Monday

Who Makes the Worst Cars?

Okay, so you're probably wondering...who makes the worst cars? We don't know, but we do know who we get the most complaints about and who our clients file lawsuits against more than anyone else.

We keep track of our numbers. And what our numbers are in Ohio may be different from what the numbers are in a different state. Still, we can give you some clues.

First, let's talk about who makes what must be the best cars, based on the number of complaints and lawsuits we see and hear about. Lexis. No doubt about it. Out of all the vehicle manufacturers that we've dealt with going all the way back to 1978, Lexis is the only company that we can think of that we have never had to file a lawsuit against.

We've filed lawsuits against all the rest...from Sterling (they left the USA long ago) and Yugo (arguably one of the causes of the fall of Communism in Yugoslavia), to the usual Ford and Chrysler and GM cars. Yes, we know that Chrysler is now called DaimlerChrysler, but it's still Chrysler to us...just with a Germanic accent, we suppose.

But out of the "big three" (Chrysler, Ford, and GM), who do we file lawsuits against the most? That's an easy question. Ford is the answer, but that can be partly based on their "attitude" of "we build no wrong" car or truck. They just seem to have a hard time admitting that sometimes things go wrong. Most of the time we see them blame the owner for what's going wrong, while the owner is, of course, saying the dealer is incompetent (never mind the fact that they often are) and defects in the manufacturing process (did you know that GM once built a car that required the engine to be removed in order to change the spark plugs? or that they once described a common steering defect as "morning sickness"?).

Following Ford, GM comes in second place but only because of quantity. They sell more so, statistically speaking, more are bound to go wrong, we think. Still the good thing about GM is that they at least "step up to the plate" and try to satisfy their customers. We think they realize that it's better to keep a customer than to lose them to the competition.

Chrysler? They come in third place, no doubt. The quantity of sales is probably smaller but, frankly, the quality is higher. And sometimes they actually care about their customers enough to try to avoid a lawsuit if they can. Still, when you get a bad one, you get a bad one.

Have you noticed that we haven't said much about foreign cars? Honestly, we think there is a reason. Maybe two. First, they seem to build them better. Yes, we know ... it's unAmerican to say it, but if you think about it, it just might be honest. Second, we think they they "schmooze" the customer better. The simple fact is that if the dealer keeps the customer satisfied or stalled off successfully, then the customer never gets mad enough to go see a lawyer. The result? They never learn their legal rights until it's often too late.

But, and it's an important "but", the foreign manufacturers (even when the car is actually being built here in the USA), the have a "foreign attitude". What does that mean? Simple. If it's a European manufacturer, you can bet they will fight but they usually realize from the start that it's a losing battle. If it's an Asian manufacturer, they fight too, but they never seem to realize (or at least won't admit it) that the car might actually have been built wrong in the first place (they often blame it on the dealer's fouling up its repair attempts).

So what can you do?

Cars are important in daily life. You gotta work, so you gotta drive a car (or truck). Just be careful. Buy the best quality you can afford. And don't drive it off the lot with any promise from the dealer on what they'll do for you later. Anything you want done to the car, you need to make them do before you take delivery. And when things go wrong ... go back and complain and complain and complain. More about "how to complain" in another article later.

For now, if you've got a lemon, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Getting rid of lemons and getting your money back, that's what we do. Every day.


Sunday

Manufacturers - the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

It is just a fact of life that some manufacturers seem to care more about consumers than others. We've been helping consumers since 1978 and have seen many manufacturers come and go. We think that the ones who have succeeded, and have stuck around, usually have been the ones who cared more about their customers. Price didn't seem to matter as much as quality and customer concern. We can all come up with examples of companies that are gone now ... and with good reason, no doubt.

So, if caring about customers matters, then who do we think are the ones who care more right now and who are the ones who seem to care less than others? We can only tell you about our experience when we go to them about our clients' bad cars and trucks and how they react ... is it out of genuine concern for their customers or is it more out of a concern for their corporate pocketbook?

We have a list of manufacturers that our experience has taught us about. A list of car makers that we know we might as well file a lawsuit against rather than try to negotiate with, because it just seems to take a lawsuit to get their attention. We also have a list of manufacturers that we know we can probably get clients' problems take care of pretty quickly and fairly.

On our "bad guys" list you'll find Ford, Hyundai, Honda, and Suzuki. Hearing complaints about a Ford lemon, a lemon Hyundai, a Honda lemon, or a Suzuki lemon is not unusual at all for us.

The first two are on our "bad guys" list because of what we think are perceived and actual quality control problems as well as their displayed attitude about customers ... we think the last two are on the list, not because of general quality problems at all, but almost entirely because of customer attitude, real or perceived.

And who made our "good guys" list? GM and Chrysler. That's it. We hear complaints about a lemon GM and lemon Chrysler vehicles, sure, but they handle the problem much better in our experience.

