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I have a vehicle with a hood latch recall, from the

Customer Question
I have a vehicle...

I have a vehicle with a hood latch recall, from the manufacture, that has been repaired "3 times" and as of today it's not latching again. I have not suffered any injuries but I'm afraid that my son and I are at risk because of this ongoing issue. Can I sue the dealership or the manufacture although I haven't had any injuries?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

It's in North Carolina. And the vehicle is 3 years old.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not by me. I've only dealt with the dealership.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not at this time. I have had to drive the vehicle with tape to hold the hood down from fear that the wind would force to open hood up and crash the window causing damage to myself, my son or anyone else driving near me. It's very concerning for me. Now I have to go to them again in the hopes that will fix it but not sure when it will default again.

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Legal
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9/24/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,216
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. Additionally, most people believe a phone call is the easiest and most efficient way to handle problems. Accordingly, you will receive an automatic phone call request. If you would like a phone call, please click “Accept” when prompted.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Thank you for your patience. What’s important to understand is that your vehicle may qualify as a lemon. According to the NC Department of Justice, the car is presumably a lemon if:

  • The problem occurs in some part of the vehicle that is covered by the manufacturer's warranty and you are within the warranty period. It does not need to be something that keeps you from being able to drive the car. For example, faulty air conditioning or peeling paint could be considered defects under the Lemon Law.

  • You tell the manufacturer about the problem in writing and give them a reasonable period, but not more than 15 days, to fix it.

  • The manufacturer makes “a reasonable number of attempts” to fix the vehicle. This means that the car has been repaired for the same problem four or more times, or that it has been out of service a cumulative total of 20 or more business days during a 12 month period of the warranty.

  • The manufacturers’ efforts to fix the vehicle fail. Under the law, they must either replace your car or buy it back. You get to decide between a comparable new car and a refund.

Otherwise, you may have some other causes of actions for which you could sue if it doesn’t meet the lemon law presumption. Under section 2-314 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted wholly or in part by all the states, sellers are bound by the implied warranty of merchantability. What this means basically is that the good(s) that you purchase will generally be acceptable. An example would be if someone purchased a vehicle. A seller warrants that the vehicle is going to be generally acceptable, fit for its ordinary purpose, and be of a generally understood type and quality. A violation of this will ultimately result in damages for the buyer. Also, under the Uniform Commercial Code section 2-315, which has been adopted in part or wholly by every state, it says, “Where the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know any particular purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyer is relying on the seller's skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods, there is unless excluded or modified under the next section an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such purpose.” All this means in plain English is that if a buyer is relying on the seller’s skill or judgment (e.g. if you rely on a lawn mower mechanic’s skill in choosing a blade for your lawn mower), then the mechanic warrants that the good will be fit for its particular purpose (cutting grass). Unless the goods are sold “as is,” then then a violation of that warranty may allow the buyer to recover damages. In the end, the answer to your question is yes, you could have some causes of action here.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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