Thursday, March 2, 2017

Is Negative Equity Keeping You in a Lemon Vehicle?

Reportedly 32% of new car buyers are underwater on their loans when trading in a vehicle. This is a staggering increase from 13.9% in 2009.

What exactly is negative equity?  It is created when you owe more on a vehicle than it is worth, trade the vehicle in, and then roll the balance of the loan into the purchase of another vehicle.  

Here is an example: You decide to trade your vehicle in on a newer model.  The loan payoff is $20,000.  However, your vehicle is only worth $15,000.  You have negative equity of $5,000.  And, in most instances, even if the dealer tells you that they are paying off your loan, the dealer will add that $5,000 to the purchase price of your new vehicle.  As a result, your loan and your monthly payments for the new car will increase.  And, the longer the loan, the longer it will take to reach positive equity in the vehicle.

When you have a defective lemon vehicle, negative equity can put you between a rock and hard place.  You may be concerned for your safety because if the defects, but owe too much money on the loan to be able to trade the defective lemon vehicle in.

Do you have a defective lemon vehicle that the dealer cannot fix and you cannot get rid of on trade?  Feel free to call Burdge Law Office on our Toll Free Hotline, 1.888.331.6422, to see if we can help you out of your "lemon" vehicle.


Beth Wells
www.BurdgeLaw.com
www.OhioLemonLaw.com
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com

Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 13 Years Running
  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: A car dealer’s affirmative duty to disclose in an “as-is” sale to a consumer in Kentucky

In Kentucky, a car dealer is required to disclose prior damage sustained by a motor vehicle to a purchaser.  

Pursuant to KRS 186A.540, "(1) An individual, or a dealer required to be licensed pursuant to KRS Chapter 190, shall disclose all damages to a motor vehicle: (a) Of which the individual or the dealer has direct knowledge; (b) Which result in repairs or repair estimates that exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000); and (c) That occur while the motor vehicle is in the individual's or the dealer's possession and prior to delivery to a purchaser. (2) Disclosure under this section shall be in writing and shall require the purchaser's signature acknowledging the disclosure of damages." Additionally, courts in Kentucky have expanded the application of the statute to hold that a Kentucky car dealer must disclose the damage prior to sale even where the damage occurred before the dealer came into possession of the vehicle. Keeton v. Lexington Truck Sales, Inc. (Ky.App. 2008) 275 S.W.3d 723. As the court explained in Keeton v. Lexington Truck Sales, Inc., to interpret KRS 186A.540 otherwise would be inconsistent with the legislative intent of KRS 186A.540 and "enable unscrupulous dealers to keep the secret that the dealer is selling a damaged vehicle".

Therefore, disclosure of prior damage is required by a Kentucky car dealer under KRS 186A.540 where: (1) a dealer has direct knowledge of the damage, (2) the damage resulted in repairs or repair estimates in excess of $1,000, and (3) the damage occurred prior to delivery of the vehicle to the purchaser.

What kinds of damage must be disclosed? Repairs that must be disclosed include any types of repairs, whether body repairs, mechanical repairs, or otherwise. Smith v. General Motors Corp. (Ky.App. 1998) 979 S.W.2d 127.  

How must the damage be disclosed? The disclosure must be in writing and the purchaser must sign the written disclosure. KRS 186A.540(2).

What if you purchased the motor vehicle for business use? The law still applies to you. In fact, a Kentucky Appellate Court has held that a commercial purchaser is within the class of persons intended to be protected by KRS 186A.540. Keeton v. Lexington Truck Sales, Inc. (Ky.App. 2008) 275 S.W.3d 723.

Has a Kentucky car dealer failed to disclose to you more than $1,000 in damage to a motor vehicle that you purchased from them? Contact the dealer and see if they will take the vehicle back and give you your money back. If not, then contact the Kentucky Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office, 888-432-9257, http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/Pages/default.aspx. Or, you may want to contact a private attorney who specializes in Lemon Law in Kentucky. Feel free to call Burdge Law Office on our Toll Free Hotline, 1.888.331.6422, to see if we can help you out of your "lemon" vehicle.

