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Lemon Law Tips

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You don't have to look far in this section to see that it wasn't that long ago that I was shopping for a new vehicle. Unfortunately, I'm now trying to get it repurchased by VW under lemon law provisions.

The Atlas I bought last year is on its 4th time in the shop at the dealer for the a/c going out. Today is the 24th day it's been in the shop on this 4th fix attempt, and its 53rd day (and counting) in the shop since I purchased it last March. When I spoke to the dealer last Monday, I was informed that they agree that there's a leak, but they've tried everything they know to find it and haven't been able to so far. They even were working with some tech guys at the home office of VW, doing some Google consultations, and nothing worked. Supposedly, someone from VW is supposed to fly in to try and troubleshoot in person. The first time it went in for this issue, last April, they couldn't find the leak and thought the factory just sent it with low refrigerant. The second time it went in, they told me it was a bad evaporator core. The third time it went in, they said it was a bad O ring. My gut tells me none of these things were ever the leak source.

On top of this, an issue with the front sensor has been happening. It happened once over the summer and immediately corrected itself, so I just thought it was part of the safety system doing its thing. On our trip to FL last month, it went out about 1/4 of the way into the road trip. It disables the cruise control when it goes out, and it went out for the entire trip. I had pics of all of the error messages, but the dealer's service dept could never duplicate this in the shop.

To add insult to injury, the day before I brought it in last month, one of my fog lights went out. My last vehicle was 8 years old when I traded it in and it never had a light go out!

I haven't spoken to the dealer service dept in a week and a half and they didn't return my call yesterday, but the home office of VW is working on lemon law paperwork and said they'd keep in touch every week until we have a decision. They said it could take up to 6 weeks! 😒:oops::rolleyes: They are also aware that while I've been given loaners for much of this, the terms for the loaners make it unsuitable for when you consider the time frame. i.e. I can't take the dog to the vet for her annual checkup and shots in said loaner. They also know that I was stuck driving my Atlas without a/c in 100+ degree heat for about 1.5 weeks in August because I was waiting on a loaner...and that it was my attempt to try a different dealer's service dept. Said other dealer gave their last loaner away to the guy in front of me, even though the service rep called me the day before and told me he'd set it aside if I could get in at 7am the next morning.

I've already reached out to the lender covering my loan to see what info they'll need from me if I'm successful, but has anyone else been through this and have any tips for lemoning a vehicle? Is there anything else I should be doing? Anything else you can think of?
 

artvandelay

Well-Known Member
You don't have to look far in this section to see that it wasn't that long ago that I was shopping for a new vehicle. Unfortunately, I'm now trying to get it repurchased by VW under lemon law provisions.

The Atlas I bought last year is on its 4th time in the shop at the dealer for the a/c going out. Today is the 24th day it's been in the shop on this 4th fix attempt, and its 53rd day (and counting) in the shop since I purchased it last March. When I spoke to the dealer last Monday, I was informed that they agree that there's a leak, but they've tried everything they know to find it and haven't been able to so far. They even were working with some tech guys at the home office of VW, doing some Google consultations, and nothing worked. Supposedly, someone from VW is supposed to fly in to try and troubleshoot in person. The first time it went in for this issue, last April, they couldn't find the leak and thought the factory just sent it with low refrigerant. The second time it went in, they told me it was a bad evaporator core. The third time it went in, they said it was a bad O ring. My gut tells me none of these things were ever the leak source.

On top of this, an issue with the front sensor has been happening. It happened once over the summer and immediately corrected itself, so I just thought it was part of the safety system doing its thing. On our trip to FL last month, it went out about 1/4 of the way into the road trip. It disables the cruise control when it goes out, and it went out for the entire trip. I had pics of all of the error messages, but the dealer's service dept could never duplicate this in the shop.

To add insult to injury, the day before I brought it in last month, one of my fog lights went out. My last vehicle was 8 years old when I traded it in and it never had a light go out!

I haven't spoken to the dealer service dept in a week and a half and they didn't return my call yesterday, but the home office of VW is working on lemon law paperwork and said they'd keep in touch every week until we have a decision. They said it could take up to 6 weeks! 😒:oops::rolleyes: They are also aware that while I've been given loaners for much of this, the terms for the loaners make it unsuitable for when you consider the time frame. i.e. I can't take the dog to the vet for her annual checkup and shots in said loaner. They also know that I was stuck driving my Atlas without a/c in 100+ degree heat for about 1.5 weeks in August because I was waiting on a loaner...and that it was my attempt to try a different dealer's service dept. Said other dealer gave their last loaner away to the guy in front of me, even though the service rep called me the day before and told me he'd set it aside if I could get in at 7am the next morning.

I've already reached out to the lender covering my loan to see what info they'll need from me if I'm successful, but has anyone else been through this and have any tips for lemoning a vehicle? Is there anything else I should be doing? Anything else you can think of?
Wow. Where does VW build the Atlas?
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I woke up to an email from VW USA this morning asking for the following, so they can start the process of getting me out of my vehicle. This seems encouraging.

