLEM WITHYOUR CAR.A QUICK GOOGLE SEARCH TURNSUP SIMILAR COMPLAINTS AND ON ITSINVOICE THE DEALER NOTED THATHONDA WAS AWARE IT AFFECTEDOTHER NEW CRVS.BEEHLER SAYS SHE OFFERED TO LETTHE DEALER KEEP HER CAR TOTRY TO DUPLICATE THE PROBLEM BUT, HONDA DECLINED.>> WE CAN TELL YOU HONDA ISAWARE OF THE PROBLEM, BUT DO NOTHAVE A FIX.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE COMPANYOFFERED TO LET HER TRADE IN THECAR FOR A NEW ONE, BUT SHE’DHAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE.>> WE HAVE THE WORST LAW IN THECOUNTRY, AND IT USED TO BE THEBEST.>> WAUWATOSA ATTORNEY VINCEMEGNA BUILT A NATIONALREPUTATION AS THE KING OF THELEMON LAW.>> I SUED GENERAL MOTORS 400TIMES WITHOUT LOSING.>> BUT MEGNA SAYS RECENT CHANGESIN WISCONSIN LAW HAVE GUTTED THECONSUMER PROTECTIONS THAT MADETHAT POSSIBLE.IN 2011, THE LEGISLATURE PASSEDA BILL TO LIMIT ATTORNEYS’ FEES,AFTER MEGNA COLLECTED MORE THAN$150,000 IN LEGAL FEES OVER ACAR DISPUTE.>> WHICH MIGHT SEEM LIKE ALOT,BUT IT IS NOT.YOU ARE FIGHTING COMPANIES THATWILL PUT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDSINTO DEFEATING YOU ON AN $8,000CASE.>> THE NEW LAW CAPS ATTORNEYFEES AT THREE TIMES THE AMOUNTOF DAMAGES.HE SAYS THAT MEANS FEW LAWYERSCAN AFFORD TO TAKE ON THE AUTOMANUFACTURERS LEAVING CONSUMERS, STUCK WITH LEMONS.>> PEOPLE NEED TO GET ANGRY.WE NEED TO GET ANGRY ABOUT THIS.>> LEEANN BEEHLER IS ANGRY.>> WE HAD TO BUY ANOTHER CAR.>> SHE ALSO HIRED A CHICAGOLAWYER TO FILE A FEDERALCLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT.>> SOMEONE AT HONDA HAS MADE ANECONOMIC DECISION TO FIGHT THEFIGHT RATHER THAN TAKE CARE OFCONSUMERS.>> MEANWHILE, BEEHLER’S $30,000CRV HAS BEEN SITTING IN HERDRIVEWAY SINCE LAST SPRING.SHE’S AFRAID TO DRIVE IT.>> IT IS NOT HEALTHY, BURNS YOUREYES, NOSE, THEN YOU WORRY ABOUTIS MY CAR GOING TO BLOW UP.>> SO WE CONTACTED HONDA,PATRICK, AND IT’S SPOKESMAN SAYSTHE COMPANY DOESN’T COMMENT ONPENDING LAWSUITS.HE ENCOURAGES ANY CRV OWNEREXPERIENCING A PROBLEM TO TAKEIT TO A DEALER TO GET ITRESULT UNDER THE WARRANTY, BUTOBVIOUSLY THAT DID NOT HELPLEEANN BEEHLER MUCH.>> AND THERE HAVE BEEN OTHERCHANGES THAT AFFECT CAR BUYERSSTUCK WITH LEMONS?>> YES UNDER WISCONSIN’S LEMON, LAW, CONSUMERS USED TO GET TOCHOOSE IF THEY WANTED A REFUNDOR REPLACEMENT.NOW IT’S THE AUTO COMPANY’SCHOICE WHICH MEGNA SAYS HAS HURTMANY LEMON OWNERS.PATRICK: YOU TRIED TALKING TTHE LAWMAKER BEHIND THE CHANGES?>> ASSEMBLY SPEAKER ROBIN VOS ISFROM BURLINGTON.HE SHEPARDED THE CHANGES THROUGH

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Car-Maker Drops Overseas 'Lemon Law' Case Against Family – Military.com

The Snell family with their new 2017 RAV4 SUV, provided by Toyota. The company chose to drop an appeal late last year over whether or not the family’s 2013 RAV4 was covered under Georgia’s lemon law. (Photo: Courtesy of Christina Snell.)

A military couple whose U.S.-purchased 2013 Toyota RAV4 SUV experienced major mechanical problems while they were stationed in Germany has had their vehicle replaced by Toyota after the company dropped an appeal that argued the couple was not protected under rules known as “lemon laws.”