Beth Wells
www.BurdgeLaw.com
www.OhioLemonLaw.com
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com

Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 13 Years Running

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: A car dealer’s affirmative duty to disclose in an “as-is” sale to a consumer in Ohio

 The Ohio Advertisement and Sale of Motor Vehicles Rule and the Consumer Act require a car dealer to affirmatively disclose the following to a consumer before selling the consumer a motor vehicle:
1. Prior damage to a new vehicle that the dealer knows about, where the retail cost of repair exceeds or exceeded 6% of the vehicle's MSRP. OAC 109:4-3-16(B)(14);
2. The fact that a motor vehicle has previously been titled as a salvage vehicle when the car dealer knows about it. OAC 109:4-3-16(B)(29);
3. Obvious defects in a motor vehicle at the time of sale whether or not the car dealer knows about them. Muench v. Eagle Savings Assn. & Hassan Motors, Inc. (C.P. Hamilton, 3/30/87) Case No. A 850744, Filed as PIF #861 on 5/5/87.

What kinds of damage must be disclosed?  Any damage to a new motor vehicle, excluding damage to glass, tires and bumpers replaced by identical manufacturer's original equipment. Or, damage to a used motor vehicle which caused the vehicle to be titled as a salvage vehicle, or damage to a vehicle which is substantial and obvious.  

What if the damage occurred before the dealer came into possession of the vehicle? This does not change the rules at all. The Ohio Advertisement and Sale of Motor Vehicles Rule and the Consumer Act do not distinguish between damage that occurred before or during the dealership's possession of the vehicle.

How must the damage be disclosed?  There is no requirement that the disclosures be made by the car dealer in writing. So, they can either be in writing or orally.

What if I purchased the motor vehicle primarily for business use?  If the primary purpose of your purpose was not personal use, then neither the Ohio Advertisement and Sale of Motor Vehicles Rule nor the Consumer Act apply to you. Therefore, the car dealer would not be required to disclose any of this information to you.  However, you may still have claims under a common law fraud standard, or under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Has on Ohio car dealer failed to disclose significant damage or defects in a vehicle that you purchased from them for consumer use? Contact the dealer and see if they will take the vehicle back and give you your money back. If not, then you can contact the Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office, 30 E. Broad St., 14th floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3428, 1-877-244-6446. Or, you may want to contact a private attorney who specializes in Car Sales Fraud in Ohio.  Feel free to call Burdge Law Office on our Toll Free Hotline, 1.888.331.6422, to see if we can help you out of your "lemon" vehicle.


Beth Wells
www.BurdgeLaw.com
www.OhioLemonLaw.com
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com

Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 13 Years Running

Friday, January 13, 2017

All New 2018 Ford EcoSport

The new 2018 Ford EcoSport, a compact cross-over SUV, will be joining the Ford lineup in early 2018.  


The vehicle will reportedly offer the choice between a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and will come standard with a 6 speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and automatic start/stop.  

Additionally, the vehicle will reportedly feature an infotainment system with an 8 inch screen that can be operated with pinch and zoom motions.  Vehicle fuel level and odometer readings will reportedly be viewable from a mobile app that the owner can download, and the app reportedly will allow owner to remotely start and lock the vehicle.

The most interesting feature, however, is the unconventional side-hinge gate for opening the rear hatch, which may make it tough to access the rear compartment when parking on the street in close quarters.

Reportedly, the EcoSport will be offered in four trims: S, SE, SES, and Titanium.

Having problems with your new Ford car, truck, or SUV that has been in the shop multiple times but is still not fixed?  You may want to call Ford direct and ask Ford to take your vehicle back and give you your money back or to make it right in some other way.  If Ford still won't do anything, and the vehicle was purchased or repaired in Ohio or Kentucky, then you can call Burdge Law Office on our Toll Free Hotline, 1.888.331.6422, to see if we can help you out of your "lemon" vehicle.


Beth Wells
www.BurdgeLaw.com
www.OhioLemonLaw.com
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com

Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 12 Years Running

Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 Marks 7 Years Straight of New Car and Light Truck Sales Increases in the US


New car and light truck sales are up again in 2016.  The final tally for 2016 was reportedly 17,539,052 cars and light trucks, more than 56,000 over the 2015 record, marking a seventh straight year for new car and light truck sales increases– the longest streak in the United States since 1909-1917.    