-Current vehicle registration

-Driver’s license for all registered owners

-Purchase or lease agreement

-Payment summary and payoff on bank letterhead

- Title (if in your possession)
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Congratulations, it's a lemon! Four times is the charm as we looked up recently...🙄

You should at this point look to state resources. I wouldn't work with VW anymore.

Thanks! I had seen this, but I wasn't sure if this was the resource to use after, instead of, or in conjunction with going through the manufacturer. Either way, I don't think it can hurt to involve the state. VW would still get roped in at some point either way since they are the party doing the buy back, but the state may be able to ensure they don't drag their heels and give me less than I deserve.

The 4x is where I should qualify, since they can argue that I've been in a suitable loaner. They could argue that I'm still on the dealer's 4th time and don't qualify yet, but as of last Monday, the dealer admitted they don't know what's wrong with it. We're going on one month in the shop for this 4th fix attempt, and we're soon going to be at 2 months total in the shop since purchase, so I think we're at the lemoning stage either way. Suitable loaner or not, I can't live my life with the terms of the loaner.

Thanks again!
 

Figgy1

Premium Member
Thanks! I had seen this, but I wasn't sure if this was the resource to use after, instead of, or in conjunction with going through the manufacturer. Either way, I don't think it can hurt to involve the state. VW would still get roped in at some point either way since they are the party doing the buy back, but the state may be able to ensure they don't drag their heels and give me less than I deserve.

The 4x is where I should qualify, since they can argue that I've been in a suitable loaner. They could argue that I'm still on the dealer's 4th time and don't qualify yet, but as of last Monday, the dealer admitted they don't know what's wrong with it. We're going on one month in the shop for this 4th fix attempt, and we're soon going to be at 2 months total in the shop since purchase, so I think we're at the lemoning stage either way. Suitable loaner or not, I can't live my life with the terms of the loaner.

Thanks again!
It's not a suitable loaner if you can't use it to get to the vet! IMHO
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Replace it with a Mazda CX-9. Trust me.

We tested a CX-9 Carbon Edition last week. I liked how it handled and it looks great, but it just doesn't have the cargo capacity we need. It's part of why I'm still feeling a bit tempted by the Buick Enclave.
 

mkt

Maleante Izquierdozo
Premium Member
We tested a CX-9 Carbon Edition last week. I liked how it handled and it looks great, but it just doesn't have the cargo capacity we need. It's part of why I'm still feeling a bit tempted by the Buick Enclave.

It'll be more reliable than the VW, but not as reliable as most of the Japanese competitors. But at least when something goes wrong after warranty, it'll be a cheap fix.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It'll be more reliable than the VW, but not as reliable as most of the Japanese competitors. But at least when something goes wrong after warranty, it'll be a cheap fix.

I would hope so, but I had a Mazda in the late 90s and that this wasn't fun outside of warranty. Granted, those were the years Mazda was partnered with Ford, but that experience makes me nervous. Shockingly, the Honda Pilot's reliability outlook is worse than all of these. It's also likely to get a redesign for 2022. I wish the Toyota Highlander were a bit bigger or the Sequoia were a bit smaller, but there's no Goldilocks vehicle for me with Toyota. Edit...also reminded of my old Accord...just old enough for Honda to stop making the parts and things to be on par with luxury repairs. Really not fun.
 

mkt

Maleante Izquierdozo
Premium Member
I would hope so, but I had a Mazda in the late 90s and that this wasn't fun outside of warranty. Granted, those were the years Mazda was partnered with Ford, but that experience makes me nervous. Shockingly, the Honda Pilot's reliability outlook is worse than all of these. It's also likely to get a redesign for 2022. I wish the Toyota Highlander were a bit bigger or the Sequoia were a bit smaller, but there's no Goldilocks vehicle for me with Toyota. Edit...also reminded of my old Accord...just old enough for Honda to stop making the parts and things to be on par with luxury repairs. Really not fun.
Cars are one of my passions.

Mazda's shot up dramatically in reliability since they ditched Ford, and were allowed to develop their own cars. They recently topped Consumer Reports.

The most reliable Japanese brands are Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus.

Honda and Acura are generally good, but their reliability began to slip as they replaced their normal automatic transmissions with CVTs, which by their design have longevity and reliability issues. They followed Subaru and Nissan down the CVT rabbit-hole, which tarnished their reputation for reliability. (Manual transmission Hondas though are generally good cars, but not relevant to this discussion).

Within American cars, reliability generally won't be as high as Mazda/Toyota/Lexus. They'll usually fit in a right between Japanese and European cars (some models are outliers though) in reliability (but a bit lower in fit/finish), but the parts costs and availability with generally be cheaper than any import.

Also, there's Kia/Hyundai - the Hyundai Palisade is getting great reviews, as is the Kia Telluride. And as long as the car is maintained at the dealer, the warranty is excellent.
 

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