Someone driving a car in the rain, experiencing water leaks.

Lemon Law and Vehicle Water Leaks

By Sepehr Daghighian

In sunny California, we don’t spend too much time worrying about the rain.  However, come wintertime, vehicle owners often encounter an unpleasant, smelly, inconvenient, and even dangerous phenomenon: vehicle water leaks.  CCA’s clients often enjoy months of trouble-free driving only to encounter vehicle problems arising from water intrusion during the first rains of the season.  For instance, rain and moisture can enter the vehicle’s cabin through the roof panel or sunroom, enter the doors and tailgate through leaks in the weather-stripping, and soak the floorboards and carpeting by entering the vehicle’s cab through various openings.  

Fortunately, most sources of vehicle water leaks are covered by vehicles’ “basic” or “bumper-to-bumper” warranties.  If your vehicle’s manufacturer is unable to cure these leaks after a reasonable number of attempts, your vehicle may qualify as for repurchase or replacement as a lemon under California law.  

Vehicle warranty leaks are not only stinky and inconvenient, but they can also pose a safety risk.  For instance, in April of 2019, Acura announced that it was recalling 323,000 of its 2014-2019 MDX sports utility vehicles because water intrusions in the rear liftgate could lead to damage to electrical components, including the taillights and brake lights.   

Owners of 2012 – 2018 Jeep Patriot and Compass SUVs have also complained extensively of severe roof leaks into the interior of their vehicles.  For instance, Jeep Owners have complained that their “roof leaks when there is a heavy rainstorm. Car now reeks like spoiled milk. Water leaks out of the glove compartment sometimes too.”  Oftentimes, in spite of taking their vehicles to the dealership for warranty service, Jeep is unable to correct the leaks. Like Acura’s water leaks, these roof leaks can also lead to electrical shorts because the water oftentimes intrudes into the vehicle’s dome lights.  

In October of 2017, Ford Motor Company issued a recall on 73,400 of its 2015-2017 Transit Vans, which it found could be harmed by water intrusion.  According to Ford, symptoms of a problem include turn signals that flash too quickly, a loss of the instrument cluster display, losing the heater and air conditioning controls and losing the radios, screens and all multimedia functions.  Ominously, Ford warned that the water intrusion could also lead to vehicle fires. Later in May of 2018, Ford expanded this recall to include additional Transit-150, Transit-250, Transit-350, and Transit-350 HD vehicles.  

The expert attorneys at CCA have handled numerous lemon law matters on behalf of clients that experienced annoying, inconvenient, and dangerous water intrusions in their vehicles.  If your vehicle’s manufacturer has been unable to repair leaks in your vehicle covered by warranty, we invite you to give us a call today for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM.  

CCA services consumers throughout the State of California and persons that purchased their vehicles in California, only