The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has made it its mission to improve the safety of highways across the United States by accepting consumer complaints and addressing potential car recalls. They encourage consumers and lawyers to contact them with any and all concerns or complaints about possible vehicle defects that could cause a safety hazard on America’s streets. But some consumers may not know how those safety bulletins and car recalls can affect a legal claim under the lemon law. Consulting with an experienced lawyer who has litigated many lawsuits filed under the lemon law can alleviate any questions or concerns that could arise during their case.
The lemon law protects consumers within the state of California from materially defective vehicles that, after given a reasonable opportunity to resolve, the manufacturer remains unable to fix. Once the consumer recognizes that the issues they are experiencing with their car are unfixable, they should contact a lawyer who specializes in legal cases filed under the lemon law in order to get the relief they deserve. Following successful litigation, the consumer will be financially compensated for their car and for incidental charges that the consumer incurred as a result of their defective car. Or, the consumer could also elect to receive a replacement vehicle free from all material defects. Because there are many consumer protection provisions within the lemon law, having a lawyer to represent the consumer’s interests is essential and, because the lemon law provides that manufacturers are responsible for the consumer’s lawyer fees, there is no financial risk for the consumer.
Car recalls, on the other hand, usually come to the consumer’s attention from the manufacturer, the manufacturer’s agent or by checking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Car recalls are targeted toward specific groupings of vehicles that are most often manufactured at a particular production plant within a certain time period. The reported problems that trigger car recalls may not be presenting any immediate problems or concerns, but could put the consumer at risk of serious injury or even death and should be quickly addressed. It is also possible that a consumer with a potentially defective vehicle may not have experienced any problems or issues with their car even if there is an outstanding recall. Nonetheless, consumers should take their vehicle into the manufacturer, or its agent, so it can be inspected and repaired if necessary. It is likely that the issues underlying any car recalls will be addressed and resolved during that initial car repair attempt and the consumer will have no need to follow up after that.
Disputes under the lemon law arise when car recall defects are unable to be adequately addressed and further action is necessary. Should a consumer find himself or herself in a position similar to this, they should promptly meet with a lawyer and advise them of their circumstances. A lawyer trained in the lemon law will be able to provide the consumer with valuable legal advice on car recalls and filing a lawsuit under the lemon law.