City business seeks justice by lemon law – Laconia Citizen

By BEA LEWIS

LACONIA — A city sign printing business claims in a recently filed lawsuit that it got led down the garden path when a California company sold them a Chinese-made flatbed printer that proved to be a lemon, and then reneged on a pledge to make it right.

Big Daddy’s Signs of Florida, Inc., who operates out of the O’Shea Industry Park on Lexington Drive, claims it paid $122,000 for a large commercial flatbed printer in December 2014, and that from the time it was delivered and set up, it never worked as intended or represented.

The defendants are GraphixDirect of Costa Mesa, Calif., which sells equipment to the printing industry, and Shenn Zhen Runtianzhi Digital Equipment Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, Guandong China, who made the Flora model PP2512UV printer.

Attorney Ed Philpot of Laconia, who represents the plaintiff, alleges that the defendants represented that the printer had certain capabilities and properties that were in line with what sign company President Steve Zwicker needed for his business.

From the time the printer was installed, it was plagued by computer programming issues, general function ability issues and component failures. Despite repeated efforts to fix the machines, the defendants were never able to make it reliable or functional for any period of time, Philpot asserts.

In April 2015, the defendants acknowledged the problems, and the parties signed an agreement intended to compensate Big Daddy for the loss of use of the machine, and to put a plan in place to get the printer working.

Under the terms of the agreement, Big Daddy was to keep the existing printer and be paid $10,000. A 36-month parts and labor warranty was to go into effect, as well as a service agreement that included a 48-hour emergency on-site response directly with GraphixDirect and a Flora engineer, if deemed necessary, for any warranty work over 36 months.

The agreement also called for the plaintiff to receive 180 days of free ink, and to then be allowed to purchase it at $100 a liter, except for white at $120 liter. Caldera software and computer, plus training, was to be included free of charge.

A Flora engineer was to come to Laconia by April 30, 2015 to mitigate any and all problems with the existing Flora 2512 UV unit. Once a Flora factory engineer cleared the unit of any further problems or issues, Big Daddy’s Signs would enter a 60-day probationary period of printer usage.

If three or more service calls were required during that period, it would void the agreement, and GraphixDirect was to reimburse 100 percent of the printer price, plus all interest assessed to Big Daddy’s Signs by the leasing company.

Graphix was to pay for all packing and moving expenses to remove the printer.

The suit claims the printer still doesn’t work, and that Graphix has refused to honor its agreement.

The suit makes claims for breach of contract and breach of warranty, and asks the court to order Graphix to reimburse the plaintiff for the full price of the printer, plus all interest charged by the finance company. Philpot is additionally asking the court to order Graphix to pay for all packing and moving expenses to return the printer, and pay Big Daddy’s $10,000 consistent with the earlier agreement of the parties.

Philpot is also seeking unspecified damages incurred by his client as a result of failure of the subject printer to operate as intended and represented, and for the failure to fix the machine after numerous attempts, as well as the award of attorney’s fees and legal costs for bringing the suit.

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Volkswagen appeals Florida Lemon Law decision, sending diesel car case back to court – WPTV.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Lemon Law helps new car owners get their money back if a defect impacts the value, safety or use of your car.

When Walter Melnyk couldn’t get Volkswagen to fix his diesel car because they don’t have a fix yet. This came after the car maker was caught cheating on emissions.

RELATED: Volkswagen sued by big investors  | VW loses Fla. Lemon Law case

Stuck driving the car, Melnyk filed a lemon law claim.

Volkswagen tried to get that Lemon Law hearing stopped and lost. One victory for the consumer.

Then, Melnyk won again at the hearing getting his car declared a lemon. Volkswagen was ordered to buy it back, but now they are appealing that decision which means this case is headed back to court.

Even Lemon Law attorney, Patrick Cousins, is shocked the manufacturer is appealing. That’s why he’ll now help Melnyk with his case in court.

Volkswagen is not commenting, but told car owners in a letter that their car is safe to drive.

