I need legal help here: CA lemon law

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Basschair, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I've got a 2004 VW GTI, leased (AFAIK the law aplies equally to owned/leased), and have had it for 14 months. I took it in to the dealership 28 days ago for a 10,000 checkup. There were absolutely no problems with the vehicle when I dropped it off, Nov. 4th.

    When I picked it up Sat., Nov. 5th and drove it off the lot, it had to be forced into gear...literally. I took it back immediately, within minutes, and said "hey, you guys did something to this car." After two more hours, they finally said that some air had gotten into the transmission system, probably due to failing master/slave cylinders. "In under 14,000 miles, you're telling me the cylinders failed?" was my reply. "Yup." was his response, as if this were a normal thing. So they keep it, order parts ("We'll have them Tuesday, it'll be done by Friday."), and give me a loner, since technically the car was under full warranty, and I was absolutely pissed.

    I call 7 days later (the following Friday, Nov. 11): "The parts place forgot to send us this little ring part. It's ordered, it'll be here Tuesday, we'll be done by the end of the week."

    I call 6 days later (the following Thursday, Nov. 17): "There's something wrong with the transmission's flywheel. It's part of a larger assembly, so we have to gut the transmission, take pictures of everything, send the pics to VWHQ and get authorization for the parts expenditure."

    I call 8 days later (Friday, Nov. 25, day after Thanksgiving): "It's scheduled in the computer to be done by Monday (Nov. 28). Sorry about the wait!"

    I call 6 days later (Wednesday, Nov 30): "Well, it looks like it'll be all done Thursday!"

    It's now 2 days later, I've received no call from VW...you know what, just to make sure this post isn't moot, I'll call them right now. Hold on just a sec...

    Okay, sorry about the wait (I had to pee after I got off the phone). So, it's not done: apparently the parts are there, but a rep from VWHQ is coming out to inspect the flywheel on my car. It's classified as a "wear & tear" item after the first 12,000, and if for some reason this guy says it's my fault, I have to pay. What the hell is up with that?

    Do I have any legal recourse?
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Here's a bump for you. What a drag! :(
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Perhaps I should change the title to "Why I will never buy a Volkswagen again."
  4. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
  5. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    I imagine few here could give you proper legal advice...but it would be useful to know:

    When you acquired the vehicle

    The current milage

    and your warranty information
  6. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Calling Tim (Oddentity).

  7. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Mid to late Oct. 2004, under 14,000 (about 13,800 or so). It's still under the manufacturer's warranty.
  8. wear and tear on a flywheel in a powertrain that is still under manufacturer's warranty? That is infinitely bogus. The whole powertrain is wearing and tearing...that's what the warranty is for. I'd definitely fight it.

    Of course a flywheel is gonna wear....every time you start the car fer chrissakes. It's the only time the flywheel even comes into the picture really. What, does VW think you should have only started the car, once, ever, and drove it the 13 thousand miles? Lame.

    German engineered my ass.
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    A friend of mine just finished an ordeal with Hyundai. He got a new vehicle under the Lemon Law in Washington State. Here is what I picked up from talking to him...

    1)The vehicle must be purchased in the state you are pursuing your claim.
    2)The dealer must fail on three seperate occasions to fix the exact same problem you originally brought the car in for.

    It doesn't look to me like the LL applies in your case. For further clarification, follow this link: California Lemon Law.

  10. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I think there are actually 3 seperate qualifications, one of which is a 30 day time limit to fix a given problem, from time of rendering the vehicle to be fixed. But I'm sure there's fine print and many points are arguable. My impression is that the powers that be tend to encourage mediation versus full blown legal battles, at least in CA. Hopefully it won't go that route at all.

    My plan is basically as follows: one way or another, get the transmission fixed and then trade it in on a new or used Volvo. Yeah, it's a more expensive car, but it's safer and ultimately more reliable. My bro-in-law and his wife have two Volvos, on over 100,000, one over 200,000, both late 90's models, and both still in great shape. Shoot, a million Santa Cruz hippies can't be wrong, right :smug:

  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio!

