Sunday

Truth, Justice & the American Way


A frustrated Volvo owner has been vindicated. Yes, Virginia, in America you do still have the right to say what you think. Heck, you can even sell bumper stickers that say it (available for $3.99 each).

In 2000, Seth Turok bought an Audi from Elk Mountain Motors in Aspen, Colorado. He became frustrated with the car's lemon tendencies and the dealer's inability to get it fixed. Feeling "enough is enough" he started posting signs that read "Friends don't let friends shop at Elk Mtn. Motors." That got their attention.

The service department, however, apparently didn't pay any more attention
to Mr. Turok, but the car dealer's management did. They hired lawyers and sued, asking the court to make him take the signs down, claiming that the signs implied the car dealership was dishonest or engaged in fraudulent sales tactics. That's not the way the court saw it.

In 2006 the trial judge ruled in favor of the consumer, calling it protected free speech under the First Amendment. No, No, cried the car dealer, so they appealed. Well, Yes, Yes, said the court of appeals.

The 3 judge panel on the court of appeals ruled in favor of the consumer also. "Read in context, the use of the language indicates that [Turok] was merely demonstrating his dissatisfaction and frustration" said the court.

It cost this consumer tens of thousands of dollars to defend himself (he may recoup a small amount of the cost from the sale of his bumper stickers that can be purchased by clicking here), but in the end he was vindicated and proven right. Americans have a long history of saying what they think and being allowed to do it. It's what the First Amendment is all about.

A short time back, when we learned that Hyundai was now sticking binding arbitration clauses in its warranty booklets, in an attempt to keep its customers from being able to sue them over lemon Hyundai cars and warranty fights (by the way, that tactic probably won't hold up). We wrote about that here and thought at the time about putting up a billboard that said "Friends don't let friends buy Hyundai" but, being lawyers, decided it would look too self-promoting. Maybe we should sell the bumper stickers instead?

If you've got a lemon, don't put up with it. And don't put up with a car dealer who doesn't care either. Bumper stickers and signs are a clever way to start out. But when you want the Truth to come out, when you want Justice to prevail, get even the American way: complain and complain and complain. You have a right to express your opinion, but be careful not to libel or slander anyone. How you say what it is you are saying, can make all the difference.

And if complaining doesn't work, call us. We sue car dealers and manufacturers every day over lemon cars and lemon trucks and fraudulent car dealer sales practices. It's what we do.

Contact us (click here) or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free.

Burdge Law Office
www. Car Sales Fraud .com
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons Since 1978

Click here to see what your state's Lemon Law says.