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.

Ford Recalls Millions of F-150 and F-250 Trucks for Door Latch Issues

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Ford Motor Co recently announced that it will recall 1.34 million 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks in North America to add water shields to side door latches at a cost of $267 million.  Ford said the safety recall is due to a latch which can freeze, or a bent or kinked actuation cable in the affected vehicles, that may result in a door not opening or closing.  Customers are to be notified next month but did not have a timetable for when parts will be available.  Dealers supposedly will install water shields over the door latches and inspect and repair door latch cables if needed.

Ford has now recalled more than 5 million vehicles for many different door latch-related issues since 2016.  Also, this new recall is different from prior ones.  Ford communicated to its dealers warning that some 2015-2017 Ford F-150 trucks could have inoperative latches during freezing temperatures and suggested installing a water shield to circumvent the problem.  The company said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the issue but said because of the fault, the door may appear closed, increasing the risk of the door opening while driving.

Ford previously recalled approximately 4 million vehicles for door latch issues in six separate recalls since 2014, including 2.4 million vehicles recalled in August 2016.  In September 2016, Ford said it was taking a $640 million charge for its expanded side-door latch recalls.

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.

FORD CLASS ACTION UPDATE: FORD FOCUS AND FIESTA POWERSHIFT TRANSMISSION SETTLEMENT

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We at The CaliforiaLemonLawExpert.com  are assisting consumers who purchased or leased a 2011 through 2016 Ford Fiesta and 2012 through 2016 Ford Focus equipped with Ford’s Dual Clutch or “PowerShift” Transmission.

The lawsuit, entitled Vargas, et al. v. Ford Motor Company (Case No. CV12-08388 AB (FFMx)), has been resolved by a proposed settlement that has achieved preliminary approval by the United States District Court for the Central District of California (“the Settlement”).

If you are a current or former owner/lessee of a 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta or a 2012-2016 Ford Focus with a PowerShift Transmission (the “Class Vehicles”), you may be entitled to obtain benefits provided by the Settlement and the Orders of the Court.

What are your rights?
You may be entitled to receive money or other benefits that the Settlement provides. If you did not opt out of the Class, you are bound by the settlement results and can no longer sue Ford directly for the same legal claims alleged in the lawsuit.

What benefits does the Settlement provide?

  • If your Class Vehicle’s transmission is malfunctioning, you may be entitled to a repair or a repurchase of your vehicle, through an expedited binding arbitration program.
  • If an authorized Ford dealer performed three or more transmission Software Flashes on your vehicle while you owned or leased it, you may be entitled to up to $600 in cash payments.
  • If an authorized Ford dealer replaced three or more qualifying hardware parts in your PowerShift Transmission while you owned or leased the vehicle, you may be entitled to up to $2,325 in cash payments or up to $4,650 in Vehicle Discount Certificates.
  • If you paid for a repair to you PowerShift Transmission that you think should have been covered by warranty, you may be entitled to reimbursement.
  • If your vehicle was manufactured after June 5, 2013, and two or more clutch replacements were performed on your vehicle under warranty and you had to pay for a clutch replacement after warranty, you may be entitled to reimbursement.

How can we help?
Patrea Bullock and the CaliforniaLemonLawExpert.com can and will submit your claim.  We will advocate for you and work with you and Ford to make sure that you receive all compensation to which you are entitled.

What is the cost to you?
There is zero cost for you to have the CaliforniaLemonLawExpert.com  advocating for your rights ; the manufacturer is responsible for the fees.  Therefore, there’s no reason to hesitate in obtaining our help to ensure you receive your entitlement.

For more information about the case and the Settlement, please contact us at (916) 672-8443 and we will be happy to discuss your situation.

Subaru Engine Tuning Problems

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A recent lawsuit was filed against Subaru with regards to engine tuning problems.  The 2014-2016 Subaru Forester XT, Subaru WRX , WRX STI cars and SUV’s have engines too highly tuned.  This causes the engines to stall or surge.

A 2016 recall was ordered to fix the problems with the ignition timing.  The plaintiff in the case states this recall was a cover to secretly update the operating systems of the vehicles.  By doing so, these repairs de-tuned the engines in an effort to fix engine damage that had already been done.  The plaintiff is claiming that Subaru named the recall an emissions recall, thus ensuring an owner wouldn’t be able to renew the vehicle registration until the recall work was complete.

