GMC Truck Transmissions Causing Headaches

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Numerous transmission problems have been reported by owners of GMC Trucks – specifically the model years 2015–2017 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado trucks, to be specific. We at the California Lemon Law Expert office have spoken with consumers who have had vehicles which exhibited problems with sudden (and unsafe) downshifts, sudden and unexpected acceleration, delays in shifting, and other problems.

The biggest concern is of course for the driver and occupant safety. Shifting problems can cause a severe safety concern, since the vehicle may be towing, or on the freeway while merging (or avoiding) nearby traffic.

Typically, an owner will return to the dealership, where the transmission is then usually ‘reprogrammed’ or (yeah, my favorite) ‘software updated’ to attempt to correct the problem. We see numerous failed attempts to correct these transmission problems.

This problem was widespread enough to where the issue eventually turned in to a filed proposed class action lawsuit, but apparently GM has succeeded in convincing the court not to proceed. General Motors filed a motion to dismiss the truck lawsuit and apparently have succeeded in convincing the judge a nationwide class action could not proceed. Even though General Motors breached implied warranties, it is up to that particular state law in determining further action and remedy for the plaintiff. Further, the judge did allow a claim for breach of express warranty, and because that claim survived, so did a claim concerning the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Do you know the difference between Magnuson-Moss, Song-Beverly, and Guns n’ Roses? (Hint: One is Federal, one is California’s Lemon Law, and one is on tour right now). When your warranted vehicle is showing problems, do you care? Of course not, you need the problem fixed – at THEIR expense, not yours.  They are the ones who provide the warranty, after all. Call us for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

Please remember: if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

CHECK THE SAFETY OF YOUR VEHICLE

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In this Blog, we examine and recommend a fantastic, free-to-use tool on the web that is great for checking the safety ratings, complaints, and “known issues” for any car.  We are referring to the excellent NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website, one of the most user friendly and data-rich automotive resources available today.

The US Government maintains this excellent online repository, and of course it’s free for anyone to utilize.  Ford, Honda, Volkwagen, GMC – they’re all here.  Want to check the safety rating of a vehicle you own, or are thinking about purchasing? How about open recalls? Consumer complaints? Yes, they’re all here, in one easy to use, user friendly layout.  

Upon landing at the NHTSA website home page, you’ll be presented with an easy to navigate, clutter free menu.  The first two menu choices – Ratings and Recalls – are where you’ll want to start.  Click “Ratings” and enter the year, make and model in the large search box.  You’ll be presented with a list of available models / options.  By clicking on the correct model, you’ll enter the database itself, where you’ll be presented with a plethora of useful information, ranging from safety ratings, recalls, complaints, and investigations.   You may also search by VIN number of the vehicle.

We highly recommend savvy car owners to utilize this website.  We were especially impressed with the vast amount of data available that is presented in a well laid-out, user friendly format.  All of the information you’d ever want relating to a particular automobile can be easily located on this excellent, free-to-use online resource.  

Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner.  We at the California Lemon Law Expert can help!  In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

HONDA INFOTAINMENT SYSTEMS NOT ENTERTAINING ANYONE

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Recently Honda customers are complaining in increasing numbers of problems arising from faulty Navigation / Infotainment systems and may soon reach class action lawsuit status. We have also been made aware of charging issues (for the “Clarity” electric vehicle) also exhibiting faults. There are numerous online forums filled with customer complaints about these defective infotainment systems and charging systems, affecting 2018-2019 Honda Pilot, Honda Odyssey and Honda Clarity.

Common complaints from owners of these Honda vehicles report that the Infotainment (“IVI”) system does not function as advertised. Bluetooth issues arise, cameras and sensor systems can become totally non-responsive, resulting in owners being unable to take advantage of these features. These defective systems lock up, cause system hang-ups / screen freezes / screen blanking, and a mountain of frustration for end-users.

What is unfortunate is Honda’s apparent lack of willingness to own up to the problem or be able to properly diagnose and provide a fix for these issues. In many reported cases, Honda technicians simply do not know how to proceed to properly diagnose or fix the problem. Entire systems have been replaced, to no avail. This has gone so far as to result in a downgraded rating from Consumer Reports regarding the 2018 Honda Odyssey which is “No Longer Recommended” due to “much-worse-than-average reliability, with problems including the infotainment display freezing and losing all functionality.”

Could this be another instance of faulty software / lack of proper testing?

Please remember: if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

Buying a new car?

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Thinking of buying a new car?  There are several things to take into consideration when purchasing a new car.

One of the first things to decide, is what type of car are you looking for.  Are you looking for an affordable small car, a fuel-efficient SUV, a truck or a sporty convertible? What about make and model?   Make list of cars that you would like to test drive based on research, reliability, high owner satisfaction, good safety marks, and a strong road test performance.

