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-   -   Anyone ever had any luck with California Lemon Law? (http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/6662-anyone-ever-had-any-luck-california-lemon-law.html)

eslai 07-06-2006 01:06 PM

Anyone ever had any luck with California Lemon Law?
 
For over a year now I've been trying to get Porsche to fix the "STOP" message problem with the 987 CD players. I'm on my fourth stereo now--they keep on replacing it, saying they've done software updates, etc.

Well, the problem's still there, along with other little stereo quirks. My service rep at my dealership is talking to his Porsche rep right now to see what they can do. I've been very patient about the whole thing but frankly, I'm tired of it, "it" being Porsche, not my dealership as they've been great about everything.

So I started doing some research into Lemon Laws. I always thought they were meant to protect a consumer from car problems of a life-threatening nature, but as it turns out you can also file a claim if you've had the same problem four times and the dealer/manufacturer hasn't been able to solve it within 18 months and 18,000 miles of purchase.

There's other little things that I could harp about too that would fall under this law, like the fact that they've replaced those cab top tensioner strings three times on my car already. I feel like I could easily build a very good case and submit it for arbitration. I have service records and numerous videos recorded of the problems, along with witnesses.

It sounds nitpicky, I know, but I'm curious to hear what y'all think about it. If they did decide to replace the car, I'd naturally be quite pleased...

Anyone have any opinions or experience on this matter?

Porschekid 07-06-2006 01:17 PM

I highly doubt they will rule your car is a lemon because of a faulty radio. I could be wrong here but i'm pretty sure it would have to be because of a mechanical problem with the car that hindered your ability to drive it. Most lemon laws are open for interpretation and I don't think a judge is going to give you a new car because they keep replacing the radio in it.

99Boxster 07-06-2006 03:02 PM

I'm an attorney in KS and MO, so I haven't dealt with CA's lemon law but I doubt that you will get a new car out of the deal. If you start pushing for a new car, then I'd be afraid that you would merely discount your original claim. Most lemon laws, however, have provisions that provide for attorneys' fees which make consumer claims much easier to make and have more teeth.

eslai 07-06-2006 03:07 PM

I totally agree with that--I wouldn't push for anything more than what I'm legally entitled to.

I'm getting my info straight from the source though:

"During the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, the "Lemon Law" presumes that a manufacturer has had a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle if either (1) The same problem results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven and the problem has been subject to repair two or more times by the manufacturer or its agents, and the buyer or lessee has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the problem as provided in the warranty or owner's manual or (2) The same problem has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents and the buyer has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the problem as provided in the warranty or owner's manual or (3) The vehicle is out of service because of the repair of any number of problems by the manufacturer or its agents for a cumulative total of more than 30 days since delivery of the vehicle."

That second section is basically saying that it doesn't have to be something that's going to kill you. This is a consumer protection law in more ways than simple bodily harm.

It does mention that the law is a guideline, open to interpretation though. My point is that I'm pretty sure I could build a good case for arbitration, I just don't know how successful it usually is (or to what extent).

eslai 07-06-2006 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 99Boxster
I'm an attorney in KS and MO, so I haven't dealt with CA's lemon law but I doubt that you will get a new car out of the deal. If you start pushing for a new car, then I'd be afraid that you would merely discount your original claim. Most lemon laws, however, have provisions that provide for attorneys' fees which make consumer claims much easier to make and have more teeth.

Professionally, what do you think would be a likely outcome then? The thing is, it's not just the radio that's a problem--since they've already replaced the faulty unit four times, one could say that they haven't proven that it's actually a fault of the radio. It could be electrical. Would they try to rip out the whole harness and replace it? That's not exactly cheap.

I have no faith that Porsche even knows what the problem is or has any way to solve it, and I don't think it should be the consumer's responsibility to deal with it or be party to their investigation.

They've had a reasonable number of attempts to try to solve the problem and they haven't been able to.

I can see a number of outcomes from arbitration:

1. They refund me a small amount of money.
2. They replace the unit with the nav system unit in hopes that that cures the problem.
3. They replace the car.

99Boxster 07-06-2006 03:41 PM

Not to sound like a lawyer, but I'd need to know more about it to really properly assess the situation. I'd be more than happy to help you out, but we probably should chat offline or through email. I am a trial attorney, and a big part of my job is to develop creative solutions. I agree with your outcomes, but I see several others, which includes some bad outcomes for you.

myeboxsters 07-06-2006 07:35 PM

Okay,

I'll chime in on this one...my first post on this forum since buying my 2001 Boxster S two weeks ago.

I'm an attorney (CA and NV) who does a lot of Lemon Law -- but on the defense side. Don't work for Porsche -- yet. Toyota and Lexus primarily.

There's two main parts to any Lemon Law claim -- assuming you are within your warranty period. First, is there a defect or nonconformity, covered by the warranty, which the manufacturer can't fix? Second, does that defect or nonconformity "substantially impair" the vehicle's use, value or safety. The stuff about 4 or more service visits,or 30 days out of service, is merely a burden shifting mechanism. If you qualify, then there is a "presumption" of nonconformity and the burden at trial shifts to the manufacturer to prove there's no defect which substantially impairs use, value or safety. Getting the benefit of the presumption can be a big bargaining tool for the consumer.

