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Lemon Law and Unusual Cases: Unique Challenges and Outcomes

Lemon law cases in California cover a wide range of vehicles and defects. Even among that wide range, however, certain cases stick out when you’ve spent your career as a California lemon law attorney. The team at The Lemon Firm wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the unusual cases we’ve handled and the successful outcomes we’ve achieved for our clients. You’ll find more information on these cases below.

Case #1: The Jeep Grand Cherokee That Caught Fire

Our client in this case was a retired contractor living in El Dorado Hills. In November 2011, he purchased a 2011 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee. Despite paying $40,000 for a new vehicle, the Grand Cherokee had multiple pervasive problems. Many of these issues stemmed from problems with the Grand Cherokee’s electrical system. In fact, the Jeep even caught fire at one point because of a problem with the wiring in the vanity mirror. This vanity mirror wiring issue was so pervasive among 2011 Grand Cherokees that the company issued a recall. When we took the case, we won a settlement worth over three times the vehicle’s Lemon Law buyback price. The courts also ordered the manufacturer to cover the client’s legal fees.

Case #2: Defective F-350 Leaves Woman and Her Horses Stranded Multiple Times

In this case, our client was a Santa Barbara woman who bought a 2013 Ford F-350 pickup truck to tow her horses in a trailer and travel throughout the county. Unfortunately, the truck repeatedly broke down during operation, leaving the owner and her horses stranded on the side of the road multiple times. Our client took the truck in for multiple repair services, but Ford couldn’t fix the underlying issue and would not repurchase the vehicle from her. We took her case and eventually won her a settlement worth more than 2.5 times what she initially paid for the truck. Ford also had to pay her legal expenses.

Case #3: Hyundai Insists Oil Consumption Problem Does Not Exist

Many California lemon law cases involve automakers refusing to repurchase a customer’s vehicle while acknowledging the underlying defect. In this case, however, the manufacturer refused to acknowledge the vehicle’s obvious defect. Our client had leased a Hyundai Genesis that developed constant oil consumption problems, leading to severe performance issues. We took the case and eventually won a jury verdict in his favor. Our client received a settlement worth more than what he initially paid for the vehicle, and Hyundai had to cover his legal fees.

Case #4: Dodge Grand Caravan Still Defective After Over 13 Repairs

The California lemon law says you must give manufacturers a “reasonable” number of attempts to fix a defect before asking them to refund your purchase or give you a new vehicle. While the “reasonable” number of attempts varies depending on the defect, 13 tries are clearly too many. Unfortunately for our client, the manufacturer could not address the engine oil leaks and transmission issues in her 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan after over 13 tries. Worse still, the manufacturer refused to honor their legal obligations and repurchase the vehicle after all these failed repair attempts. When we got involved, we eventually won her a settlement worth nearly three times what she paid for the vehicle.

Case #5: BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” Is a Lemon

For many years, BMW used the “Ultimate Driving Machine” slogan to describe its supposedly dependable, reliable vehicles. Not so in the case of this 2013 X6 crossover. Our client’s vehicle had a constant series of problems, including suspension problems, frequent engine oil and temperature gauge warnings, and other engine issues. BMW stubbornly refused to repurchase the defective vehicle, at which point our client contacted us. We took the case to trial, and a jury eventually ordered the manufacturer to pay all her repair bills, an additional civil penalty worth approximately 1.5 times what she paid for the car, and to cover all her legal bills.

Is an Automaker Refusing to Honor Your Lemon Law Claim? We Can Help

Automakers and dealerships have specific obligations under the California lemon law, and we can help if they refuse to repurchase your defective vehicle or provide you with a replacement. Call The Lemon Firm today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

About the Author
Sepehr Daghighian is a partner with CCA that is well-versed in all aspects of lemon-law litigation. A 2005 graduate of Loyola Law School, Mr. Daghighian has been practicing litigation throughout the state of California for over 13-years. In this time, Mr. Daghighian has advocated on behalf of California consumers in hundreds of lemon law cases throughout our great state. Mr. Daghighian has also successfully tried numerous such cases to verdict in both Federal and State Court.