When Army Sgt. John Snell and his wife Christina purchased the new vehicle in Georgia before their permanent change of station move, the dealer told them that the warranty and rules protecting them against catastrophic vehicle defects, or “lemon laws,” would apply, they said.

But when a faulty anti-lock brake system actuator caused major mechanical problems, the Germany-based dealership was unable to make repairs in under 30 days, the time cap required by Georgia before the car is declared a “lemon.” Rather than replace the car, Toyota said the law did not apply because the couple was out of the country. The repairs took more than 90 days, Christina Snell said.

A Georgia panel ruled last year in the Snells’ favor, but Toyota filed an appeal, saying that it had covered the costs of the repairs.

“Toyota doesn’t believe this delay in fully repairing the vehicle in Germany qualifies it for repurchase, as the Snells requested in arbitration,” Aaron Fowles, a Toyota spokesman, said in a statement posted in October to Change.org where the Snells had a petition on the case.

But instead of going through with the appeal, Toyota offered to settle the case late last year — a move Christina Snell believes was forced by the thousands of signatures and hundreds of comments her petition about the case received on Change.org.

The Snells said they did not want any additional cash as part of the settlement — just their car to be replaced and some lawyer fees to be paid.

“I told my lawyer, ‘I’m not demanding anything,’ ” Christina Snell said. “I don’t know what they expected, money or additional payment. I just really wanted my car replaced.”

Toyota did not respond to requests for comment about the settlement.

Under the settlement, the couple was permitted to trade in their 2013 vehicle and received a new 2017 RAV4 this month, Christina Snell said.

The settlement is a big victory for military consumers, said Rosemary Shahan, who leads the lobbying group Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety. She worried an appeal victory for Toyota could have resulted in car manufacturers no longer honoring lemon laws for any military personnel who take their vehicles to overseas duty stations.

The lawsuit “signaled what Toyota wanted was an appellate court decision that they could then use in every case where someone in the military took their car with them overseas,” she said. “It would’ve set a very harmful precedent, and other manufacturers would’ve been then able to cite that.”

Instead, the settlement “sends a very healthy message to manufacturers,” she said. “Toyota is very big. They thought they could get away with this.”

Christina Snell said in the end she is disappointed Toyota didn’t do what she believes to been the right thing to start with.

“I was disappointed by a company that couldn’t be forthcoming,” she said. “After all this is said and done, I realize Toyota has the right to appeal … but I don’t think they did that in the best interest of the consumer.”

— Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

© Copyright 2017 
Military.com
. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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How new laws soured Wisconsin's once-strong Lemon Law – WISN Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE —

Wisconsin once boasted some of the most consumer-friendly laws in the nation, but changes in recent years have soured the state’s once-robust “Lemon Law.”

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The most significant changes that have tipped the scales away from consumers involve a cap on compensation for attorneys and a reduction in the time allowed to make a claim. Consumers also no longer have a choice between a refund or replacement vehicle.

“We have the worst law in the country, and it used to be the best,” said Wauwatosa attorney Vince Megna, who built a national reputation as the king of the Lemon Law

Megna boasts that he’s sued General Motors more than 400 times without losing, but he said changes to Wisconsin law have made it less attractive and feasible for attorneys to take on cases.

In 2011, the Wisconsin legislature passed a bill to limit attorneys’ fees after Megna collected more than $150,000 in legal fees over a car dispute.

“Which might sound like a lot, but it’s not,” he said. “You’re fighting companies that will put hundreds and hundreds of thousands into defeating you on a $8,000 case.”

The new law caps attorney fees at three times the amount of damages. Megna said that means few lawyers can afford to take on the auto manufacturers, leaving consumers stuck with lemons.

“People need to get angry, we need to get angry about this,” he said.

Consumers like Leeann Beehler of Fox Point are very angry.

Her new Honda CRV was just a week old when she said she caught a strong odor of gas.

“The cabin fills with the fumes. It’s sudden and it’s very, very strong,” she explained.

Beehler said she took the CRV to a Honda dealer six times, and each time her vehicle was returned to her with technicians claiming there were no problems.

An online search turns up similar complaints.

On its invoice, the dealer noted that Honda was aware the issue affected “other new CRVs.” Beehler said she offered to let the dealer keep her car to duplicate the problem, but Honda declined.

“We can tell you that Honda is aware of the problem, but they do not have a fix,” Beehler said her Honda dealer told her.