In the appeal, the manufacturer included a Lemon Law case from New York. The car maker was able to stop that New York hearing until the EPA makes a decision on these cars.

The car maker is asking the court to overturn the Lemon Law decision, because they don’t feel they had authority to weigh-in on this.

If the court doesn’t do that, Volkswagen also asked for a ruling that would make them not have to buy back the car.

The car maker tried that in Florida, but lost. A court will now decide if that New York case has any bearing on this Florida case.

Cousins said it could take up to nine months for this case to work its way through the courts. Ultimately it could end up before a jury.

Melnyk has become a star of sorts for other diesel drivers, being mentioned in articles across the country.  It shows one consumer can make a difference.

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What is a Lemon? – AutoGuide.com

Auto News What is a Lemon?
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What is a Lemon?

If you think a car is extraordinarily unreliable, then maybe you have a lemon.

Specifically, a car can be labeled as a lemon if it is proven to be defective, with reoccurring problems that happen in a short period of time.

Lemons can be the result of an anomaly during the manufacturing process, like a worn out tool that couldn’t apply the right torque, or a missed item during quality inspection. One small imperfection can compromise a whole car, it’s like the butterfly effect, but for vehicles.

Although lemons are rare, they do happen, and the problem was big enough that the government got involved by passing legislation to help protect consumers.

“Most states deem a vehicle a lemon when it has been out of service more than three or four times,” explained Steve Lehto, a Lemon Law Attorney based in Michigan. He also points out that a car can be deemed a lemon if its been in service for 25 to 35 days. Lehto is the author of The New Lemon Law Bible, and has plenty of experience helping consumers with lemons.

“As you approach either one of those criteria, it would be a good idea to consult a lawyer to see what your state’s guidelines are. Too many people wait too long, and time is not on your side,” he said.

ALSO SEE: Toyota Tops, Fiat Flops in AutoGuide’s 1st Annual Lemon List

If you’re convinced your car is a lemon, then you can go through a process to get your vehicle bought back by the automaker or dealer that sold it to you. Understandably, it’s not always a pretty process, so attorneys like Lehto often have to get involved.

“Many of my my clients tell me they never thought they’d have to sue someone,” said Lehto. “But most car companies make you file suit to enforce your rights. It’s just business to them.” It’s also worth noting that any legal fees incurred during a Lemon Law suit are paid by the automaker.

When a car is found to be a lemon, the automaker will reimburse your down payment, all of your monthly payments, your current registration fee, and any outstanding balance left on the loan of the vehicle. Then the manufacturer will take the vehicle and brand the title as a lemon law buyback. It’s worth noting that sometimes the automaker will deduct some of your refund based on the mileage of the vehicle.

But what about lemons on the used car market? Some people will find it too much of a hassle to go through the buyback process and will try to unload their problems on an unsuspecting used car buyer. This concern is why it’s recommended to get an auto-repair history from CarFax or Auto Check.

“One of the great things about a CarFax report is that you can see the details of a service,” explained Christopher Basso, from CarFax public relations. “You can see what was done and when it was done and if there’s anything that has been repeating.”

Basso says that anyone buying a used car should make sure to do three things: “One: take a real test drive on city streets and on the highway. During this, you should keep an eye out for anything that’s not working. Two: Get a Carfax and take a thorough look at it and the items listed. Three: Get a pre-purchase inspection.” Basso explains that you should see any repeating problems or service visits that are too soon after one another on the CarFax report, which are a red flag for spotting a lemon. “You can also use that information to tell the mechanic what to look out for when doing the pre-purchase inspection.”

Basso also explains that if a car has been bought back by an automaker then, it will say it’s a lemon right in the title of the vehicle. “Vehicles that have been bought back are deemed as lemons and reported as such.”

But Lehto counters that this isn’t always the case. “Most states do not require branding the title of a lemon law buyback and many car companies simply sell the buybacks at auction as late-model used cars,” he said. “Since the lemon law only applies to new cars in most states, these cars should be avoided by consumers.”

