Some auto owners are aware that each year, around 150,000 vehicles are manufactured that will turn out to be lemons, once they roll off the dealer’s lot and are put to use on a regular basis. The vehicle owner is unhappy, to say the least, and they begin to seek help in addressing the situation.
Good news in 2022: Auto Dealer Today reports that as of Vehicle Safety Recalls Week (March 8-12), recalls were down considerably. Data showed that there had only been 111 recalls to this point of the year, which is the slowest progression of defective vehicles in more than 10 years. This comes after recalls have increased 42% from 2014 to current day.
However, with the good news comes the bad. There are still vehicles that will be more likely than not to be categorized as a lemon. Below, we will dive into the list of auto manufacturers to beware of when shopping for a new vehicle.
Tesla has issued four recalls as of the end of Quarter One in 2022, with a total of 2.2 million vehicles impacted. Of those four recalls, two were specific to Tesla and one included concerns about impeding pedestrians due to noise produced by the vehicles.
Over one million vehicles manufactured by Hyundai/Kia in 2021 have been recalled – which accounts for roughly 3/4 of the total vehicles produced in the year.
Nissan has recalled 689,000 vehicles in 2021 so far. This includes the 2022 Pathfinder, which has already notched two recalls: one for improper welding on the third-row seat headrests and the other for improper welding of the hood latch bracket – a potentially serious issue.
Porche has recalled over 6,000 vehicles manufactured in 2021, which accounts for 78% of the company’s total production for the year. The rear -axle alignment for the 2022 Cayenne may not have been inspected following alignment, leaving the potential for issues to have slipped past unnoticed. This can also lead to premature tire wear and increase the risk of an accident.
In addition, we have the manufacturers who are historically known to have a high number of defective vehicles manufactured in any given year.
Ford has seen a lot of issues arise in both its PowerShift transmission, which has led to court cases regarding the Ford Fiesta and the Ford Focus. While some of the high number of issues can be attributed to the brand’s popularity, it can’t all be blamed on the fact numerous Fords are sold each year.
General Motors had a market share nearly 50% higher than Ford in 2020. This may be an area where experts point fingers when it comes to issues cropping up with models, but the truth is that GM has four recalls on record for the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado (2020 and 2019, respectively). Electrical issues, a missing regulator in the engine and even issues with stalling while in motion have plagued the GM lines.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram are all brands that are produced under the Fiat Chrysler umbrella. In a bad news, bad news situation, the Jeep Cherokee is a common name on the recall list – for issues with the transmission. Meanwhile, shifting issues, the potential to catch fire and corrosion of both the engine and suspension are reasons that vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler’s brands end up as part of a lawsuit.
Oil leaks, suspension failure, misfiring engines, transmission issues and faulty brakes are all on the list of issues with the admittedly great-looking Mercedes lines.
If you happen to be an auto buyer in Texas, you should be reassured by the fact that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles takes lemon vehicles seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they have a separate department to oversee these claims. That allows you to get through the process and hopefully see resolution more quickly when the stress of a defective vehicle is weighing on your every-day life.
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The first thing to consider is whether the vehicle was purchased within the last 24 months or the vehicle is hitting the 24,000 mile mark on the odometer. If the vehicle is within either of these parameters (but typically whichever comes first) or within six months of the milestone that came first, you may still be in luck.
Now is also a good time to mention that cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, RVs and Towable Recreational Vehicles are all covered under the Texas lemon law – provided they are purchased under an original warranty from the dealer/manufacturer and that warranty is still in effect at the time the Texas lemon law complaint is filed.
Lemon laws are confusing. Read our guide to the lemon law process.
The next questions are: is the vehicle defect significant enough to pose a significant health risk to the driver and have there been four or more attempts to fix the issue with no success?
Another thing to think about is whether the vehicle has sat idle for 30 days or more (this period does not have to be consecutive) during the first 2 years of ownership. If that is the case, then it is likely to be covered under the Texas lemon law.
Vehicles with minor cosmetic defects won’t be covered under this law, so be careful when weighing the concern with your vehicle. Likewise, vehicles with aftermarket additions will be evaluated without those in consideration. The miles driven and payments made on the vehicle, however, will be taken into account when the examiner from the Texas DMV decides the best method of restitution. This is provided you work with an experienced lemon law attorney and have the case decided in your favor.
Vehicle owners who work with an experienced lemon law lawyer and their staff make sure that all the proper documents and details are investigated to provide adequate proof to the Texas DMV when the complaint is filed or during the hearing, whichever is most appropriate.
Vehicle owners should be able to have peace of mind when sliding behind the wheel to get from Point A to Point B. In the event that the vehicle does not operate properly, then proper restitution should be available.
For more information on arbitration and other frequently asked lemon law questions, click here.
If you happen to be saddled with a lemon vehicle – from one of the above mentioned manufacturers or another – then the best way to proceed is to reach out to a professional lemon law lawyer and get the process started quickly and efficiently.
Once the complaint is filed, mediation is attempted and the case is escalated to a hearing if the mediation is unsuccessful, then vehicle owners have the chance of an examiner deciding in their favor. If this occurs, there are three potential forms of restitution: repair, repayment and replacement.
With these three options, you as the auto owner have the chance to get back on the road in a safe, reliable vehicle in a reasonable amount of time. With that said, now is the time to contact the right lemon law lawyer to help you see this process through.
Don’t be one of the unlucky ones in the US who end up with a lemon vehicle and no way to get compensated for your hassle.