Car Quality Gets Better, Mostly

Looks like car quality is getting better and better. JD Power & Asc. released a new study that shows rising quality but at the same time it shows new model troubles.

It's the annual Initial Quality Study they do every year but this year is different.

This time 75% of the brands have made significant improvements in initial quality over last year, with Porsch keeping its #1 spot. But, and its a big "but", long standing Lexus was bumped from the #2 spot by the Nissan luxury label, Infiniti.

The brands that slipped in quality were those who pushed out new models a bit before they were ready. They include Scion, that dropped like a rock from 11th place to 27th, with the blame going to the redesigned xB and the new xD models.

Consumers' biggest beef? Voice recognition software that just doesn't work. Countless owners complained their voice and wireless phone systems just didn't work. Industry sources blame the difficult and sometimes confusing nature of the technology, but owners don't care where the blame goes.

And they're right. We've got a new SUV and must admit we have never been able to get that function to work right either.

The top 5? Porsche, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes, and Toyota. The first American home brand shows up at #6, Mercury, followed by Honda nd then Ford.

And the bottom of the heap in quality? Predictably, Jeep. Inches above Jeep is the Mini and the Land Rover. Surprisingly, Saturn is only slightly above that and actually comes in behind Suzuki.

We've seen nothing but good quality in Saturn when it comes to owners complaining about their lemon cars and trucks. The Jeep is no surprise to us at all, but Saturn? That comes as a real shocker to a lot of people.

If you've got a lemon Jeep, a lemon Mini, a Land Rover lemon, or another lemon car or truck, we're here to help. We know how to get rid of lemons. It's what we do. Everyday.

Call us at 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Or email us right now by clicking here. Life is too short to put up with a bad car --- or a bad vehicle of any kind.


Slickest Electric Car in the World

There's a company in California called Aptera that is building the slickest electric and hybrid cars in the world. Terrific mileage and range and extraordinary looking beyond belief. They're so good, they expect to be in the running for "The X Prize" --- the $10 million competition for the first mass-marketed 100 mpg vehicle. Heck, they might even win it.

We've talked about electric cars before and there are some terrific designs out there, but there's nothing like this. This is a 2 seater that looks and operates unbelievably.

The Aptera Typ-1 and Typ-1h are already for sale in limited production and priced at around $30,000. While the Tesla looks like a sportscar in the conventional sense, the Aptera is from another world.

It looks, quite literally, like something from the future. Think the Jetsons with wheels.

Remarkably, the gull-winged all electric rear wheel drive vehicle (it's not a car technically) runs on lithium ion battery packs and will hit 60 mph in just 10 seconds and rev up to 85 mph. All the while, it's quite as a mouse. The solar roof panels are designed to catch the sunlight and help power both the vehicle and electrically driven accessories like air conditioning, entertainment center, etc.

Unlike earlier hybrids and electric car attempts, this one was designed from square one as an electric vehicle. To do that they knew they had to have an aerodynamically slick exterior that was also lightweight but built of a structurally sturdy material. To compete for the X Prize, it also had to be a design that could be mass produced ultimately.

The resulting design meets many specifications for passenger vehicles and also specs for motorcycles and sometimes goes them better, including airbag, firewall, rollover strength and tough doors.

The all electric version of the Aptera, the Typ-1, should have a range of about 100 miles or better depending on your driving circumstances and that's about 70 miles better than what most of the ordinary competition gets in electric cars, and about three times the distance that the typical US car drives on a daily commute.

The hybrid version specs out at about 120 miles per gallon or better but has yet to prove itself.

We thought the Tesla was the car to get when we first heard of it back in 2006. Oh what a difference a year or two makes.

Until you get your reliable, dependable electric car, just remember. If your gas or diesel powered conventional car or truck turns out to be a lemon, call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free or email us right now by clicking here.

We know how to get your money back. And when you do, you can buy yourself one of these snazzy looking, no-gas electric wonders.

Tommy, what are you doing to us?

Tommy Lasorda is their advertising rep on their website but, Tommy appears to have been keeping some bad company lately.

While touting a quality level that more than one owner has questioned, what Explorer Van Company doesn't tell you (and what Tommy doesn't say either) is how they take away your rights whenever you buy one of their conversion vans.

Their owner manual brags that "you have just purchased the finest quality van on the market" but what they bury in the booklet is more than a little disturbing to some people.

Got a lemon Explorer van? Well, this is one company that is doing its best to make sure you can't do much about it.

Just when you think you've read the whole warranty in the owner manual, if you turn the page you'll find something new. A seperate page in the '06 owner manual (and maybe all of them?) that says when you buy their van, you give up your constitutional right to go to court if something goes wrong.

That's right. It's sort of like "buy our van and lose your rights" folks. How's that for a bargain? There may be a claim of quality in the nuts and bolts, folks, but there's a big screw in the warranty.

We've warned about the pitfalls of binding arbitration before. If enough people complain, maybe one of these days Congress will do something about it. In the meantime, send a message with your purchasing dollar. Friends don't let friends buy anything that requires you to give up your rights.

If you've got a lemon Explorer, a lemon conversion van, a lemon Rv, a lemon motorhome, or any kind of lemon, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Getting rid of them is what we do. Everyday.

Burdge Law Office
Because life's too short to put up with a bad conversion van.


Senators Scorn Federal Safety Department

US Senators at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing today scolded Bush administration officials over suspected interference with the federal government's safety investigators in Washington hearings June 4. White House officials were pushing a plan to "upgrade" roof strength safety standards when Senators apparently figured out that the real plan was to curb future lawsuits by people whose vehicle roofs collapse in rollover crashes.

The initial plan was said to be to "upgrade" the federal roof strength standards but Senators found a provision in the plan that would severely limit lawsuit damages for people who might be injured or killed by collapsing roofs if the new "upgraded" standards were adopted.

So when is an upgrade not really an upgrade? Apparently whenever federal safety investigators get into bed with big business interests. It's high time we got politics out of the safety process, folks.

Even the auto manufacturers trade group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, reportedly said they were surprised to see the lawsuit loophole buried in the proposal's fine print. Of course, they were pleased as punch to see it. Just surprised, they said.

As it is now, roof strength standards haven't changed since 1971. Congress had long ago imposed a deadline of July 1, 2008 to improve the standards but federal safety officials at NHTSA (the federal safety agency in charge of automobile recalls) still have not gotten it done.

Industry insiders say that improving roof rollover crash safety would mean adding weight to the vehicle and that might make it tougher to meet the new fuel economy standards that come due in 2020. Come on, guys, fix the roofs now and you still have 12 years to fix the fuel economy. Who's kidding who here?

Meanwhile, long time consumer advocate Ralph Nader says that cozy ties between automakers and safety officials and the White House have gotten so bad that Congress should just shut down the regulators and start all over again with a new safety department that has teeth and is willing to use them.

Of course, that'll never happen. But there's no doubt Nader is right about the cozy relationship. Federal safety investigators need to get out of the manufacturer's bed and start enforcing safety laws again like they were meant to be enforced. You and I are the ones who ride in these cars with lousy roof standards. We don't need politicians deciding how strong the roof in your car should be.

If you've got a lemon, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. We can help you get rid of it. That's what we do. Everyday.

Burdge Law Office
www. New Car Lemon Law .com
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemon Cars and Lemon Trucks Since 1978.

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