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  1. #1
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    Member No: 57882 not2blu is an unknown quantity at this point not2blu's Avatar
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    Lemon Law or formal lawsuit?

    I've been trying to resolve the same problem on my car for over seven (7) months with BMW NA. Without getting into details, BMW NA and the dealer have been less than helpful. I have a ton of documentation (over a dozen service visits + numerous letters to BMW NA and the dealer, including an offer from BMW NA to swap my new car for a CPO (which I turned down).

    Anyway, I have a very easy lemon law case, but the result of the case would yield me $36,000 (after mileage deduction...). It sounds good, but it's not enough to buy a new BMW is it? Thus far I've spent $40,000 on the car + $5000 in interest payments + $500 in indy mechanic diagnosis/confirmation of problem + numerous weekends without use of the car + the fact that my family refuses to ride in the car because it is unsafe. My lemon law attorney is itching to proceed, but now I'm considering filing a formal lawsuit for at least the $45,500 that I've spent + attorney's expenses, if not more.

    Sure, this will take a long time, probably a year. But at least I'd have enough money to buy a car when I'm done. Has anybody else out there considered this?


  2. #2
    chipster28
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    Re: Lemon Law or formal lawsuit?

    I have read many complaints about people having issues with vehicles (not just GM) and problems with the Lemon Law. We had numerous issues with electrical problems with our 2004 Trailblazer. The dealer Jerry Haggerty Chevrolet was always helpful and fixed the problems.

    After a year of constant electrical problems (rarely the same, but always electrical) we decided to look into the lemon law. Most people suggested using an attorney. The dealer recommended using GM Dispute Resolution with the Better Business Bureau.

    People thought we were crazy to trust GM and not use an attorney. Most of these people had received extended warranties, etc. using an attorney. By following the rules and not jumping into a lawsuit, we received a new vehicle with every option we had on the old one. It cost us nothing but our time and we received a 2005 vehicle for our 2004.

    I think we were rewarded for our efforts for the following reasons:

    1. We worked with the system, not against it.

    2. We never blamed the dealer for the maintenance issues, so they stayed on our side. We also kept the salesman in the process so he was aware of all the issues.

    3. We showed respect to everyone involved. We were firm, but polite. We asked questions, never demanded answers.

    4. We had very complete records from day one.

    5. Instead of complaining about multiple small problems (radio, seat, navigation system, A/C, ETC.), we focused on the big picture of reoccurring electrical problems.

    6. We made it clear to everyone involved that we were well informed of all laws, rules, regulations, etc. We also made it clear that if the offer was not acceptable, we would hire an attorney.

    The bottom line is… If you want a fair resolution to your problems keep these words in mind: Records, Respect, and Knowledge.

  3. #3
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    Great Advice!


  4. #4
    JWK
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    Careful with a formal suit (m)

    I would be careful with a formal suit. You will NOT recover your attorney's fees, at least not in most states. America's system relies on each side paying their own legal fees, with certain exceptions. The lemon law in your state might have just such an exception, but likely a general suit would not, and you'd be paying your attorney $10-20K of your recovery (assuming you're successful) or 33-40% if your formal suit attorney is on contingency fee. Either way, you're not buying a BMW when you're done.

    Chipster's advice about working within the system seems worth looking at. I would be surprised if BMW doesn't have a dispute resolution mechanism. If they don't, a claim under the lemon law may start one. I know in Wisconsin, the lemon law requires a vehicle, within the first year of delivery, must require 4 or more service visits for the same problem, or 30 days (cumulative) out of service (again, for the same problem) to qualify for coverage. Most states are around this, with some more favorable to consumers, some less. Since you have a lemon law attorney already, seems like the best way to go.

    My $0.02 worth

    JWK
    '02 325i
    '05 Boxster

  5. #5
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    yup, good advice for all car issues

    1995 BMW M3 (BMWCCA I-Stock)
    2003 BMW X5 4.4i
    2006 BMW 530xi

  6. #6
    David
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    Re: Lemon Law or formal lawsuit?

    I'd like to give you a contact who, if he's still at BMW NA, may be able to help. Three years ago he was on the MINI side of the customer relations group, but I'm sure he could help you get to a peer who could help with BMW issues. We found him most helpful when we had issues with a MINI.

    His name is Rich Garcia, and he's at richard.garcia at bmwna dot com and his phone at the time was 201.263.8216.

    Good luck. We're now having problems with another brand which is making us feel terribly unlucky…

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