Lemon Laws center around defects that affect the use, safety, or value of a vehicle. These defects need to be substantial, often ruling out smaller repairs like a faulty radio, but there are times when technological issues fall under this consumer protection as well. Here’s how to know when a tech complaint becomes a Lemon Law case.
Common Tech Complaints
J.D. Power conducts various consumer surveys and studies, with their recent Vehicle Dependability Study showing that technology problems are the number one issue consumers complain about when it comes to their vehicles. Some complaints have remained in the study for years now.
Voice recognition systems are one of the most common issues consumers have with their cars, which makes sense. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as the system misunderstanding you while you’re trying to drive. Bluetooth connectivity is another top complaint, interrupting the safety of hands-free driving.
Navigation systems were also at the top of the list. What good are inaccurate directions or difficult to operate GPS screens? Combined, these three tech issues comprised 24% of all complaints in the study. Since these impair use and safety, there’s a debate around whether or not they constitute as a Lemon Law claim.
Tech Issues and Lemon Law
Under Lemon Law, your vehicle needs a substantial defect to qualify for a claim. Just being dissatisfied with how a piece of technology works isn’t enough to fit the bill. As for repairs, manufacturers tend to issue software updates these days that remedy most issues.
If these systems still fail to function properly after several repair attempts, however, they could qualify. You could make the claim that a busted Bluetooth system limits the safety of the vehicle, but that claim doesn’t tend to stand up. What does hold up in a claim is that either of the three systems mentioned above can affect the market value of your car if they do not function properly.
You’ll need to document every trip to the dealer or repair shop, making sure to include the dates and cost of repairs. From there, you need to hire a skilled legal representative to prove your claim to the court and fight back against any attempt the manufacturer makes to prove your claim is invalid.
If you’re unsure if a Lemon Law attorney is skilled enough in this area of law, all you have to do is look at professionals with an excellent track record of proving the type of claim you want to make. Attorney Elliot Conn is incredibly successful in this field and an excellent example to compare professionals in your state with, unless you’re lucky enough to live in his state of California and can hire him directly.
Knowing When to Start Building Your Claim
Each state requires a specified number of repairs before you can make a claim. That’s why it’s important to document all of your visits to the dealer or a repair shop as you begin to build the groundwork. States overlook the number of repairs if your car has been in the shop for a set number of days, as well.
Once you meet those requirements, it’s time to speak to an attorney. A consultation can help you determine if your tech issue qualifies as a substantial defect. If it does, then hire the attorney and they’ll move forward with your case. Not only will the manufacturer have to repair, replace, or refund the vehicle, they’ll have to pay for any legal fees you’ve incurred as well.