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Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) and Lemon Law

What are Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) and how do they affect Lemon Law?

Automobile manufacturers and dealerships regularly use computers to diagnose and fix vehicles. A common way they identify issues with a vehicle is to check the vehicle’s internal computer for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs).

DTCs are error codes that are used by technicians to assist in identifying the cause of a particular customer’s concern.

Most vehicles’ internal computers are designed to electronically monitor errors within a certain cycle of diagnostic checks (known as “enabling criteria”).

If the computer finds an error, the DTC is triggered and stored within the vehicle’s computer modules.  A dealership technician may then retrieve these codes to assist in diagnosing the cause of the symptoms experienced by the customer’s vehicle.

So for instance, say a customer brings their vehicle to the dealership complaining of issues with the vehicle’s transmission being jerky and unresponsive. In most cases, a dealership technician will then check the vehicle’s internal computer for any stored DTCs and if they are found it will help the technician diagnose and pinpoint the source(s) of the transmission issue.  

But what happens when a customer complains of an issue and no DTC is found? Many times this is exactly the case. This is problematic because the dealer and manufacturer will use the lack of a DTC as a defense that the vehicle had no issues, when there clearly are issues with the vehicle.

If you would like help figuring out how a DTC may affect your Lemon Law Claim, contact us today for an evaluation.

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Lemon Law Transmission Problems in Acura TLX

Have you had any of the following problems in your Acura TLX?

  • Jerking
  • Slipping
  • Hesitation
  • Banging into gear
  • Stalling
  • Transmission failure

Your vehicle may be equipped with the same ZF 9 Speed transmission which has been the subject of class action lawsuits in other vehicles.   Class actions can both help and hurt the value of your individual claim.

But while class actions often result in coupons or small cash payments, if you have a good lemon law claim you may be entitled to receive all your money back, or more.   

The founder of our firm used to work in-house for auto makers, which can be a big advantage in these cases.  

There is a fee shifting provision in the law which allows us to take cases free of charge to you.  If you have a good case we will front the costs and our time.

We only get paid by the manufacturer if we achieve a recovery for you.  

If you think you may have a lemon, contact us today for a fast, free and confidential evaluation.

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Lemon Law Transmission problems in Honda Pilot

Have you had any of the following problems in your Honda Pilot?

  • Jerking
  • Slipping
  • Hesitation
  • Banging into gear
  • Stalling
  • Transmission failure

Your vehicle may be equipped with the same ZF 9 Speed transmission which has been the subject of class action lawsuits in other vehicles.   Class actions can both help and hurt the value of your individual claim.

But while class actions often result in coupons or small cash payments, if you have a good lemon law claim you may be entitled to receive all your money back, or more.   

The founder of our firm used to work in-house for auto makers, which can be a big advantage in these cases.  

There is a fee shifting provision in the law which allows us to take cases free of charge to you.  If you have a good case we will front the costs and our time.

We only get paid by the manufacturer if we achieve a recovery for you.  

If you think you may have a lemon, contact us today for a fast, free and confidential evaluation.

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Lemon Law Transmission problems in Land Rover Discovery Sport

Have you had any of the following problems in your Land Rover Discovery Sport?

  • Jerking
  • Slipping
  • Hesitation
  • Banging into gear
  • Stalling
  • Transmission failure

Your vehicle may be equipped with the same ZF 9 Speed transmission which has been the subject of class action lawsuits in other vehicles.   Class actions can both help and hurt the value of your individual claim.

But while class actions often result in coupons or small cash payments, if you have a good lemon law claim you may be entitled to receive all your money back, or more.   

The founder of our firm used to work in-house for auto makers, which can be a big advantage in these cases.  

There is a fee shifting provision in the law which allows us to take cases free of charge to you.  If you have a good case we will front the costs and our time.

We only get paid by the manufacturer if we achieve a recovery for you.  

If you think you may have a lemon, contact us today for a fast, free and confidential evaluation.

Contact Us

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Lemon Law Transmission problems in Range Rover Evoque

Have you had any of the following problems in your Range Rover Evoque?

  • Jerking
  • Slipping
  • Hesitation
  • Banging into gear
  • Stalling
  • Transmission failure

Your vehicle may be equipped with the same ZF 9 Speed transmission which has been the subject of class action lawsuits in other vehicles.   Class actions can both help and hurt the value of your individual claim.

But while class actions often result in coupons or small cash payments, if you have a good lemon law claim you may be entitled to receive all your money back, or more.   

The founder of our firm used to work in-house for auto makers, which can be a big advantage in these cases.  

There is a fee shifting provision in the law which allows us to take cases free of charge to you.  If you have a good case we will front the costs and our time.

We only get paid by the manufacturer if we achieve a recovery for you.  

If you think you may have a lemon, contact us today for a fast, free and confidential evaluation.

Contact Us

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Lemon Law Transmission Problems in Fiat 500X

Have you had any of the following problems in your Fiat 500X?

  • Jerking
  • Slipping
  • Hesitation
  • Banging into gear
  • Stalling
  • Transmission failure

Your vehicle may be equipped with the same ZF 9 Speed transmission which has been the subject of class action lawsuits in other vehicles.   Class actions can both help and hurt the value of your individual claim.

