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Automotive Lawsuits

Automotive class action lawsuits can involve defective design complaints, predatory lending, financial fraud, automobile leasing, deceptive marketing, false advertising, and products that hurt your vehicle. Thousands of people are injured each year due to defectively designed automobiles. Car dealers can trick you out of your low APR. Unscrupulous dealers can sell you a car that has been in a wreck.

Automotive lawyers or attorneys can help you get a refund, upgrade or cash settlement for your defective car, truck or SUV. Several states have Lemon Laws to protect consumers of new cars, trucks, or SUVs, from defects and failures. Since there may be a Statue of Limitations on filing Lemon Law lawsuits or other auto lawsuits, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

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Defective Design

One prevalent design flaw concerns seatbacks, recliner mechanisms and seat tracks. Car manufacturers continue to ignore injury statistics that could be prevented by inexpensive design revisions to car seats that would protect passengers, especiallyin rear end collisions.

defective car designOther known design failures have included airbags, axles, door latches, foot pedals, floor mats, fuel systems, fuel tanks, lift gates, window glass, rollover tendencies, roof crushing, seatbelts, steering wheels, tire separations, and more. The courts define a defective product as one that is unreasonably dangerous as designed, or it is not safe for its intended use, as designed, or it is more dangerous than an ordinary consumer would expect.

In cases where the design is acceptable, there may be problems attributed to the manufacturing process of the vehicles. The manufacturer may have created a flaw in the product during the manufacturing process, whether by accident or by negligence.

Fraudulent Advertising

In some cases a dealer will try to sell you a car that has been in a wreck, telling you it is in great shape. The car has the federally required "As Is, No Warranty" sticker on it which means you cannot return the car because you agreed to accept any damages. Try to get at least a 30 day warranty from the dealer, and always check the car through Carfax.

Some unscrupulous individuals put up ads for a car on eBay or such, at a price much lower that similar vehicles. Then they want you to use an escrow service they recommend to send your money to, via Western Union or other wire service. Of course the escrow company is their own company, and once you wire the money, there is no way to get it back. Never wire money, or use the dealers recommend escrow service.

Dealers advertise that they can get you out of your current lease or loan. However, what really happens is that the dealer pays off your lease or loan, then adds that amount to your new lease or loan. They then spread out the payments so that you don't notice you are still paying for your previous car, as well as your new car, and have twice the debt you had before.

Financial Fraud

Many car dealers use financial fraud to sell their vehicles. For example, you purchase a car and sign for a low APR. A week later the dealer phones and says you didn't qualify for that low interest - apparently the loan you thought you signed was "subject to loan approval". Then they ask you for more money and increase your payments. To avoid this scam, don't finance your car at the dealers.

Another trick, called the "Straw Purchase" happens when the dealer tells you you have a terrible credit score and need a co-signer. However, the dealer knows your credit score is so bad you would never qualify for a loan. He gets you to find a co-signer for the loan, but in the paper shuffle, it ends up that the "co-signer" is the actual purchaser of the vehicle.

Some car dealers can "forget to pay off your trade in". You trade in a car that you still owe payments on, and the dealer is supposed to pay off the loan for you and add the amount to your new purchase. Then the bank calls - the dealer has not paid off the loan, the car is still in your name, the bank is charging late payments to your credit rating - and you have no contract to prove that the dealer said he would pay off the loan.

The list goes on...

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AUTOMOTIVE LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

$55M Personal Injury Verdict Against Honda Stands
$55M Personal Injury Verdict Against Honda Stands
April 19, 2017
Santa Clara, CA: A $55 million jury verdict brought against Honda Motor Co, in 2014 will stand, according to a ruling by the Pennsylvania Superior Court. The settlement resulted from a personal injury lawsuit against Honda that alleged the automotive manufacturer ignored a seat belt defect. The suit was brought by a man who claimed that defect resulted in his becoming paralyzed [READ MORE]

