In fact, many motor vehicle manufacturers actually have a written agreement with their authorized dealers on how to handle intermittent problems or model wide problems that they do not know how to fix-- don't handle them at all. And, under these agreements, the manufacturer typically can "cancel" the dealer's franchise agreement if they fail to follow the rules set by the manufacturer in performing warranty repairs.
So, if you take your vehicle into the shop for repairs under warranty for an intermittent problem, it is highly unlikely that the dealership will even attempt a repair under warranty. This is because most car dealers are required by manufacturers to verify or witness the defect occur before they can do any repairs under warranty. And, if they do not verify the defect in a short test drive, then the vehicle will likely be returned to you unrepaired with "no problem found" written on the repair invoice. This can be anywhere from frustrating to frightening for a consumer, depending on the severity of the defect.
Or, if you take your vehicle into the shop for repairs under warranty for a defect that is a model wide problem that the manufacturer does not know how to fix, then you will likely be told that the vehicle is "operating as designed" because another vehicle of the same year, make, and model on the dealership's lot exhibits the same known defect. Again, this can be anywhere from frustrating to frightening for a consumer, depending on the severity of the defect.
From where I sit as a lemon law attorney, the stance is puzzling to me. What many motor vehicle manufacturers don't seem to realize is that if they actually let their dealers try to repair that "hard to find" or "hard to repair" defect, most consumers would be more forgiving, slower to file a lawsuit, and grateful for the help and the effort. Instead, I routinely see many lifelong, brand loyal consumers refuse to ever buy that brand of vehicle ever again. They are upset, angry, and looking for an explanation. All they want is their vehicle to be fixed. Instead, what they hear, the manufacturer telling them that they are imagining the problem or that the problem is simply normal when they know full well that it is not.
If you have been given the run around by your dealership and told "no problem found" or "operating as designed", and the problem is not fixed, consider talking to a lemon law attorney in your state. You may be able to get out of that "lemon" vehicle yet. Click here for a free online 50 state list of consumer law attorneys.
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