Once you have narrowed down your list, make sure your new car has advanced safety issues.  These can help avoid an accident or lessen the impact of a crash.  Although these safety features are becoming widely available, they are not standard on many models and trims.

Car dealers will try to sell you a wide variety of extra add-on products when financing a new car.  This is how the make the most in their profits.  Some of the extras are theft protection, asset protection, prepaid maintenance, tire and key replacement plans, VIN etching, and extended warranties.  Say no thanks to these.

Some people get special sales events via their direct mail.  Don’t shop during these special events.  They are often run by contracted specialist trained in techniques that increase a dealer’s profit.

Be smart on how you finance your new car.   The amount of the monthly payments is usually what most buyers focus on.  But other things to consider are long-term impacts on your finances, the amount of interest on your loan, interest paid, trade in value, and even depreciation.

There are several fees you should avoid.  Refuse to pay fees that are called “pre-delivery inspection,” “delivery,” “destination,” or “dealer prep charges.”  These usually are posted on a second window sticker of the vehicle.

 

Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

 

Do you own a Honda or Acura?

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Takata Airbags Recalls

The following list of Honda and Acura  cars have been recalled in the US to replace passenger-side Takata front airbags:

2010-2012 Acura RL

2010-2014 Acura TSX

2011-2014 Acura TSX Wagon

2010-2013 Acura ZDX

2010-2012 Honda Accord

2010-2015 Honda Crosstour

2010-2011 Honda Civic

2010-2011 Honda CR-V

2010-2011 Honda Element

2014 Honda FCX Clarity

2010-2013 Honda Fit

2014 Honda Fit EV

2010-2014 Honda Insight

2010-2015 Honda Pilot

2010-2014 Honda Ridgeline

 

In 2016 the government recalled Takata airbags because the inflators did not contain a desiccant (a drying agent)  to absorb moisture.  The fourth phase of scheduled Takata airbag recalls incudes the cars mentioned in the above list.  https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/topic/takata

Honda is issuing the recall now instead of waiting until December due to the progress they have made with existing recall repairs.  Honda states that the owners who had their driver-side airbag inflators replaced will need to bring their cars back to have the passenger front inflators replaced.  The recall notices will be mailed in November.  You can contact Honda at 888-234-2138 if you own one of these vehicles.

 

 

Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

Are all Minivans the same?

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Are all Minivans the same?

 

The IIHS, or better known  as  the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,  has four ratings with regards to vehicles.  They are:  Good, Acceptable, Marginal and Poor.  During crashes, some minivans fare better than others at protecting passenger-side occupants.

 

Three minivans were tested:  Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and the Toyota Sienna.

https://www.businessinsider.com/minivan-comparo-honda-odyssey-toyota-sienna-chrysler-pacifica-2017-9

 

After being tested for driver and passenger side protection, the Honda Odyssey earned a Good rating.  The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children)  car seat anchors in the Honda Odyssey received top scores.

 

The Chrysler Pacifica earned an Acceptable rating.  Although the van’s structure was rated marginal for potential risk on the passenger’s side, it received a Good overall for small-overlap front crash. As far as the LATCH is concerned, it was rated Marginal.

 

The Toyota Sienna received the worst score of the three minivans tested, and was only given a Poor for the passenger side.  The driver’s side was rated Acceptable.

 

https://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/best-boxes-every-minivan-ranked-from-worst-to-best

 

 

Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

 

 

 

Do you have an “Earth Dreams” Honda Engine?

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Do you have an “Earth Dreams” Honda engine?

What exactly is an “Earth Dreams” engine and what does it do? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_advanced_technology  The name of this engine is not so much about what technology does but the goal of environmental performance mixed with the fun of driving, creating a smooth and efficient ride.  It also increases both city and highway fuel economy.  Honda achieved this through cylinder deactivation technology, which means the engine runs off three cylinders with the others aren’t needed.

Recently a lawsuit was filed against Honda alleging that the 2015-2018 Honda CR-V’s and 2016-2018 Honda Civics have 1.5 liter, 2-liter and 2.4 liter direct injection engines are defective.  The lawsuit includes all former and current owners as well as lessees of these Honda vehicles.

One of the plaintiffs purchased a new 2017 Honda CR-V in July of 2017 that had an Earth Dreams Engine.  A few months later, the plaintiff’s wife was driving the vehicle went it went into a limp mode thus triggering the warning lights to come on.  The vehicle was towed to the dealership and the repairman found the engine oil level was too high.  The dealer kept the car for two weeks to replace the engine oil and filter.

Around the time the CR-V had 6,800 miles, the plaintiff smelled gas coming from the vehicle.  They then took it back to the dealer who replaced the oil and filter again.  At 7,600 miles the plaintiff stated the oil level was too high. http://www.hondaproblems.com/trends/crv-oil-contamination/  The technician stated “changed oil and filter.  Oil was about 1qt. over full.  Honda is in the process of creating a solution.” At 8,900 miles the plaintiff noticed the oil had fuel in it.  And again the technicians replaced the oil and filter.