She is also claiming Subaru secretly installed when the vehicles were installed and did not warn Forester XT and WRX owners about this.

The lawsuit states drivers complained about their vehicles that sudden acceleration  or stall.  And when they took their cars in to be repaired, the technician would tell them they couldn’t find anything wrong with the car.

The plaintiff brought her 2014 Subaru Forester XT into the dealership in 2016 for the mandatory emissions recall.  While at the dealership, the plaintiff claims Subaru re-tuned the engine in an effort to fix the engine being tuned too tightly.  And the technicians  did not inform the owner that the engine would be re-tuned.  This caused the vehicle to surge and stall.  The vehicle went back to the dealership and the automaker initially refused to correct the engine problems but then finally offered to replace the engine after the plaintiff kept complaining. After being told the replacement engine would not be available for months, Subaru would not replace or buy back the Forester XT.

The lawsuit states engine tuning problems cause serious safety issues as well as decreased vehicle values.

 

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.

Chevrolet Cruze : Cruise Worthy ?

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This week, we round up what has turned out to be a fairly substantial number of complaints from owners of the Chevrolet Cruze.   If you are in the market for a compact sedan, you will no doubt come across this vehicle in your research.  The Chevrolet Cruze is marketed as a compact car for commuters,  boasting good fuel efficiency with its 1.4 / 1.6L engines, roomy interior, and comfortable ride.  It carries a relatively low asking price and therefore scores as a good seller in this particular class.  At a price point of $20k or less depending on features and dealer incentives, it’s no wonder this is a worthy contender in the compact class.

Recently, a number of folks are noticing ‘check engine’ lights coming on after only a few short miles driven.  Other complaints including rattles, water leaks from rain, loss of power / sluggish acceleration, and improper mixtures of fuel due to leaking into the oil pan (!) are just a few of the nightmarish incidents being reported.  Also, a common complaint is the huge blind spot that apparently exists, causing the driver unnecessary worry that a car in the adjacent lane is virtually invisible.  And in most of these cases, dealerships are a nightmare to deal with, according to those owners who are dealing with the problems.

If you own a Chevrolet Cruze and are experiencing problems while under warranty that the dealership cannot or will not fix, we are here to help you.  Contact the California Lemon Law Expert today for a free, no-cost assessment of your case.  Call us at 916-672-8443 and speak directly with a friendly, caring and knowledgeable attorney who will advise you on your case.  You will be glad you did !

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.

Our business is growing and our mission is simple : to educate you, fellow consumers, about the “Lemon Law”, and how it protects those who have found themselves stuck with that new car, truck, RV, motorcycle, etc, that just isn’t performing up to expectations.  Stay in the know, visit this site often and let us know if we can be of assistance. The initial consultation is free, and if you’re having a problem, it is well worth a few minutes of your time to understand your rights and how you can get the help you need.

 

 

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Hello !  This week, we’re going to focus on what we consider to be a vitally important topic that ALL of us, as drivers, need to be reminded of :  distracted driving and the dangers therein.

All of us face distractions when we drive.   Distractions these days are numerous and include flashy, brightly-lit electronic billboards, in-vehicle telematics / navigation systems, and of course, the most pesky distraction of all – our cell phones.  Have you been driving at night and been nearly ‘blinded’ by the brightness and intensity of some of the newer electronic billboards that are popping up on roadsides ? How about the distraction of the screen / telematics system on your own dashboard ?  Unfortunately, all of these ‘distractions’ can cause us to take our eyes off the road and to lose our ‘focus’ on the important task at hand – being safe and defensive drivers.

Of the many distractions we as drivers are facing, the cell phone probably presents the biggest risk.  Whether talking, texting, navigating, surfing, or snapping selfies (yep, we’ve actually seen it on the freeway !), the cell phone can cause major distractions, to the point where driving is no longer the focus of our attention.  That’s when problems can arise and accidents happen.  The risk of having a mishap increases dramatically when cell phones are used while driving.

The National Safety Council has a mission:  to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.  It is unfortunate to note that statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015.  Distractions such as those noted above are major contributors, and many are preventable.  This month is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Council provides many resources to help educate and remind us about the inherent dangers that distracted driving presents.  

Please, take a moment to reflect on the importance of the importance of staying focused while driving, and if you have teen drivers in your household, remind them to be safe and responsible behind the wheel.  It’s a positive message from which all of us benefit.

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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.

 

source:  The National Safety Council