Wednesday

Alfa Leisure Closing ?

Apparently this morning management at Alfa Leisure in Chino, California, passed out final paychecks and began sending people home and plan to shut down the operation.

If true, and it seems to be because there are several reports now, then Alfa Leisure joins National RV, Western Rv, the makers of Alpine Motor Homes and Alpenlite Trailers and Campers who have all closed in very recent times.

We've talked about the Rv industry slump before and things aren't getting better. It's time to be very, very careful as a motorhome buyer. Our recommendation? If you buy a new Rv, tell the dealer you want their personal guarantee that they will stand behind the manufacturer's warranty. But don't take their word for it either. Make them write in down on the sales contract itself.

But what if you own an Rv right now?If the builder is out of business then complain to your seller. We've even heard of some owners who argue that the seller should have known the builder was going under, and been able to at least get something from the seller to help cover their warranty problems.

If the builder is still in business, it could mean tighter controls on warranty costs and that can mean more runaround on warranty repairs, claim denials on debatable defects, and a dealer who has to argue more with you (the consumer) because the factory isn't paying the warranty claims as freely or often as before.

Note that nothing happened to your warranty rights. Legally, they are still there. You just may find yourself having to argue more to make them honor your warranty. Remember, the squeeky wheel is the one that gets the grease. So start squeekin', loud and long if you have to.

And when the factory or your dealer won't help you, when you feel like they are ignoring your problems, contact us or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. We help consumers fight back against bad Rv's and their manufacturers everyday. It's what we do.

Burdge Law Office
http://www.RvLemonLaw.com
Because life is too short to put up with a bad Rv.
Don't forget that the federal Lemon Law can help you even when your state law doesn't.

Tuesday

Get Ready for More Rebates ?

When sales get tough, the Big 3 throw money at it. The magic mantra seems to be "rebate." Whether it works or not is debatable.

GMAC has been a cash cow for GM for decades, sometimes outperforming any other arm in the GM octopus, but it's in big trouble according to Reuters newswire reports.

Seems the predatory lending and mortgage mess has seeped into the wonderful world of auto financing. A year ago GMAC turned in a whopping $305 million loss, nearly one third of a billion (with a big "B") dollar loss. Well, things got worse as time went by.

Now, GMAC's loss has jumped up to $589 million. Not a small chunk of change, folks. Somebody better get out the bandaids and stop the bleeding or they'll end up looking like Chrysler.

Much of the blame is being heaped on the huge mortgage division losses coming out of Residential Capital, now running 6 quarters of losses in a row. Seems like even they were trying to get in on the mortgage subprime mess to see just how quickly they could lose money.

GM's money mess is one of the reasons that GM sold off 51% of GMAC to private quity firm Cerberus Capital back in 2006, but apparently it was on a downhill slide way back then. We'd hate to think the smart guys at Cerberus were the ones who took that dive into the subprime disaster.

So how bad can it get? Well, we'll soon see. There's $17 billion of debt coming due this year and it'll probably shake GMAC up. Still GMAC has $18.6 billion of cash and claimed liquid assets so one would think that would look pretty healthy. Problem is, that number is down from $22.7 billion just a few months ago.

A $4 billion loss in just 3 months is kinda hard to make up no matter how long you take at it.

Could rebates be coming on the metal? Maybe they ought to be thinking about rebates on the mortgages too?

Meanwhile, if you've got a lemon GM car or truck, you might want to be thinking of trading it in on a Ford. At least they made a profit lately. If you can't or don't want to trade it it, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free and we'll help you make GM take it back and give you back your money, for free. That's what we do. Everyday.

Monday

Lemon Flowers for Professional Lemon Assistants

In this business, where we run into lemons constantly, you have to have a sense of humor. We try to share humor whenever we can, wherever we find it. Sometimes we even get to cause a smile to brighten up someone's day.