Still, Lehto suggests checking the title and title history on a vehicle. “Do a title search and look to see if the manufacturer ever sold the car at auction after it had entered the stream of commerce,” which would show that the car was bought back and then sold at a dealer auction soon after.

Lemons are serious business and are a real worry for both new and used car buyers. If your new car is regularly acting up and is consistently in need of service, then you may have to get a lawyer involved to deem it a lemon and get your money back.

Filed under: Featured Articles Tips and Advice
Tags: how do i spot a lemon, lemon cars, lemons, what is a lemon

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'Lemon law' demands consumer legwork – Sioux Falls Argus Leader

‘Massive headache’: Sioux Falls man battling for refund on problem vehicle

Most days, Garrett Wilson climbs into his Ford F-150, starts it up and gets to work without any trouble.

Some days, he turns the key and nothing happens. That, or the vehicle he bought new less than two years ago loses power on the road.

It’s happened seven times in just over a year, but the mechanics at Sioux Falls Ford can’t recreate or pinpoint the problem. It’s been in the shop for 37 days total since he bought it.

Wilson’s fed up. He bought his first new vehicle in hopes of having a reliable hauler when friends or family needed help and of having four-wheel-drive to power through South Dakota’s winter weather.

Instead, he has a truck whose battery dies at random for no obvious reason. If he and his wife need to go out of town, the truck stays home.

“It just keeps happening,” Wilson said. “I bought a new truck and it doesn’t even work properly.”

Because the company can’t discern the problem, however, Ford won’t buy the truck back.

Wilson’s now pinning his hopes on South Dakota’s lemon law, which requires vehicle manufacturers to make an owner whole when a persistent problem appears, or “nonconforming condition,” in the law’s parlance.

That means a vehicle that doesn’t conform with an express warranty and is significantly impaired in use, value or safety through ordinary use.

If the dealership or manufacturer is unable to fix the problem after “a reasonable number of attempts,” the manufacturer must either replace or repurchase the vehicle.

It all seems simple enough, but Wilson’s unique situation and the nature of civil law complicate matters. Using the lemon law isn’t as simple as it seems, as Wilson now knows.

“The whole thing has been a massive headache,” he said.

It started in November of 2014, about seven months after Wilson bought the truck. He jump-started it and brought it to the dealership, where technicians performed an update on the battery and electrical system but couldn’t recreate the problem.

On Jan. 5, 2015, the truck died overnight. Again, it was jumped and brought in for repair, this time getting a new battery.

The issue seemed to disappear for a while, but reappeared again in August, September, November and December of 2015 and in January.

Never – not even when the truck was towed to the dealership for service – could the mechanics find the underlying problem. They pulled the plug on the remote start in November, wondering if that could be the issue, and it’s been unplugged ever since yet died two more times.

By last December, Wilson had begun sending emails to Ford’s corporate office. On Jan. 6, he reached out to the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection.

By Jan. 26, a regional customer service manager named Ron Powell told Wilson in an email that there was no mechanical issue found.

“At this time Ford will not be repurchasing or replacing the vehicle,” Powell’s email read.

In situations like this, the attorney general’s office will act as a liaison for a consumer, according to spokeswoman Sara Rabern.

Lemon law complaints are relatively infrequent when stacked against the thousands of complaints the consumer protection division fields on other issues every year, but they aren’t negligible, either: The office has taken 41 formal complaints since 2010.

That doesn’t mean they’ve gotten 41 refunds for consumers, though. The office doesn’t disclose resolutions, just complaints. And if a call from the attorney general’s office to a dealership or corporate office doesn’t do the trick, the consumer has to pick up the case and take it to court.

“We do not represent any consumer on a private legal suit; we work to the best of our ability to resolve these types of complaints so the consumer does not have to take the next step of hiring a private attorney as this type of complaint is a civil right of action,” Rabern said.

Ford, for its part, has not committed to any particular resolution.

“Ford is committed to taking care of our customers and providing them with top quality vehicles. We evaluate unique customer circumstances when needed and comply with the laws in that customer’s state,” Elizabeth Weigandt, a dealer communications manager for the Ford corporation, wrote in an email response to questions about lemon laws.

If that happens, Wilson likes his chances.

A “reasonable number of attempts” at repair within the first two years or 24,000 miles means that the vehicle was subject to repair four or more times, plus a final attempt, or if the vehicle was out of service for 40 or more consecutive days.

Wilson has forwarded all his emails, his invoices, the dates of service and a handful of other documents to the attorney general’s office, and it appears to square with those guidelines.

“Save all the service records, because you never know when you’re going to need them,” Wilson said.

At this point, he wants the company to buy the truck back, which is unfortunate, he said. When it’s working properly, it’s exactly what he was looking for.

“I like the truck – it just doesn’t work,” Wilson said.

John Hult is the Reader’s Watchdog reporter for Argus Leader Media. Contact him with questions and concerns at 605-331-2301, 605-370-8617. You can tweet him @ArgusJHult or find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ArgusReadersWatchdog

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Ferndale resident authored Lemon Law – Eureka Times Standard



Sally Tanner told me last week that there was an article about the Lemon Law in the Times-Standard (“Getting to know the Lemon Law,” Times-Standard, Feb. 17, Page A4). She wasn’t mentioned.

Sally Tanner authored the Lemon Law. It took three years to get the bill through. She believes the day she gave all the legislators a lemon helped. Truth is, if it would have taken four years, or 10, Sally Tanner would have gotten that bill through, because it’s not OK to sell someone a lemon and call it something else.

Sally Tanner represented California’s 60th District in the Assembly for 14 years, 1979-1992. She was a fierce pioneer for environmental protection, the first chair of the first standing committee on the environment in California. She chaired that committee for 12 years, leading the nation in hazardous waste legislation. She also developed what became known as the Tanner Planning Process for brokering agreements between waste facilities, counties, the state, and local residents — a huge leap in collaborative planning based on inclusion. She worked hard. And loved it.

Sally Tanner lives in Ferndale. There are lemons all around her house, as well as art, books, framed photographs (with Desmond Tutu!), rescue dogs, a ping-pong table … she has painted, parented, played poker, traveled the world … and worked her district. She has a wonderful home, family, and circle of friends, and many accomplishments, including the one she wants you to remember — winning the Cal-Ore fishing derby with her partner Pat Hofstetter. That was the really big fish.

Lynn Evans, Trinidad

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Lemon Law Loophole – NBC4 Washington

By Susan Hogan and Patti Petitte

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When you buy a car, most states have a lemon law designed to protect you, but when it comes to used cars, the News4 Consumer Watch found a lemon law loophole that could cost you thousands of dollars. (Published Friday, Feb. 5, 2016)

Consumer Watch looked at lemon laws in D.C. and Virginia and learned D.C. doesn’t cover used cars and Virginia covers used cars only in certain situations.

More information on local lemon laws can be found at the following links:

Click here for tips on buying a used car.

Published at 5:49 PM EST on Feb 5, 2016


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AG's office awards millions for lemon law compensation – WBNG-TV

February 10, 2016

Updated Feb 10, 2016 at 7:51 AM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Office has handed out more than $2.5 million in compensation to New Yorkers in 2015 through the Lemon Law Arbitration Program.

Lemon laws provide a legal remedy for people who buy new or used cars that do not meet standards.

About $2 million was refunded to 53 consumers who bought a new car and claimed their car was a lemon.

The attorney general’s office refunded more than $450,000 to 26 additional people.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” (D) Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “The New York State Lemon Law Arbitration program is an efficient and effective way to make sure car buyers get a fair deal.”

Three people from the Binghamton area received compensation for their cars in 2015.

Since 2011, the attorney general’s office said it has awarded more than $12 million through the lemon law program.

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Sullivan | Abandoned recruits deserve lemon law – The Courier-Journal

If University of Louisville receivers coach Lamar Thomas is leaving to do the same job at the University of Kentucky, the first question is why?

The question of when, though, is almost as interesting.

That the story leaked two days before national signing day suggests, at a minimum, strategic timing. That neither UK nor U of L had officially confirmed Thomas’ move as of 5 p.m Monday might indicate that the deal wasn’t quite done.

But given the recent history of big-time recruiting, it’s easy to imagine other possibilities. College football coaches often schedule their job changes to occur immediately after signing day, sometimes without sharing that information with the players they sign.

That practice is deceptive and dishonorable but so common that former Texas coach Mack Brown has called for a college football lemon law, a one-week grace period for signed players to change their minds in the event their head coach, position coach or primary recruiter takes another job.

Last year, Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton left for a job with the Chicago Bears the day after signing day, prompting a pained Tweet by prime recruit Mike Weber: “I’m hurt as hell I ain’t gone lie.”

Texas recruit Du’Vonta Lumpkin felt similarly duped when Longhorns’ defensive line coach Chris Rumph left for Florida on a similarly suspicious timetable. “Guess I was lied to in my face,” Lumpkin wrote.

If Lamar Thomas leaves, it is unlikely to elicit so much bitterness. Monday afternoon, Louisville insiders were quick to minimize Thomas’ contributions to this year’s recruiting class.Still, the lack of transparency about his plans raises concerns, and follows a pattern all too familiar for followers of cutthroat recruiting.

That the NCAA has yet to address the practice of signing players under the false pretenses of fleeing coaches reinforces the perception that the organization exists to protect its member schools at the expense of students. It also reinforces the argument that elite players should avoid binding letters of intent and limit their signatures to financial aid documents that cannot constrain their eligibility should they decide to enroll at a different school.

This was the approach coveted linebacker Roquan Smith took last year, an approach that served him well. Though Smith made a televised announcement of his intention to play at UCLA, he succeeded in withholding his signature. When UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich left for a job with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Smith switched to Georgia without needing anyone’s approval but his own.

Not every recruit wields as much leverage as did Roquan Smith, who was ranked as the nation’s No. 6 outside linebacker prospect by Rivals.com. Still, every recruit deserves the right to change his mind if he’s been duped into signing by coaches with one foot out the door.

Tim Sullivan can be reached at (502) 582-4650, tsullivan@courier-journal.com or @TimSullivan714 on Twitter. 

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Could Florida Lemon Law decision in Volkswagen diesel emissions case help other drivers? – WPTV.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Volkswagen may not have a fix for its diesel cars, but an 86-year-old has one. File a lemon law claim and tell a three man jury why the car maker should buy back your car too.

“I hope more people follow my suit and go after them,” explained Walter Melnyk.

This one victory led to multiple questions on my Facebook page.

Nino of Stuart wrote, “Jenn, I noticed the lemon law states that it must have been bought less than 24 months ago. My car was bought 27 months ago. Any suggestions?”

You may still be in luck Nino. Maybe. I’m hoping!

Our lemon law expert says after you drive the car off the lot you actually get two years plus sixty days to file a claim.

“If you are looking at your paperwork and it says January 21, 2014 and you’re thinking you’re out of gas – no – it’s really February or March. Some time in March would be the date you could last apply for the lemon law,” explained lemon law attorney Patrick Cousins .

The problem is — many of these questionable diesel cars are five-years-old. In that case, Cousins said you still may want to try to work out a deal.

“I would still try to work with VW because after what just happened they might be looking at things a little bit differently,” explained Cousins.

Volkswagen did win a Florida Lemon Law case in December — so it’s 1 for you the consumer and 1 for the manufacturer. The case Volkswagen lost can be appealed. Volkswagen hasn’t commented at this time.

But, if you add up the votes from these three-man decisions, the consumer actually comes out on top.

“The way I look at it you have four arbitrators in Florida that say this vehicle is a lemon and two who said no it’s not. So me, if I were a gambling man, which I’m not, I would think you have a fighting chance of being successful,” Cousins said.

It’s worth a shot. It doesn’t cost you a dime.

Make sure you follow the rules because there are specific steps you have to follow.

Click here for more details on the Florida Lemon Law and the steps you need to follow to make a claim

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