The company offered to let her trade in the car for a new one, but she’d have to pay the difference.

She declined. Now her $30,000 CRV sits in her driveway, where it’s been since last spring. Afraid to drive it, Beehler said she and her husband went out and purchased another car.

She’s also hired a Chicago lawyer to file a federal class action lawsuit.

“Someone at Honda has made an economic decision to fight the fight rather than take care of a handful of consumers,” said Beehler’s attorney, Alex Loftus.

Contacted by WISN 12 News, a Honda spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits. He encouraged any CRV owner experiencing a problem to take it to a dealer to get it resolved under the warranty, the same course of action that was of little help to Beehler.

Under Wisconsin’s Lemon Law, consumers used to get a choice as to whether they wanted refund or replacement. Now it’s the auto company’s choice. Megna said that’s another change that has hurt many lemon owners. The state has also reduced the time limit on Lemon Law claims. Consumers now get three years to file, down from the six years they were previously allotted.

WISN 12 News tried speaking to the lawmaker, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington), who shepherded the changes through the legislature. His office did not respond to repeated requests to talk about the impact those changes have had on consumers.

WEBVTT ATES WHYSHE HAS A CAR SHE CAN’T DRIVE.>> LEEANN BEEHLER SAYS HER NEWHONDA CRV WAS A WEEK OLD THEFIRST TIME SHE SMELLED IT.>> I THOUGHT I PARKED OVER APUDDLE OF GAS.>> THE SMELL OF GASOLINE FLOODEDTHE CAR’S INTERIOR.>> CABIN FILLS WITH FUMES,SUDDEN AND STRONG.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE SMELL WENTAWAY, BUT IN THE FOLLOWING WEEKSREPEATEDLY RETURNED.SHE TOOK IT TO A HONDA DEALERSIX TIMES.,>> THEY GAVE IT BACK TO US ANDSAID WE FIND NO PROBLEM WITHYOUR CAR.A QUICK GOOGLE SEARCH TURNSUP SIMILAR COMPLAINTS AND ON ITSINVOICE THE DEALER NOTED THATHONDA WAS AWARE IT AFFECTEDOTHER NEW CRVS.BEEHLER SAYS SHE OFFERED TO LETTHE DEALER KEEP HER CAR TOTRY TO DUPLICATE THE PROBLEM BUT, HONDA DECLINED.>> WE CAN TELL YOU HONDA ISAWARE OF THE PROBLEM, BUT DO NOTHAVE A FIX.>> BEEHLER SAYS THE COMPANYOFFERED TO LET HER TRADE IN THECAR FOR A NEW ONE, BUT SHE’DHAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE.>> WE HAVE THE WORST LAW IN THECOUNTRY, AND IT USED TO BE THEBEST.>> WAUWATOSA ATTORNEY VINCEMEGNA BUILT A NATIONALREPUTATION AS THE KING OF THELEMON LAW.>> I SUED GENERAL MOTORS 400TIMES WITHOUT LOSING.>> BUT MEGNA SAYS RECENT CHANGESIN WISCONSIN LAW HAVE GUTTED THECONSUMER PROTECTIONS THAT MADETHAT POSSIBLE.IN 2011, THE LEGISLATURE PASSEDA BILL TO LIMIT ATTORNEYS’ FEES,AFTER MEGNA COLLECTED MORE THAN$150,000 IN LEGAL FEES OVER ACAR DISPUTE.>> WHICH MIGHT SEEM LIKE ALOT,BUT IT IS NOT.YOU ARE FIGHTING COMPANIES THATWILL PUT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDSINTO DEFEATING YOU ON AN $8,000CASE.>> THE NEW LAW CAPS ATTORNEYFEES AT THREE TIMES THE AMOUNTOF DAMAGES.HE SAYS THAT MEANS FEW LAWYERSCAN AFFORD TO TAKE ON THE AUTOMANUFACTURERS LEAVING CONSUMERS, STUCK WITH LEMONS.>> PEOPLE NEED TO GET ANGRY.WE NEED TO GET ANGRY ABOUT THIS.>> LEEANN BEEHLER IS ANGRY.>> WE HAD TO BUY ANOTHER CAR.>> SHE ALSO HIRED A CHICAGOLAWYER TO FILE A FEDERALCLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT.>> SOMEONE AT HONDA HAS MADE ANECONOMIC DECISION TO FIGHT THEFIGHT RATHER THAN TAKE CARE OFCONSUMERS.>> MEANWHILE, BEEHLER’S $30,000CRV HAS BEEN SITTING IN HERDRIVEWAY SINCE LAST SPRING.SHE’S AFRAID TO DRIVE IT.>> IT IS NOT HEALTHY, BURNS YOUREYES, NOSE, THEN YOU WORRY ABOUTIS MY CAR GOING TO BLOW UP.>> SO WE CONTACTED HONDA,PATRICK, AND IT’S SPOKESMAN SAYSTHE COMPANY DOESN’T COMMENT ONPENDING LAWSUITS.HE ENCOURAGES ANY CRV OWNEREXPERIENCING A PROBLEM TO TAKEIT TO A DEALER TO GET ITRESULT UNDER THE WARRANTY, BUTOBVIOUSLY THAT DID NOT HELPLEEANN BEEHLER MUCH.>> AND THERE HAVE BEEN OTHERCHANGES THAT AFFECT CAR BUYERSSTUCK WITH LEMONS?>> YES UNDER WISCONSIN’S LEMON, LAW, CONSUMERS USED TO GET TOCHOOSE IF THEY WANTED A REFUNDOR REPLACEMENT.NOW IT’S THE AUTO COMPANY’SCHOICE WHICH MEGNA SAYS HAS HURTMANY LEMON OWNERS.PATRICK: YOU TRIED TALKING TTHE LAWMAKER BEHIND THE CHANGES?>> ASSEMBLY SPEAKER ROBIN VOS ISFROM BURLINGTON.HE SHEPARDED THE CHANGES THROUGH