What we have seen with GM is a long-term and consistent desire to solve a consumer's problems quickly and, usually, pretty fairly. Granted, they don't seem to be reckless with their money, but they do seem willing to try to keep their customers from becoming angry enough to file a Lemon Law lawsuit.

And Chrysler? Well, they made our "good guys" list, but just barely. Although they often seem to show real customer concern, they still seem to sometimes flip flop between trying to keep a customer happy and sometimes just not trying very hard at all.

Every manufacturer ought to know that sometimes defects occur. The question is how they deal with it. Some seem to just stick their corporate head in the sand and deny that there is anything that is ever built wrong by them. Period. They often blame it on the dealer, the owner, anything except their own quality level. Others seem to know and admit that a defect can happen, but they just seem to plain argue all day long about what they are going to do about it.

Notice that some brands didn't make either list. That's because our history with them is that they are not consistently "good" or "bad" but seem to fluctuate according to the particular factory rep or the circumstances of the particular vehicle we are dealing with. Also, there is one car maker that we think just hardly ever seems to build a bad car. They are the only brand we can think of that we have never filed a lawsuit against in modern times...but more about that on another day.

If you've got a lemon car or a lemon truck, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Smashing lemons is what we do. Every day.

Friday

57,000 Lawyers. Only One Ohio Lemon Law Super Lawyer


Attorney Ronald L. Burdge was named to "Super Lawyer" status by a Joint Project of Law & Politics Magazine and the publishers of Cincinnati Magazine. Burdge is a Lemon Law attorney and founder of the Burdge Law Office in Centerville.

Only five percent of all licensed attorneys in Ohio are chosen to be "Super Lawyers" and Burdge is the only Lemon Law Super Lawyer.

"We asked attorneys to vote for the best lawyers they had personally observed in action," the Project announced. "Our attorney-led research staff reviewed the credentials of Ohio attorneys" and a Blue Ribbon panel reviewed all nominees and made the final selection.

Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations.
His practice focuses on Motor Vehicle Lemon Law, Rv Lemon Law, defective products, and Consumer Protection Law.

"It is an extraordinary honor to be the only Lemon Law Super Lawyer in Ohio from over 57,000 attorneys," Burdge said.

The Dayton attorney is a frequent lecturer at Consumer Law and Lemon Law conferences and seminars nationwide and has taught Consumer Protection topics to attorneys and judges around the country.

Burdge graduated from Franklin High School, Ohio, in 1966 and attended Miami University from 1967 to 1969 before enlisting in the Air Force. Returning to Ohio in 1975, Burdge graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1978 and began his career with James Ruppert'’s law office in Franklin before starting his own law firm devoted to Consumer Protection law a few years later. The Burdge Law Office is located in Dayton, Ohio, and handles motor vehicle Lemon Law cases for consumers in Ohio and Kentucky and IndianaPosted by Hello

If you've got a lemon car or lemon truck or lemon rv or lemon motorcycle or lemon boat, Burdge Law Office can help you get rid of it for free, and get your money back too. It's what we do. Email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free, and see for yourself.

Thursday

A Harley Can Hurt

Some motorcycle manufacturers understand that things can sometimes go wrong in the manufacturing process. Not so for Harley Davidson apparently.

We've got one case now where they have been nothing short of belligerant and abusive toward the consumer. Of all the bike makers out there, you'd think this would be one company that would care for US consumers more than any other. Makes you wonder if they even know there is a Motorcycle Lemon Law.

Frankly, we think some manufacturers think that if they bluster and bully anyone who complains, then most people will give up rather than argue and fight. The result? It looks like manufacturers think that can save themselves some money, and in the short run it might. But not taking better care of their customers will probably lose lots more money in the long run.

For now, though, Harley is one company that seems to think that if they "blow off" consumers who have lemon bikes, then most of them will give up. Of the one or two who hang in there and complain some more, the longer they fight for their rights the more likely it is they will be taken care of ... sooner or later. Harley just wants to make it as late as possible.

It's no wonder other specialty, high-end motorcycle manufacturers are taking away Harley's customer base. Loyalty and customer care go hand in hand. You'd think corporate America would know that.

The problem is that if a big corporation can figure out a way to save money today (forget about tomorrow), then you can bet they will be strongly tempted to do it. What is right or wrong doesn't seem to matter as much to them anymore.

This "right or wrong" business philosophy doesn't seem to have much to do with making some big company's decision-making anymore because the money-changers have taken over much of corporate America's boardrooms. That's a shame.

But it also shows that if you are the kind of consumer who doesn't give up, then the odds are you will get the justice you deserve. Sooner or later big business ought to learn that.

If you've got a lemon Harley Davidson motorcycle, or any other kind of lemon bike, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Getting rid of lemon motorcycles is what we do. Everyday.