Dangerous Vehicle Defects & Consumer Claims
There has been nonstop news coverage concerning serious consumer claims related to the vehicle recalls, whereby certain vehicle models have been spontaneously catching fire, placing a number of consumers at risk of serious injury and, in some circumstances, even death; Some have even lost their lives after suffering severe burns when, for example, their Kia Soul spontaneously caught on fire while driving down the road.
Consumers who have been victims of these issues are understandably furious – furious that their safety has been placed in jeopardy – and who wouldn’t be alarmed, or feel in danger, placing themselves and their families in these vehicles? According to the data, more than 8 million Hyundai and Kia recall notices have been issued since 2010 just related to engine problems and fire risks.
In these cases, Ohio consumers are protected by consumer protection laws, including the state’s Lemon Law. Below, we discuss what concerns these types of claims would be based on:
Knowingly Concealing Defects
Knowingly concealed defects from the public and consumers, and in particular, that particular models are prone to certain engine/fire risks, serious safety risks of bodily injury and property damage that can result from the defects. Companies have a duty to not only disclose defects and attendant safety risks, but also actual incidents that have occurred to consumers at the point of sale and in any advertising materials and communications.
Issuing Recalls in a Timely Manner
Companies also cannot wait years to confirm known defects, acknowledge safety risks, and issue recalls, and when they do issue those recalls, they cannot be inadequate and incomplete.
Consumer protection attorneys often argue that car manufacturers knew or should have known about various defects through a number of sources, such as pre-sale durability testing on vehicles and their components, consumer complaints reported to and/or filed against them, warranty claims and dealership repair records, as well as safety recalls and technical service bulletins. Given these records, your attorney will be able to convey to what extent manufacturers delayed in disclosing the defects and in issuing recalls, as well as any associated fraud claims associated with any promises concerning reliability and safety.
Comprehensive Recalls, Repairs, Reimbursement, & Solutions
In addition, when manufacturers do issue recalls, they should be comprehensive as opposed to piece-meal, and provide remedies for all vehicles that contain the defect at no cost, even drawing applicable warranty periods. Manufacturers must also honor warranty claims to repair the defect present in vehicles outside of the warranty period, as these defects likely existed at the time of sale.
Solutions offered by these manufacturers must also be sufficient to adequately repair the defect, and must also be both realistic/doable and not involve additional safety risks. Finally, these manufacturers should also provide reimbursement to affected consumers for diminution in value, loss of time, loss of use, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Columbus, Ohio Consumer Protection & Lemon Law Attorneys
If you recently purchased a vehicle in Columbus that clearly has a defect and you remain concerned, contact our Columbus Lemon Law attorneys at the Kohl & Cook Law Firm LLC to find out more about your rights and how we can help.