However, to qualify for the presumption you sometimes must do more than simply have the requisite number or service visits or days out of service. You must also give written notice to the manufacturer within the time frame specified. Also,if the manufacturer maintains a qualified, third-party dispute resolution program then you must go through that before you file suit or you can't use the presumtion. Toyota maintains such a program...I don't know if Porsche does. (My car was out of warranty when I got it...so I never looked it up.)

that having been said, the only real advice I'm in a position to give is that you should speak with a Lemon Law plaintiffs' attorney (I might be able to give you a reference if you sent me a pm). My initial thought, however, is that having some radio glitches in a new Porsche doesn't have a lot of jury appeal. (Keep in mind, I'm a defense lawyer.) Isn't the exhaust note supposed to be the "music" for this car? I have yet to see a "bad radio" case get filed on a toyota or lexus.) I'd get the manufacturer involved and work with them and your dealer on a fix. (Will they pay for a good quality aftermarket stereo?)

Good luck!

99-Boxster-MK 07-06-2006 08:13 PM

I would be pissed of if I had to keep bringing the car to the shop, but getting a car replaced because of a bad radio just doesn't seem propotional..

Perhaps getting them to give you the nav package sounds much more balanced.. and I am sure if you make enough noise they will give it to you, just to go away :)

Good luck
Mike

Brucelee 07-06-2006 10:14 PM

In CA, cars have been returned under the Lemon Law for rattles.

I say, go for it@
!

Keep us posted.

mach schnell 07-07-2006 05:37 PM

eslai - i looked (albeit, briefly) into the CA lemon law before parting with my 987. some things i gleaned from my very quick survey. if i remember correctly, you can file and prosecute a lemon law claim with minimal to no out of pocket expense. i don't recall reading anything that suggested lemon = car doesn't start or brakes fail when applied (only). lemon suggests that the function of the car and all parts and systems associated with that car fail to operate as planned and further have failed to be properly serviced or replaced and restored to proper and new functioning status within a reasonable amount of attempts. of course, no one buys a porsche because of it's radio, but porsche endeavors to put a certain radio in their car that is consistent with the standards of the rest of the car (at least you'd think that is their motivation). as such, the consumer expects that in purchasing a new car that offers a warranty over all systems and parts (including such trivial things as a radio in a high performance german sports cabriolet), the functioning of said device would be infallible. porsche obviously agrees with that expectation since they sold the car with the device and allowed it coverage under warranty (which you have faithfully and persistently utilized.)

lastly, (and i'm loose on this), a claim that is awarded to the plaintiff renders the defendent responsible for either replacing the vehicle with a similar condition, similar value vehicle or replacing the value of the vehicle (your down payment, your payoff, etc).

i think, if you are willing to play out the length of something, it's in your best interest to pursue this. the radio problem is not unique to your car, but perhaps the fact that it continues to happen despite repetitive repairs/replacments is unique. in other words, it may be a red herring for a greater problem slowly brewing with your vehicle (the proverbial money pit) that slowly rears it's ugly head causing you continued headache, lost wages and time and potentially, greater depreciation in the value of your car.

good luck, whatever you decide to do!

super66 07-07-2006 08:24 PM

cab top?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eslai
replaced those cab top tensioner strings three times on my car already.

just out of curiosity, are those grey looking ropes? every once in a while when I take the top up and down I see some grey looking ropes stick out.....not really sure what they are for.......anyone?

by the way, go for it I say, you have every right to expect your stereo to work, its a big part of the car and costs some change....what if it was a window that refused to go up and down? a faulty part is a faulty part

RandallNeighbour 07-07-2006 08:37 PM

Eslai, another way to get satisfaction is to simply continue bringing in the car and demanding a radio replacement. After the 10th radio, I'm sure the PCA rep will be VERY involved in resolving the matter once and for all... this is a pain for you, but you can make Porsche feel the pain financially without making any demands for a NAV system or a new car.

If you think of it as a game, it won't be so frustrating!

Perfectlap 07-07-2006 09:11 PM

stupid question: why do Porsche bother putting their own radios in the car?
You would think a profit conscious brand would have figured out that the high quality, reliable and inexpensive radios from Japan would have been the better route.
What are they trying to prove? :confused:

Brucelee 07-08-2006 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Perfectlap
stupid question: why do Porsche bother putting their own radios in the car?
You would think a profit conscious brand would have figured out that the high quality, reliable and inexpensive radios from Japan would have been the better route.
What are they trying to prove? :confused:


That is a great question. The Becker system is junk pure and simple. I don't get why they just don't farm this problem out. How can they justify putting a $99 Becker unit in a $125K 911 Turbo?

bmussatti 07-08-2006 06:36 AM

Porsche should have used Blaupunkt (if they desired to keep German) radios, they were/are excellent.

eslai 07-09-2006 11:15 AM

THanks for all the support guys. I'll see what I can do regarding this. Mach Schnell, you nailed my reasoning exactly.

I'm probably going to need legal counsel before I continue this train of thought I guess.


And super66 yes--those grey ropes are not supposed to ever stick out of your cab top. Take it back and tell them to fix it. For the first time.

bmussatti 07-09-2006 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eslai
It could be electrical. Would they try to rip out the whole harness and replace it? That's not exactly cheap.


Eslai, in reference to your wire harness, read this:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=10014


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