Volkswagen Made Several Versions of Defeat Devices
Volkswagen Made Several Versions of Defeat Devices
October 20, 2015
Santa Clara, CA: Three people familiar with Volkswagen defeat devices allege that the German automaker was aware that several versions of the software were made in order to “rig” diesel emission test results, according to a report by Reuters.[READ MORE]

Chrysler False-Park Wrongful Death Suit Revived by the Ninth Circuit
Chrysler False-Park Wrongful Death Suit Revived by the Ninth Circuit
July 18, 2015
The Ninth Circuit revived the wrongful death claims against Chrysler Group that arose from a transmission defect in Chrysler vehicles. The federal court of appeals held that “genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the “false park” defect in the Grand Caravan” caused the deaths of plaintiffs’ mother and father. [READ MORE]





READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Missouri
on
Gas leak and fumes on 2005 Grand Cherokee limited edition. Was a recall due to position of fuel tank, but mine wasn't recalled. I'm scared to drive it due to previous explosion lawsuit and death.

Posted by
California
on
The chevy dealer fixed my car by replacing the engine block. Two or three weeks later I take it back in and I'm told that some bolts and screws were missing. They told me the last dealer might have not out them back in.

Posted by
Georgia
on
Airbags failed to deploy during an accident with my wife and daughters, causing them all to get hurt during the accident.

Posted by
Georgia
on
Last night I was driving my 1996 Jeep Cherokee and ran into the grassy median. My front right wheel came completely off and my seat belt did not hold me in place. Also when my airbag deployed, it ripped in half, doing nothing but blowing white powder in my face before my head smacked the steering wheel. No other cars were involved and I didn't go to the hospital. Today, all day, my head has been pounding and my neck hurts.

Posted by
Georgia
on
We were in an accident...hit a deer. Airbags did not deploy. Car totaled.

Posted by
Missouri
on
I have not suffered any damages but the car just shuts off in the middle of driving and I cannot afford to buy another car. It's been six months since the recall and they still don't know when or what part may help.

Posted by
Florida
on
None of my air bags deployed during my wreck on December 19, 2014.

Posted by
Arizona
on
I wired full payment to the dealership in Phoenix, Arizona, for a car that I scheduled to pick up a week later. When I showed up for pickup, they said my car had been in a lot accident and offered a different color for purchase. I asked for proof and they were unable to provide me anything. We couldn't agree on the price for the replacement car and so the dealership said they will refund the money I wired, with wiring costs, the next day. Still waiting for my 19K!

Posted by
Minnesota
on
My key got stuck in the ignition of my Chevy 2009 HHR and I'm being told that the part is not covered under warranty but I see lots of forums on the internet as to where this is happening to millions of people with the same make, model, and year of car that I have. I'm being told that this will cost almost $400 and the dealer is the only one that has the part. The part is a new part and just came out a couple of years ago because of the issue everyone had been experiencing.It's right before Christmas. I was stranded with my car still running. I lost out on gas and I have to rent a car until I can get it fixed.

Posted by
Georgia
on
Because my airbags did not deploy, I suffered from a very bad concussion, whip lash, and a re-fractured cheek bone. I do not remember the accident, nor the hospital, not even the following week. It is traumatic to have others tell you what happened, what you have even said, or whom you have even spoken to.

Posted by
Ohio
on
Gas Pedal Sticking issue that Toyota is recalling. The worry & fear of driving my only car now due to it may not stop when I need it to.

Posted by
Utah
on
Transmission went out in my 6 month old Subaru WRX and Subaru refused to pay for the reapir. I even had an extended warranty. They have a written policy not to cover transmission failure in Subaru WRX. They believe the owners of these cars drive them incorrectly. I had to pay over $2000 to have my transmission rebuilt. They refused to cover under powertrain warranty. Happens very often to many owners. Has been a known issue since the WRX came out. The transmission is not built to handle the horsepower and torque of the turbo engine.

Posted by
Pennsylvania
on
Leg was pinned between my door and another car. My leg suffered severe bruising from the crush. Both cars were damaged.

Posted by
Alabama
on
My 2 children were in front of the car. I injured my knee badly from pulling my 2 year old from under the car and straining to keep the car from rolling over my 8 month old in her car seat.

