Lemon laws protect the thousands of Americans who inadvertently purchase defective vehicles every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 150,000 vehicles sold in the United States every year are “lemons:” vehicles containing repeating, unfixable defects. These vehicles come from every manufacturer, including Fiat Chrysler Automotive, which owns the Dodge brand of vehicles. Many things can cause a lemon including poor materials, faulty components and even human error during the manufacturing process. No matter the cause, lemon laws offer consumers legal recourse when the manufacturer fails to uphold their end of the written warranty provided at the time of the sale.
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Ideally, when a consumer encounters a problem with their brand-new vehicle the manufacturer will fix the problem. Either the manufacturer repairs the problem themselves at a dealership service center or through an authorized mechanic. If the problem is unfixable, the manufacturer will either replace the vehicle with one that is reasonably similar to the defective one (if not identical) or refund the consumer the money spent on the vehicle. When the manufacturer fails to uphold the promises made by the written warranty, or fail to do so in a reasonable span of time, lemon law attorneys can use state and federal lemon laws to force manufacturers to make consumers whole again.
Consumers with Dodge complaints, or complaints about any make including other Fiat Chrysler Automotive vehicles, should contact a reputable lemon law attorney as well as perform a Dodge warranty check by VIN online. Often times when class action lawsuits begin over major vehicle defects, consumers can receive more compensation by opting out of the class action lawsuit and pursuing their own claim with a lemon law lawyer. This happened for many consumers following the Granillo, et al v. FCA class action lawsuit.
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The suit alleges FCA sold the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee, 2015 Chrysler 200 and 2015 Jeep Renegade vehicles knowing they contained defective ZF 9HP automatic transmissions. Plaintiffs allege the transmissions jumped, lurched, shook, or caused rough shifting or loud noises while shifting. Plaintiffs alleged they complained to their dealerships, who updated the vehicles’ powertrain control module and transmission control module software to no avail. The plaintiffs alleged FCA knew about the defects and sold the vehicles anyway, lowering the vehicle’s value and putting drivers at risk.
Consumers who opted out of the Dodge lawsuit buyback to pursue their own claim could take home money money than those who stayed part of the class action lawsuit, according to Allen Stewart P.C. attorney Andrew Ross.
“These class-actions are designed to pay out as little as possible,” Ross said. “They’re having to cover thousands of vehicles across the country, and while they are paying out a lot of money each person gets a relatively small cash amount. If you don’t opt out of a class action settlement, you’re probably going to get less cash compared to if you opted out and pursued a case individually.”
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Ross said to get the maximum cash repayment per the proposed Granillo settlement, an FCA customer must have six or more documented repair attempts. However, Ross said he only needs clients to have records of three repair attempts or more – and get more cash in hand for those fewer attempts.
“People normally recover, if they’re seeking cash, 10 to 20% of the cash value of their car, plus having their attorney’s fees paid for by the manufacturer,” Ross said.
Consumers worried whether or not their Dodge or other FCA vehicle is still covered by warranty can perform a Dodge warranty check by VIN by visiting the manufacturer’s website.
If you have Dodge complaints or miss out on a previous Dodge lawsuit buyback, the attorneys of Allen Stewart P.C. may be able to help you. The lemon law experts of Allen Stewart P.C. have combined decades of experience standing for consumers’ rights against the depredations of big business. The sooner you reach out, the better your chances of getting a positive outcome. Don’t wait, contact Allen Stewart P.C. today.