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Thursday, June 30, 2011

JD Power Ratings Lower for Ford

In the past few years for Ford has fared well over other automobile manufacturers in terms of quality and stability and potentially less lemon vehicles than some of the other large manufacturers. But the latest JD Power report is out and Ford dropped from #5 to #23 in the quality ranking list. Both Ford and Lincoln Mercury came in below the industry average, Lincoln Mercury dropped from #8 to #17 overall.

The new "MyFord Touch" system has been blamed for much of Ford's lowered rankings in the JD Power report. According to industry experts, the market's hunger for technology and Ford's desire to be a market leader in bringing the latest in hands free voice activated technology to their vehicles drove Ford to release the LCD touch screen based system a bit too early to make certain all the "bugs" were out.

As evidenced by the number of complaints received by Ford and the potential lemon law claims that could ensue as a result, Ford's leap of faith with the new high tech system may have been premature. Owners complain that the system is difficult to use and navigate and not user friendly, crashes, freezes and blacks out at times. Logic shows that touch screen technology on a cell phone or tablet, where attention can be focused entirely on the activity is great, but if the voice activation portion of the system isn't up to speed, you've got a driver who isn't paying attention as he/she attempts to visually locate that which couldn't be accomplished via voice command.

Ford's intention was to give drivers the ability to do it all(cell phone, music, car temperature and more) via voice command or the touch of a button, but due to glitches, the system is not responding as intended.

Time will tell whether or not lemon law claims increase as a result of MyFord touch complaints but for now owners of Ford vehicles with this new system are displeased and speaking out about their issues.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Are Extended Warranties A Good Value?

Since our law firm handles hundreds of lemon law and breach of warranty claims each year, our lemon law attorneys are often asked by consumers if purchasing an extended warranty for a brand new vehicle is worth the investment.

Extended warranties are often referred to as extended vehicle service plans, but they are one and the same. An extended warranty is an add-on to the standard warranty that comes with a new vehicle and is typically offered by the dealer before you step off the car lot with your new vehicle. Each manufacturer has their own warranty, for the most part they will cover either a mileage maximum(i.e. 36,000 miles) or a specified number of years(4-5 or more), whichever comes first.

The price of extended warranties in the past did not fluctuate but in more recent years the extended vehicle service plan may be available for less money if you wait for a little while. Some dealers are now discounting the extended warranty if you buy a little later. The older your vehicle gets and the higher the mileage, the greater the cost will be to go out and purchase an extended warranty.

Questions remain about the value and usefulness of an extended warranty. Since you are protected by the lemon law(Federal and each state has one) should you wind up with a lemon vehicle, or if you don't keep your vehicles for a long time, the extended warranty may never be used. For the average consumer, the extended warranty may not cover all that happens after the original warranty wears off and some manufacturers do charge quite a bit for that little bit of extra coverage.

Evaluate your options before signing up for that extended warranty that will add money to your monthly payment. If you plan on keeping the car for a long time, and know this going into the deal, it might be worth your while to read up on what the extended warranty covers before signing on the dotted line.

Read about car warranties.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Your Rights Under the Lemon Law May be Different Depending Upon Your State

If you have a defective vehicle or product, you have rights under both your state lemon law and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Protection Act, enacted in 1975 to provide consumers with protection should their new purchase wind up a lemon or defective.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin's lemon laws are considered among the strongest in the country. Wisconsin's lemon law allows for double damages in certain cases, should you pursue a claim against the manufacturer and win in court. California and Minnesota's lemon laws are also very consumer friendly and cover some used vehicles, but the vehicle must be purchased from a used car dealer rather than a private party such as a friend, relative or neighbor. And certain exclusions may mean your used vehicle is not covered.

A lemon law attorney, licensed in your state, has experience utilizing both the federal lemon law and the state lemon law if it is consumer friendly. A free lemon law case evaluation by a qualified lemon lawyer will include an assessment of your vehicle's repair history and other factors to determine which law can work best for you if you do qualify for lemon law relief.

Contact a lemon law attorney today for more information on your rights.

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