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Monday, November 26, 2012

Are Auto Manufacturers Really Making Better Vehicles?

A recent article in the International Business Times online addresses the issue of an inordinately large amount of recalls for defects by large automobile manufacturers including the most recent recall of 2.7 million vehicles worldwide for steering and water pump problems by Toyota. This recall includes gasoline-electric Toyota Prius' for the water pump issue and other vehicles in the Toyota line for both the steering and pump problems.

This comes on the heels of Toyota's gigantic recall last month of 7.4 million vehicles for faulty power window switches. Though not a major issue, this recall still impacts Toyota's reputation for producing reliable, tough and low maintenance vehicles.

Its plausible that manufacturers are becoming more proactive regarding defects both large and small as transparency has become the norm and to quote the writer of the article, "a recall does not a lemon make."
Since the Toyota recall debacle of 2009, its apparent the manufacturer is making strides towards greater consciousness and concern for overall automobile safety. This applies to other automobile manufacturers as well, for defects ranging from serious to minor.

Toyota Recalls
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Florida's Lemon Law - A Perspective

A recent blogger on Tallahassee.com reminds Florida consumers of their rights under Florida's "lemon laws" also know as The Florida Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act or Chapter 681 of the Florida consumer protection statutes. The law in Florida obligates intervention in the form of arbitration if a manufacturer fails to "make right" on a new vehicle that has returned to the dealer for repair of a defect 3 or more times and yet the defect remains.

The law provides for remedies to the consumer in the form of a new vehicle of equal value, or a refund of the purchase, less the reasonable use offset as determined by the dealer/manufacturer. Though Florida's law does not require a lemon law attorney licensed in Florida to be present at the dispute resolution board hearing, it is the opinion of the author of this article and of our Florida Lemon Law Attorneys, that an experienced advocate on your side is the wise way to proceed.

Though you could certainly go it alone, why jeopardize your chances to receive the best possible outcome?

Contact a Florida Lemon Law Attorney now for a free case consultation.

Read the full article.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Superstorm Sandy's Impact On Used Car Buyers

The market saw a huge influx of flood damaged cars when Katrina struck back in 2005. Now, it seems as though it will become a "buyer beware" market for used cars in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a disaster that left its mark and devastation on millions of people from Maine to South Carolina.

Many flood damaged vehicles can be repaired but others should be scrapped due to irreparable damage to vital components of the vehicle's engine, brakes, fuel system and more. Learning how to spot flood damage before purchasing a used vehicle can make all the difference in preventing buyer remorse after taking the vehicle home. If you purchase a vehicle "as-is", you will not be able to pursue a lemon law or breach of warranty claim as only vehicles with a warranty will fall under lemon law protection.

Tips to spot a flood damaged vehicle:

1.) Use your nose - does the car have any sort of smell that seems off? Mold or mildew will leave an odor and are a sure sign of flood damage. Or if there is a strong deodorizer or air freshener smell this could be covering up a bad smell. Walk away!
2.) Do you see any visible condensation in the headlights or taillights? Don't let an auto dealer's salesperson tell you its nothing, if you are uncertain, leave the car today and come back tomorrow, if its still present, something isn't right, don't buy the vehicle.
3.) Is there mud anywhere in the vehicle, especially around the seat belts? How would it get there? Once again, if it seems to be odd, walk away.
4.) Look for corrosion anywhere on the vehicle. This could vary depending on the age of the vehicle but any sign of corrosion in a newer vehicle or excessive corrosion in an older vehicle could be a sign of flood damage.Look underneath the car as well.
5.) Touch the car's upholstery and carpet and sit on the seats in the front and back. If it feels damp this is most definitely a red flag. No plausible cause for moisture inside a vehicle.
6.) Open the trunk and check the carpet, spare tire and well. Any sign of moisture in any of these areas could be a tip off.
 7.) Check under the hood.You don't need to be a mechanic. If the wires are brittle that's a bad sign, but test drive the car to see how it runs, any smoke, burning smell are worse and may only be present when the car is running.
8.) Test each component of the vehicle that you can including air conditioner, windshield wipers, radio,cigarette lighter, heating system and power windows. If any of these do not perform as expected, get out of the vehicle and find another one!

Go to an honest, reputable auto dealer to purchase a used vehicle and if one is available, get a warranty for the vehicle. You do not want to end up with a flood damaged lemon with no lemon law recourse. If a dealer knowingly sold you a flood damaged vehicle and did not disclose this information to you, this could be auto dealer fraud, contact a consumer fraud lawyer to advise of your rights.


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