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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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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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Lemon Problems with Jeep & Chrysler ZF 9HP Transmission

A Federal Court is considering approval of a class action settlement involving alleged Transmission Defects in certain Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) vehicles.  Affected models include 2014 Jeep Cherokee, 2015 Jeep Cherokee, 2015 Jeep Renegade, 2015 Chrysler 200, and 2015 Ram ProMaster City.

The alleged defects include harsh or erratic shifting, clunking, hesitation, banging into gear, malfunction indicator lights, and premature wear or failure of transmission components.

Among other consideration, the settlement proposes to give cash payments or trade-in vouchers according to the following schedule:

  Number of Transmission Related Complaints  

3

4-5

6 or More

  Cash Payment  

$400

$800

$2,000 

  Trade-In Voucher Value  

$1,000

$2,000

$4,000

Depending on the circumstances, however, the same number of complaints could entitle you to all your money back under an individual lemon law claim, even if you no longer own the vehicle.  However, if you do not take specific steps to opt out of the class action, you might only receive a few hundred dollars or a voucher coupon for the same claim.  In fact, if you do not opt out, and you miss a deadline, you might get nothing.   We have seen this happen to prospective clients.  

Our firm has previous experience working on the defense side of lemon law claims, as well as working in-house for a major automaker.  We know how these cases work from every angle. Because our fees are awarded by law, you do not have to pay us for working on your case.  And if you don’t achieve a recovery, we don’t get paid.

If you feel your vehicle may be a lemon, please contact us for a fast, free and confidential evaluation.

UPDATE 11/20/18: It appears the settlement has been approved.   The opt out deadline is January 2, 2018.  For assistance opting out of the settlement, please contact us immediately. 

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Class Actions and Lemon Law

How do class actions affect lemon law, and vice versa?

Lemon law clients often feel validated when they learn other people had the same problems in the same model vehicle.  This might be a symptom of the frustration of constantly being told them are imagining things by the manufacturer or dealer.  

But how do Lemon Law and class actions affect each other? The answers can be both subtle and dramatic.  

It’s important to remember that in a vacuum, other similar claims have no bearing on your Lemon Law claim.  To prove your claim, you simply need to show that you had a substantial problem that was not repaired within a reasonable number of attempts, or that defeated the essential purpose for which you bought your vehicle.  If you can do that, it doesn’t matter if your vehicle is the only one in the fleet that has the problem, or if all of them do.  

However, what we often see is manufacturers denying problems they know are common in their vehicles on a general basis.  If they know that nearly all their transmissions have a shifting defect, their defense that you must have been imagining it the 4 times you brought it into the shop becomes more suspect.  

In fact, it may rise above the level of incompetence and into willfulness–and that has a big impact on your lemon law claim.  First, it’s harder for them to deny. Second, the denying could lead to awards of civil penalties or punitive damages.

Recalls

Further, if the problem is widespread, the manufacturer should generally know about it before the consumer does, and should issue a recall. (Read more here about the effects of recalls on your lemon law claim.)  If they do not, or if the recall is ineffective, or provides too little too late, there could be cause for a class action.  

If a widespread issue of defects in material and workmanship, it could lead to a class action claim.  But what happens to your lemon law claim if it becomes part of a class action?  

From bad to worse

First, you should know that the class action can take the place of your individual lemon law claim.  If you have not opted out of the class, which usually requires that you take some sort of affirmative step like writing a letter (and keeping a copy of it–because trust us–the manufacturer is more likely to lose track of it), you may be left with whatever settlement or judgement is achieved by the class action suit.  

Second, you should know that if you have a lemon law claim, most likely whatever you would gain under the class action suit will be worth less.  Why is that?  Because with a lemon law case, the threshold remedy is repurchase of the vehicle.  Automotive consumer class actions rarely result in a repurchase. Most often they result in no more than a small amount of cash, or a coupon for a new purchase.  

Third–and it just keeps getting worse–you should know that it’s entirely possible a class action settlement will have a result that gives you nothing in place of the repurchase you might be entitled to under Lemon Law.  That’s right…it’s entirely possible you could get zero under the class action instead of all your money back under the individual lemon law claim.   

Example

For instance Fiat Chrysler recently had a class action settlement regarding modification of a component called the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) in Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models.  The component would fail, causing serious problems such as stalling or failing to start, and a host of other weird issues.  These could easily be lemon law issues–but all the class settlement gave was a recall (which would have been required even without the suit) and compensation for towing, repair and rental charges–which again should be required as a minimum even without the suit.  Finally, the claims period was so short, that may Jeep owners would actually not be provided those reimbursed towing charges until their car actually chose to stall, after the class settlement period. Score one for FCA, which all of a sudden has a legal defense to total lemons.1

Many class action results (usually settlements) have rules for compensation that stretch beyond what the law would require, damages awards which are far less, and perhaps worst of all–short claims periods that may slam shut before you even know you have a claim.  Or even before you’ve experienced any problems!

Feel any differently about class actions now?  You should. And you should also know that in the case of a chronic failure of a product, a weak class action can be a huge benefit to a manufacturer.  This is because it may create a defense to a lemon law claim where one would not otherwise exist.  So beware.

In summary, class actions can both help and hurt your lemon law claim.  Their existence makes it harder to deny the class problem; but class action settlements will usually leave you in a worse spot than you would have been in with your own lemon law claim, and your own attorneys.  

1 It is arguable that lemon law prevents a settlement like this, because it is against public policy and would tend to defeat the branding requirements of the ACNA.  But don’t tell the manufacturers that–to them, the class settlement is a valid excuse to keep lemons on the road and unsuspecting consumers buying them.  

Contact us today if we can answer any other questions about your claim.  

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