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Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 3437
Experience:  30 years of experience
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I leased a Chrysler on 4/6/2015. On Thursday 2/18/2016 I

Customer Question

I leased a Chrysler on 4/6/2015. On Thursday 2/18/2016 I brought the car in for an oil change. The car has approx. 7,000 miles on it.When I pulled out of the service area and onto the highway the car began to shake terribly. I made a U-turn and made my way to the entrance of the highway going North. I had my hazard lights on and entered the highway.All of a sudden I heard brakes screeching, horns blowing, and cars excelorating next to me. Then my car hit the ground bounced up and hit the ground again. I seriously feared for my life. How I was able to control the car I'll never know. I thought I had a flat but what actually happened, was the wheel came off the car. It rolled across a three lane highway. How no one and even myself didn't get hurt , is by the grace of God. I made my way to the first exit. This ruined several car parts. My problem is that I am scared to get into that car. I drive, by myself ,to Pittsburgh several times a year to see my family. I feel the car may have other damage that won't show up until later. If something goes wrong in the mountains while I'm going 70 mph I may not live to tell about it. I feel the dealership will say that the new damage has nothing to do with the incident on 2/18/16. The dealership gave me a loner car, which I still have. I've gone back to the dealership twice so far. The first time I went back I told them I could not get into my car. They let me clean it out. Then they said to look around for a car. At this time I was to upset to look for a car. So I went back again on 3/1/2016 . I was shown three cars to choose from. I actually test drove one of them. Finally, the manager and I settled on getting the same car I have. He even had me tell him which colors I wouldn't want. He told me he would be in touch with me in two days. Another man called me in two days and said they now felt it wasn't cost worthy for them to give me a new car. This is going on for two weeks now. All along they promised me I wouldn't have to get into my car and I could choose a new one. I never wanted anything more then what I had. I wasn't looking to sue.However, they have been giving me the run around for two weeks and now they are going back on their word. More has gone on here and more was said but this letter would be too long.
My question is do I have a case against this dealership. It's more than being ethical, it's about my life. I was a mess that day. Now I know the car that was perfect isn't anymore and it's not my fault that any of this happened.I tried to settle this amicably.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

What a horrible experience you have had. Thank God no one was hurt.

Yes you have a case against the Dealership. When a vehicle has been in for minor service and comes out and the tire comes flying off for no reason that suggests that the dealership made a serious mistake handling the vehicle.

There is a concept in the law that is called "Res Ipsa Loquitor." It means "The thing Speaks For Itself." In plain English it means that when something is under a persons control (the car and the dealer) and something bad happens after that it can be assumed that the person who had control did something wrong.

Clearly the dealership knows that it made an error. It manifested that knowledge by agreeing to replace the car. For some reason they now think it is not profitable for them to do so. But that is not the point. The point is your vehicle is now severely damaged and you can not trust it as being safe to drive.

There are a number of things that you can do. One of them is to find an experienced Consumer Protection Attorney to help you with this. Most Consumer Protection Attorneys will meet with you to assess your case at little or no cost. Also they often are able to get their attorneys fees from the defendant when these matters are resolved. So there is no reason for you NOT to at least meet with one. This link can help you find one:

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/consumer-protection/new-jersey

In alternatively or in addition to that you can file a complaint with the following organizations at no cost to you:

1) Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/new-jersey/

2) You can also file a complaint through the manufacturer that franchises the dealership. The Manufacturers have an arbitration program that is binding on the dealers but does not cost the consumer. Google the brand of your car and consumer arbitration

3) There may have been a defect that is under warranty, or there may be a warranty on the workmanship (implied or express). So you can also file a complaint with the FTC. The FTC enforces certain federal warranty laws:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0252-warranties

4) Also contact the New Jersey Office of Consumer Protection:

http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Pages/File-a-Complaint.aspx

Part of your goal is to make enough "noise" that the dealer will return to the table to make things right. So when you send your written complaint to these organizations also copy the owner of the dealership.

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but it helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.