A major contributor to the sales increases was a strong December.  The December volume increases for some major manufacturers are reportedly: 
- GM up 10% (Chevrolet 13%, GMC 5.8%, Cadillac 3.2%, Buick 2.8%)
- Nissan up 9.7% (8.3% Nissan, 21% Infiniti)
- Honda up 4.8% (6.9% Honda, 1.9% Acura)
- Toyota up 2% (2.6% Toyota, -0.5% Lexus)
- Ford up .1% (-0.8% Ford, 18% Lincoln)

However, December wasn’t free from volume declines, with some major manufacturers reporting the following drops in volume: 
- Fiat Chrysler down 10% (-10% FCA US, -6% Jeep, -34% Fleet, 10% Ram)
- Mazda down -1.8%
- Kia down -0.2%
- Mini down -7%

Among other brands, Kia, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Subaru, Audi and Porsche reportedly set annual U.S. sales records in 2016.  

2016 also reportedly marked another increase in market volume for light trucks, led by crossovers.  In fact, Nissan reported that its Rogue surpassed the Altima sedan in 2016 in sales volume.

What to the sales increases mean?  Likely strengthening consumer confidence, as well as an increase in the overall number of “lemon” vehicles.

Do you have a new vehicle that has been in the shop repeated times for warranty repairs in Ohio or Kentucky, but is still not fixed?  If so, call our Toll Free Hotline, 1.888.331.6422, to see if we can help you out of your defective vehicle today.


Beth Wells
www.BurdgeLaw.com
www.OhioLemonLaw.com
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com

Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 12 Years Running

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Honda Water Leak Recall

Honda is recalling certain model year 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD vehicles manufactured April 1, 2016 to August 11, 2016, because water may enter the rear wiring harness through the connector located under the truck bed drain hole, possibly causing the connection terminals to corrode.  According to Honda, corrosion of the wiring harness can cause increased electrical resistance, unexpectedly activating the vehicle stability assist (VSA) system, and increasing the risk of a crash.


According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration ("NHTSA"), Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear wiring harness and related components, replacing them as necessary, all free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 24, 2017. 

Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138, and should reference recall KD3.  Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safecar.gov.

To read more about the recall, click here.

If you have a 2017 Honda Ridgeline, then check to see if it is included in the recall and make sure to get it into a Honda authorized dealer for repair.

Do you have a 2017 Honda Ridgeline that has been in the shop repeated times for warranty repairs in Ohio or Kentucky, but is still not fixed?  If so, call our Toll Free Hotline, 1.888.331.6422, to see if we can help you out of your defective vehicle today.


Beth Wells
www.BurdgeLaw.com
www.OhioLemonLaw.com
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com

Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 12 Years Running

Friday, December 9, 2016

Negative Equity - Know what you're getting into before it's too late!

 Negative equity can leave you upside down and under water in a car loan, especially if your car ends up being defective.  Negative equity can be financially devastating, so make sure that you know what you are getting into before you trade in a vehicle with a loan on it.

What exactly is negative equity?  It is created when you owe more on a vehicle than it is worth, trade the vehicle in, and then roll the balance of the loan into another vehicle purchase.  Here is an example: You decide to trade your vehicle in on a newer model.  The loan payoff is $20,000.  However, your value is only worth $15,000.  You have negative equity of $5,000.  And, in most instances, even if the dealer tells you that they are paying off your loan, the dealer will add that $5,000 to the purchase price of your new vehicle.  As a result, your loan and your monthly payments for the new car will increase.  And, the longer the loan, the longer it will take to reach positive equity in the vehicle.

Understanding how negative equity works in a vehicle trade-in can help you make a better informed choice about purchasing and financing a car, and help you know when a car dealer's ads or statements regarding your trade-in are misleading.

Here are some tips to help you avoid negative equity:

1. Find out what your vehicle is worth before starting negotiations with the dealership.  You can go to websites by Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, or NADA, or take your vehicle to your local CarMax for a written appraisal.

2. Consider holding off on the purchase of the new car until you have paid down the loan on your current vehicle to an amount close to its projected trade-in value.  You may even want to pay a bit more monthly on the principal to speed up the process.

3. Read the purchase contract very carefully and ask the dealer how the negative equity is being treated in your purchase.  If the dealer tells you that it is paying off the loan on your vehicle, but they are really making you pay the negative equity, then it will be included on your sales contract.  The negative equity might appear in a "negative equity disclosure" box which states that it was added to the purchase price, it may be an itemized addition before the final "out the door" price, or it may be calculated by addition of the loan payoff to the purchase, less the trade-in allowance that the dealer is really giving you for the car.


Beth Wells
www.BurdgeLaw.com
www.OhioLemonLaw.com
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 12 Years Running