    Jul 3, 2001
    Chester, Connecticut
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Call the VW zone rep. It should be in the owner's manual.
  12. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    What's with the VW and Volvo crap? The only people that drive those around Minneapolis here are your 20-30 something yuppies who hang out in coffee shops acting all self-righteous towards people who aren't vegetarians. :bag:

    But seriously, look into repair records if you decide to go with another one. I've heard A LOT of bad things about VW the last couple of years. And this is a company that used to make some pretty good stuff. But.... Every car manufacturer has good and bad years.

    But you will be ok I think. I can get some free legal advice from my dad and post it here.
  13. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    The flywheel being the hard shifting problem? Having to gut the transmission to fix the flywheel?

    Sounds like a load of crap to me.

    You probably have a problem with the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder (the devices that allow you to engage and disengage the clutch in order to shift), and I can't believe the transmission would need to be removed to fix either.

    One thing is for sure, this would be the last time I ever visited that dealership.
  14. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    My dad has similar problems with his Audi. He had to bring it in for numerous deffective parts and recalls. Altogether, on a 36 month lease, it was in the shop for almost 1/3 that time. We won't be buying Audi again, and probably not even German. With two of the major problems ("Check Brake Light" and rattling with the air conditioning) not even headquarters in Germany knew what the problem was.

    On the other hand, my mom's Audi has been doing relatively well. There haven't been any major problems with it. The steering wheel makes a creaking sound that no one knows how to fix without replacing the entire steering mechanism and all but one of the poorly designed cup holders broke, but the engine/transmission etc. are working... for now.

    The response we got from a more American guy at the Audi dealership was that "German workers are not much different from American workers... your dad's car was probably built on a Monday." My dad now drives a Mercury Mountaineer. There was one minor fit/finish problem, but other than that there have been no problems in the past 30ish thousand miles.
  15. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    They say Thursday (12/8), which would be the 34 day mark...
  16. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    As far as the state of CA is concerned (with regards to the lemon law), a lease and a purchase are equal. There might be something in there somewhere (or in the lease contract) that would allow me to extend the lease period the length of time the car was in the shop, but that's the last thing I want to do.

    Without actually knowing, I would assume that VW corp. looks at a lease the same way as a purchase as far as warranties go. There's the basic 4 year, 40,000 (approx.) mile coverage, the initial 12,000 mile wear/tear coverage, and then available extended coverage, which wouldn't make sense as it doesn't kick in until after 40,000 anyway, at which point I should have turned the car in already.

    They're replacing the entire clutch system, and are all but guaranteeing that I won't pay a dime. To be honest, aside from the time it's taken I'm pretty happy with the dealer: technically, they could have referred to the 12,000 mile limit on the friction/moving parts of the transmission, at which time I would have had to make a big deal about how it was working absolutely fine when I brought it in for the service, and that it was only afterwards that it failed. Basically, a legal nightmare. This doesn't change the fact that I'd still like to sell it and go elsewhere.
  17. specplyrz

    specplyrz Inactive

    Nov 11, 2005

    Well, last time I checked, a flywheel is used every time you shift. He did state he had trouble getting it into gear. The flywheel is what the clutch disk engages and wears quite alot.

    It sounds like VW is trying to wiggle out of this by the "wear" statement.

    I would be writing VW corporate...FIRST THING. Bet that flywheel is alluminum. Warpage then becomes a big factor.
  18. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Good idea: I'll have to dig it out and see what's up...
  19. specplyrz

    specplyrz Inactive

    Nov 11, 2005

    As long as the dealer "repairs" the car, what legal action can he take? Ca lemon law is 30 days to repair the problem, and three trys to repair the same problem, but they have stated multipal problems.

    I went through this with a Corvette that spent 61 days in the shop in a 3 yr period for all sorts of problems, including the wrong parts being ordered/sent. As long as the dealership/shop repairs it, you really have nothing to sue about.

    I've been there...it IS frustrating. I'm glad they are fixing it for you now.
  20. specplyrz

    specplyrz Inactive

    Nov 11, 2005

    I see....well it never hurts to try... ;)