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Car-Maker Drops Overseas 'Lemon Law' Case Against Family – Military.com

The Snell family with their new 2017 RAV4 SUV, provided by Toyota. The company chose to drop an appeal late last year over whether or not the family’s 2013 RAV4 was covered under Georgia’s lemon law. (Photo: Courtesy of Christina Snell.)

A military couple whose U.S.-purchased 2013 Toyota RAV4 SUV experienced major mechanical problems while they were stationed in Germany has had their vehicle replaced by Toyota after the company dropped an appeal that argued the couple was not protected under rules known as “lemon laws.”

When Army Sgt. John Snell and his wife Christina purchased the new vehicle in Georgia before their permanent change of station move, the dealer told them that the warranty and rules protecting them against catastrophic vehicle defects, or “lemon laws,” would apply, they said.

But when a faulty anti-lock brake system actuator caused major mechanical problems, the Germany-based dealership was unable to make repairs in under 30 days, the time cap required by Georgia before the car is declared a “lemon.” Rather than replace the car, Toyota said the law did not apply because the couple was out of the country. The repairs took more than 90 days, Christina Snell said.

A Georgia panel ruled last year in the Snells’ favor, but Toyota filed an appeal, saying that it had covered the costs of the repairs.

“Toyota doesn’t believe this delay in fully repairing the vehicle in Germany qualifies it for repurchase, as the Snells requested in arbitration,” Aaron Fowles, a Toyota spokesman, said in a statement posted in October to Change.org where the Snells had a petition on the case.

But instead of going through with the appeal, Toyota offered to settle the case late last year — a move Christina Snell believes was forced by the thousands of signatures and hundreds of comments her petition about the case received on Change.org.

The Snells said they did not want any additional cash as part of the settlement — just their car to be replaced and some lawyer fees to be paid.

“I told my lawyer, ‘I’m not demanding anything,’ ” Christina Snell said. “I don’t know what they expected, money or additional payment. I just really wanted my car replaced.”

Toyota did not respond to requests for comment about the settlement.

Under the settlement, the couple was permitted to trade in their 2013 vehicle and received a new 2017 RAV4 this month, Christina Snell said.

The settlement is a big victory for military consumers, said Rosemary Shahan, who leads the lobbying group Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety. She worried an appeal victory for Toyota could have resulted in car manufacturers no longer honoring lemon laws for any military personnel who take their vehicles to overseas duty stations.

The lawsuit “signaled what Toyota wanted was an appellate court decision that they could then use in every case where someone in the military took their car with them overseas,” she said. “It would’ve set a very harmful precedent, and other manufacturers would’ve been then able to cite that.”

Instead, the settlement “sends a very healthy message to manufacturers,” she said. “Toyota is very big. They thought they could get away with this.”

Christina Snell said in the end she is disappointed Toyota didn’t do what she believes to been the right thing to start with.

“I was disappointed by a company that couldn’t be forthcoming,” she said. “After all this is said and done, I realize Toyota has the right to appeal … but I don’t think they did that in the best interest of the consumer.”

— Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

© Copyright 2017 
Military.com
. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
View Original Article
Written by: