Lemon law protects new car owners

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Car owners typically trust that the purchase of a new car means the end of troubles they may have had with an old car. A new car comes with a high price tag, and someone making monthly payments is not likely to want to deal with regular repair bills. Unfortunately, consumers who purchase defective vehicles often do end up returning to the dealer for frequent repairs. While California's lemon law protect people in these circumstances, one woman is still fighting for her rights.

In another state, a woman who purchased a new Volkswagen vehicle became so attached to it that she gave it a name. However, after she owned the car for only a short time and drove it less than 50,000 miles, the car would not start. The woman had the vehicle towed back to the dealer, but the service technician told her there was nothing to be done to fix the car.

Apparently, the timing chain tensioner had blown, preventing the valves and pistons from operating normally and eventually destroying the engine. This failure is not expected in cars until they have reached at least 120,000 miles. Additionally, the woman discovered that VW has known about the potential for tensioner failure since 2010 but has not notified drivers of the problem. The dealer's advice to her was to have her engine replaced at a cost of $7,000.

Many other VW owners are unhappy concerning the issues that VW apparently failed to inform them. With no recalls in place, consumers in California may feel that have no recourse when their cars have irreparable defects. However, the lemon law may provide protection for many of them. For those whose vehicles do not qualify for lemon law protection, the advice of an attorney may provide additional options.

Source: NBC DFW, "Driver Accuses Carmaker of Failing to Warn of Defect", Lisa Parker, Robin Green and Samantha Chatman, Dec. 27, 2017

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