But while class actions often result in coupons or small cash payments, if you have a good lemon law claim you may be entitled to receive all your money back, or more.   

The founder of our firm used to work in-house for auto makers, which can be a big advantage in these cases.  

There is a fee shifting provision in the law which allows us to take cases free of charge to you.  If you have a good case we will front the costs and our time.

We only get paid by the manufacturer if we achieve a recovery for you.  

If you think you may have a lemon, contact us today for a fast, free and confidential evaluation.

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Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon – Lemon Law Issues

lemon Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck

We have noticed a trend in potential lemon law issues in recent model year Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks.  The current version of these mid-size pickup trucks was launched for model year 2015.

Many of these trucks have exhibited transmission problems, with the following descriptions:

Sluggish Hesitation
Will not downshift Losing ability to drive forward (reverse only)
Stuck in gear Transmission failure
Chugging

There have also been other noted problems in these trucks, especially with the power steering, engine, fuel system and exhaust system, among others.  

Additionally, there have been Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) and Recalls issued which affect these concerns, and prove that GM is aware of them.  

You may have lemon law rights if you have had as few as two complaints for these issues, or for any other problems.  

Those rights survive even if you no longer have the truck.  

If you think your truck may be a lemon, contact us today for a fast, free and confidential analysis.  

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What are Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) and how do they affect Lemon Law?

Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) are technical publications from an automobile manufacturer that identify commonly observed issues in a particular range of vehicles and provide diagnostic and repair instruction.

TSBs are used to explain to dealerships and other repair facilities how to repair known issues in a vehicle.  When there are numerous TSBs for the same issue, it may show that the manufacturer is constantly assessing, analyzing and updating repair procedures for a persistent problem.  TSBs can also relate to Recalls.

If you would like help figuring out out a TSB repair may affect your lemon law claim, contact us today for an evaluation.  

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Update: FCA (Jeep – Chrysler – Ram) ZF 9HP Class Action Settlement

We have previously written about how class actions affect individual lemon law claims and about the FCA ZF 9HP class action specifically.  This is an update.  

It appears the class settlement was in fact approved by the Court, or at least that FCA took action on it.  A company called Dahl Administration LLC is administering the settlement claims process, including notification about the right to opt out.  

Choosing to remain in the settlement and receive a smaller cash payment or coupon, or to opt out and potentially seek a buyback in a lemon law claim is an important decision.  If you do nothing and remain in the settlement, it is possible Dahl Administration will determine that you receive no cash compensation whatsoever. Missing the chance to opt out is something we have seen consumers regret once they understand what their lemon law rights are.  

What’s interesting is that it appears the settlement was only approved at the end of November 2018, and yet the opt-out deadline was January 2, 2019.  This means that FCA and Dahl Administration only had slightly more than a month to notify class members of the important effects of the class settlement on their individual rights.  Further, that notice period just happened to overlap three major holidays.

What are the chances that consumers were properly notified?  Furthermore, what are the chances that FCA cares? They will surely argue that lemon law rights were wiped out by the failure to opt out, whether the notice was viable or not.

In answering these questions, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Check out this opt out notice.

Granillo, et al. v. FCA US LLC, et al. Opt Out Notice

Note the postmark date (1/14/19) versus the opt out date (1/2/19).   It would be tough to opt out two weeks after the deadline has passed, unless you have a time machine handy.  

Somehow, we don’t think think it was lost on FCA or Dahl Administration that they were mailing notice of the opt out deadline after it was impossible to meet.  

Our office has seen FCA use other class settlements administered by Dahl Administration to try to defeat lemon law claims.  Often consumers are shocked when they learned that they were supposedly notified in advance.

So what should you do if you receive a late opt out notice?  First, make sure to save it. Documentation is critical. Second, all of the facts of your claim have to be taken into account to determine how the settlement may affect your individual lemon law claims. Because the opt out deadline is technically already passed, the sooner you act the better.  Contact us today if you would like a quick evaluation.

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P.S. The same ZF 9 Speed transmission involved in the Granillo class action is also in 2014-2017 Range Rover Evoque, 2015-2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport, certain trims of 2015-2016 Honda Pilot and 2015-2017 Acura TLX and in Fiat 500X.

Do I need to own the car for lemon law?

The answer is no. The landmark case of Martinez v. Kia Motors America, Inc. stated that “[n]owhere does the Act provide that the consumer must own or possess the vehicle at all times in order to avail himself or herself of these remedies.” The lemon law only requires the consumer to give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle.

This means that you can bring a lemon law claim after you trade in or sell the vehicle, or after the lease ends.

Remember though that the vehicle, along with the repair orders, is the most important piece of evidence in a lemon law case. Discovery and investigation into the vehicle’s use and condition after it leaves your possession is important to the facts. The amount you received for the vehicle or the costs you absorbed affect your damages.

If you choose to proceed with a claim without the vehicle, be sure you understand how the case may be affected.

If you have questions about a potential claim, contact us today for a free evaluation.

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