When it is determined that a vehicle has a problem, such as lack of engine acceleration or bad brakes, the car owner may be protected by the California lemon law if the problem cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
The Los Angeles Times reported that approximately 50,000 early-2003 model Toyota Sequoia SUVs have been recalled due to an issue with electronics and inhibited acceleration. The article addresses drivers having to pay to fix a defect that the automaker may have known about for several years, and in the past repaired for other drivers without charging them.
According to the article, owners were not notified of the electronics problem after Toyota discovered the issue within months of placing the Sequoia SUV into production in 2003 and issued a “technical service bulletin” to its dealers on how to fix it.
The president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, a consumer advocacy group based in Sacramento that supports stricter California automotive lemon laws, stated that automakers often charge a car owner to fix something in a vehicle that they already know to be defective. In referring to “secret or hidden warranties,” the president of the consumer group noted that violations of California law may be occurring if it is determined that some vehicle owners receive free repairs for the same problem that other vehicle owners are forced to pay for.
If a motorist discovers their vehicle listed on service bulletins on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s online database, he or she can request that their dealer fix the issue for free, even if the car is officially beyond its warranty. While several owners of the now recalled Sequoia SUVs have had their vehicle repaired under warranty, others have waited past their warranty’s expiration or did not experience the infrequent acceleration problem until later.
For more information about seeking a refund or replacement vehicle that you deserve for your lemon car, contact skilled lemon law attorney Howard D. Silver at (855) 341-2611 for a free consultation.