After contacting Honda, the plaintiff says Honda admits a problem exists but they don’t have a solution to the problem.  He is also claiming that Honda hid the fact that the Earth Dreams engines are susceptible to defects that causes fuel to enter the engine oil which damages the bearings and engines permanently.  The oil then decreases its thickness and along with premature wear causes the CR-V SUV and Civic models to stall and fail while driving.  Once the engines aren’t properly lubricated due to loss of thickness, there is too much strain on the engines when under higher loads.  The lawsuit also states that the rotating assemblies and other engine parts can’t handle the pressure without enough oil.

Even though the vehicles are covered by the powertrain warranties, Honda has not fixed the problem.  Honda has blamed some owners for not driving the vehicles for longer distances. Honda has not recalled the CR-Vs and Civics in order to repair the engine problems. And no offers of compensation or refunds have been made.

Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

Hyundai and Kia Engine Fires

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Hyundai and Kia Engine Fires

In recent years Hyundai and Kai Theta II engine fires have occurred in more than 400 vehicles, with and without collisions.

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) began an investigation in May of 2017 into Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with Theta II engines.  This investigation came after the September 2015 recall by Hyundai  http://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2015/hyundai-recalls-cars-engine-fires.shtml  for 470,000 model year 2011-2012 Sonatas equipped with 2 and 2.4 liter Theta II engines.  In 2017 Hyundai expanded the recall.  This included 572,000 vehicles with Theta II engines. The 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe Sport vehicles were included in this list, all having problems  with metal debris.

In the NHTSA investigation, the NHTSA said it was concerned that Hyundai and Kia possibly did  not correct the engine problems fast enough after knowing the problems existed.  Hyundai stated that due to manufacturing problems the metallic debris around the engine crankshaft entered the engine oil.  The result was damage to the connecting rod bearings.

Kia informed the NHTSA about a recall in which the Theta engine bearings wore out too early and caused the engines to seize.   More than 618,000 model year 2011-2014 Kia Optima, 2012-2014 Sorento and the 2011-2013 Sportage models were included in this. http://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2017/kia-recalls-optima-sorento-sportage-engines-seize.shtml

But the recall wasn’t ordered when Hyundai first recalled its cars.  Kia stated the reason for this was because the Theta II engines in the Kia were not built on the same production line as Hyundai and had different problems than Hyundai.

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) was concerned with fires in the Hyundai and Kia vehicles that were involved in the past recalls.  They then petitioned NHTSA to investigate  this matter. https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2018/hyundai-kia-engine-fires-should-be-investigated.shtml

CAS stated that there were engine fires when no crashes were involved.

Non-collision fires reported in model year 2011-2014 vehicles outfitted with Theta II engines included:

2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata: 47 fires

2011-201 Kia Optima:  33 fires

2011-2014 Kia Sorrento:  30 fires

2011-2014 Hyundai Santa Fe:  10 fires

 

Interestingly enough, the CAS found that three of those models were made at the same Georgia assembly plant.  The CAS stated the high number of fires in Hyundai and Kia cars were not

normal.  However, they do admit non-collision fires can happen in any newer car because electrical current is always moving through various systems.

Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.

SUV Crash Test Results

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Americans love trucks and SUV’s.  Despite rising fuel prices, we still love our roomy, chunky wagons with room for our kids, groceries, etc.  Read any recent vehicle sales report or manufacturer earnings release and it becomes obvious that the market heavily favors buying and leasing SUV’s and trucks over sedans, generally speaking.

Of interest and special note are the recently released crash test safety result for various makes & models of SUV’s.  Most of us feel that not only do we gain additional cargo space and passenger capacity, but we assume that since the vehicle is larger and heavier, that it is also somehow safer.  While this may be true in some cases, it does not generally apply to all makes / brands.

Many vehicle brands boast 5 star NHTSA crash safety test results –  including BMW, Volvo, Toyota / Lexus, GM (several brands) and Ford.  However, recent 2018 data suggests that some of the previously high-rated models show weakness during a certain type of passenger-side frontal collision test – one where the vehicle collides with a stationary object on the front passenger side.  Surprisingly, Ford Explorer and Jeep Cherokee suffer from, design weakness in this type of collision.  Read more details here :  https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2018/suv-crash-test-ratings-2018-models.shtml

Sure, most of us don’t shop for that new SUV with crash safety at the top of the list, although many of us believe that they’re among the safest vehicles on the road.  While that may generally be true, some will fare better than others, and it always pays to check the data beforehand to know exactly whats been found in crash safety testing.

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Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.