Posted by
Washington
on
At 103,000 miles my CR-V needs a new head. After a blinking engine light, rough ride and decrease in power, I took my car to the shop. Took them two visits to determine the need for a replacement head. This is a widely known problem in this make and model. The cost to replace the head averages $4000.00.

Posted by
Florida
on
It clearly states in the lease agreement that I cannot remove the automobile from the United States. I am moving to Puerto Rico, transferring the car to Puerto Rico, I need a letter authorizing the shipping line to transport the car, American Suzuki is denying my request. Such American Suzuki action is obligating me to find the funds to pay off the lease early, causing a major economic burden on my part. No one at American Suzuki I spoke to has any concern or sympathy to my concern.

As Puerto Rico, by definition is included as United States, which all definitions do state Puerto Rico is United States, I am not breaching any lease agreement by asking to have my car transported to Puerto Rico, which is within the United States.

There is a major difference on the wording, between United States or "Contiguous 48 states" or "Continental United States". American Suzuki clearly used a broad term of United States that includes Puerto Rico and actually misrepresent what they are now acting upon. They clearly made a mistake by using a wrong wording which discriminates on my behalf.

I need to stop this practice from American Suzuki to correct their wording accordingly, and reimburse me for all my expenses. I had to payoff the lease, which now I request due compensation or satisfaction for this grievance. I need to refinance the car, which they should do. They are making me lose money.

Posted by
New York
on
I purchased a new 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie (top of the line for Dodge) which listed "Chrome Clad Aluminum Wheels" as standard equipment. On inspection of the same, the "Chrome Cladding" is actually a cheesey plastic type of insert or hubcap, not a polished chrome plating on an aluminum wheel. NO aftermarket Chrome aluminum wheels use a chrome plated plastic hubcap; they are physically chromed onto aluminum. Possible class action ?

Posted by
North Carolina
on
This is a widespread problem with the 2005 Ford Freestar van, usually happening around the 50,000 mile mark. (My van has 52,000 miles on it.) This problem has already cost me a considerable amount of time and expense. It is not resolved yet.

Posted by
Virginia
on
7 month old BMW that we have had many mechanical issues with in the past spontaneously caught on fire last week. According to the fire dept, the etiology was electrical. BMW is dragging their feet with the investigation. The X5 is ruined, and we lost personal affects.

Posted by
Ontario
on
Car accident - Nov. 11/07, car ready 12 Dec.; I paid bill for $800 deductible, they gave me free rental for 1 week as they were not preferred shop for PC. On inspection, paint job not acceptable and they gave me back rental and said they would phone when ready. I said no rush as it was not costing me anything. Time passed over Christmas and I phoned 11 Jan./08 and owner had no record of my car being there at first and claimed I had it! I explained story and he then found it and claims he did not know it was there or that I had rental still. There is $1500 bill for rental and he refuses to give me back my car till I pay and I feel they are responsible. What are my rights?

Posted by
California
on
A/C failure (hot air). Dealership found seal on compressor leaking. Had to remove compressor, belts, and electrical wiring to replace. A/C System recharged and car returned.

1 Week later A/C failed again, car returned to dealership again.

Dealership found a leak in the condenser. Also car had smell of mold; Dealership said the drain for the A/C condensation was plugged up and not draining properly. Dealership changed drain tray.

Weather had been 104 deg.

After the 2nd A/C repair.... A/C system worked another week then began being intermitent and not work. Dealership refused to fix car as problem is intermitent.

A short time after that when I went over a speed bump my radio died. I drove immediately to the dealer (was on a weekend - Sat or Sun late) and spoke with a Rep. He saw the radio was dead but had no one to check the car. He hit the dash with his fist trying to make it work again -- nothing helped. I then turned the car off and back on... the radio worked again.

During the 4th of July, while driving home on the freeway, as I applied my brakes in traffic the electric door locks began going up and down (lock and unlock); repeatedly.

