Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hi! LegalGems here. My goal: To Do My Best To Assist You. Please remember, I can only provide general information,as this is a public forum. I am sorry to hear of this situation- I'm sure it is frustrating. The NY Lemon Law only applies to vehicles that have a defect that requires 4 repair attempts during the first two years of ownership or the first 18,000 miles. Please see #10 of the attached fact sheet regarding this. http://www.ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/pdfs/publications/New_Car_Lemon_Law_2011.pdf Additionally, in order for the Lemon Law to cover the vehicle, the defect must substantially impair the value of the car. Please see #9 of the attached pamphlet. Generally they are referring to serious problems that affect the safety of the car. So relief under the Lemon Law would not be appropriate. However, the fact that they have repaired it and the problem keeps recurring gives rise to other causes of action. For example, if the work was done pursuant to a warranty (which I assume is the case since the car was new), then you can have a breach of warranty lawsuit, as they failed to rectify the problem. Another possibility is negligence, if they negligently repaired it; however, that does not sound as if it is the case since other cars are having the same exact issue. Yet another cause of action is breach of implied warranty of merchantability, for when one purchases a car they assume it is not going to rust 4 times in 3 years. An implied warranty is a warranty that the product will function as a reasonable consumer would expect it to. Since the car has 74,000 miles on it, most judges won't void the entire contract; rather they will use one of two methods in calculating damages: either determine the cost of repair, and estimate how many times the repair will be necessary over the life of the vehicle (anticipated life), and award that sum as damages. The alternative would be to find the fair market value of a similar car that does not have this issue, and the FMV of one that does have the issue, and award the difference in value as damages. Since this is a problem with many of these vehicles, you may want to check out the following website, as they keep an updated list on class actions - if there are no pending class actions, you may want to consider starting one. http://www.topclassactions.com
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