Recently discovered A/C intermitent problem occured on sudden stops or bumpy roads - same as radio. It is electrical. When it occured I brought it to the dealership but since it was not a total failure - dealer would do nothing.

Filed complaint with Corp. Office and have case number -- they will do nothing until it completely breaks down.

Electrical problems 'ONLY" occured "AFTER" the dealership worked on the A/C the first time

The electrical problems continue with the A/C. Total incidents over time about 15. Warranty expires about 10/2008 - Bought car new from dealer. I need a reliable car.

Posted by
New Jersey
on
Dealership promising me to tow car to them to get it fixed. Never showed up, they had me stranded on the side of the road in the heat and 4 months pregnant. They also had me spend money 2 times on a tow truck that they promised to reimburse and never did and then they will not honor my warranty that I clearly states on the warranty that they have to, especially since I bought the vehicle from them less than 2 weeks ago. Their contract states that the car has to be in good running condition in order to finance a vehicle and they refuse to honor that.

Posted by
Florida
on
I paid 55k for a new Acura MDX 2007 bought in February. I travel the state of Florida. Driving on the highway at night during a storm, the car died in an area where there was no phone signal. I tried starting the car a few times and it wouldn't start. 1 1/2 hours later I tried again and the car started. An alert immediately appeared stating that I should take the car to the closest dealership because there was abnormal voltage to the battery and all air bags will not work (the actual replay states that the air bags might not work) The dealership has run tests ... tests that Acura mfr allows them to run. They don't know why the soft code appeared and can not find a defect with the car. They are aware that the code is there but there is no corrective action to address this code. Therefore they feel that they have complied with my warranty by trying to fix the car, and because there wasn't a defect and they isn't any corrective action to address this soft code problem, they have honored the warranty clause and are asking me to take the car back.

Posted by
New Jersey
on
Hyundai offers a 100k mile power train warranty on their vehicles. I have a 2004 Sante Fe and my daughter has a 2004 Accent. About a year after buying the cars I was reading through the Hyundai User group on-line when I saw discussions about the timing belt in the engines had to be changed at 60k miles. If not done and it broke, because of the engine design it would cause very extensive damage and void the warranty. This strikes me as wrong and deceptive in several ways. One, a timing belt change is NOT a common maintenance issue and is in fact quite costly. I've been quoted anywhere from $450 to $700 to have this done. Considering this part is inside the engine - it should be considered a warranty item. Second, the fact that they have DESIGNED the engine so that if the belt breaks extensive damage is done (an engine replacement is cheaper) it seems as if they are setting up the consumer to void the warranty or pay in effect, a protection fee. Note that this info on the required timing belt change is never told to the consumer either when buying the car or in any of their advertising.

Posted by
Anonymous
on
My little brother Francis, and I were driving down the road. We saw a truck driver speeding in the opposite direction. He hit a small child who was riding their bike. They were killed on impact, albeit the other driver didn't slow down at all. They just kept driving, and, in turn hit another vehicle in a minivan. The person driving the minivan might have survived, but the truck driver refused to slow down at all.

Not long afterward, the truck driver heard my little brother, Francis, scream in fear. This only provoked the truck driver. He continued to drive well above the speed limit into a U turn.

My little brother, and I did not have much of a chance to escape. My car was destroyed, and my little brother became just another vehicular homicide victim. In fact, I just recently finished a slow recovery from my own injuries.

My family could sue, or at least report the truck driver's license plate. That could never bring little Francis back, so it would be utterly pointless. We don't believe in retribution, but rather we believe only in forgiveness.

Posted by
Anonymous
on
Recently my wife and I were riding on the 610 loop in Houston Texas where there is a truck graveyard of debris that rarely gets cleaned up, but that's another story. We ran over something that ruined one of her new tires.

I knew the tires were under warranty so I called to get a location to exchange it. When we got there I was having trouble getting anyones attention. After about 45 minutes I raised my voice and demanded satisfaction.

Everyone, including customers froze in rapt attention. We got a new tire and about 5 minutes later down the road I realized I was at the wrong tire company.

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