The Burdge Law Team is more than just lawyers. Each of our attorneys has an assistant, and an entire staff, of dedicated professionals who tirelessly work to squash every lemon and make every manufacturer pay for it.

For them, this week is dedicated. Today they each received a beautiful (and humorous) lemon flower arrangement like the one pictured above with the heartfelt thanks of our attorneys and our clients. Our professional assistants work hard every day to help our clients get rid of their lemon.

If you've got a lemon car or lemon truck or lemon motorhome or lemon boat or lemon motorcycle, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Squashing lemons everyday is what we do (free lemonade available by clicking here).

Burdge Law Office
www. US Lemon Lawyers .com
Helping Consumers, and Consumer Law Attorneys, Since 1978

Click here to see what your state's Lemon Law says a lemon car or lemon truck is.

Thursday

Top 5 Vehicles to Avoid

Today we do something unusual for us: we present an article from a guest writer. We may do this from time to time when we find someone that provides interesting and car-related thoughts that we can all benefit from. That's the case with Heather Johnson's article below that picks up where we left off recently in talking about Consumer Reports Magazine's recent annual car issue. Knowing the best and worst cars is one thing, but she makes a great point in also telling us the ones to just outright avoid altogether.

Consumer Reports' Top 5 Vehicles to Avoid

As a previous post reported, Consumer Reports recently published its annual "Best & Worst Cars" issue. Perusing the best car models is always fun, but it is equally important to pay attention to models that received the lowest scores. Consumer Reports rates each car on a 100-point scale, based on more than 50 unbiased tests and evaluations.

Considerations when testing vehicles include:

Safety – Each car is tested at its handling limit, determining how the vehicle will respond to emergency avoidance maneuvers and extreme road conditions.

Real-World Fuel Economy – Those who test the vehicles gauge the fuel economy of both everyday driving and driving on a controlled track.

Ride Comfort – Each vehicle is driven for thousands of miles and comfort is one of many important factors when rating an automobile.

With those considerations in mind, Consumer Reports' highest scoring vehicle (Lexus LS460L) earned a 99 on the 100-point scale. Below are the five lowest scoring vehicles for 2008:

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
Score: 17
Main Areas of Concern: Braking, Noise Level, Reliability, Fuel Economy

Hummer H3 (5-cyl.)
Score: 27
Main Areas of Concern: Acceleration, Fuel Economy, Emergency Handling

Jeep Liberty Sport
Score: 27
Main Areas of Concern: Fuel Economy, Noise, Agility

Chevrolet Aveo LS (Manual)
Score: 30
Main Areas of Concern: Acceleration, Handling

Chevrolet Aveo LS (Automatic)
Score: 32
Main Areas of Concern: Acceleration, Handling

While Consumer Reports isn't the only organization that is currently testing vehicles, it is important to remember that these evaluations are completely unbiased. Consumer Reports receives no money for advertising or any other services. For that reason alone, it would be shrewd for drivers to consider the magazine's opinions when purchasing a new vehicle.

Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and economics writer, as well as a regular contributor at Business Credit Cards, a site for best business credit card and best business credit card offers. Heather welcomes comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email addressheatherjohnson2323@gmail.com .

If you're driving one of the Top 5 Vehicles to Avoid, and it's a lemon, email or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Getting rid of lemon cars and lemon trucks is what we do for people. Everyday.


Burdge Law Office


Helping Consumers, and Consumer Law Attorneys, Since 1978




Wednesday

Please Steal Our Cars Ad Offends Police Dept


Boy, some car dealers are really stupid. This just in from the Winnepeg Free Press:

Winnipeg police are condemning a car dealership flyer delivered with a city tabloid newspaper today that depicts an officer and a pedestrian getting run-down by a crazed motorist.

The full-colour, letter-sized cartoon insert depicts five red-nosed people partying in a car being driven irresponsibly by a wild-eyed man.

As the driver speeds through a red light at a crosswalk, a police officer appears to be fleeing for his life as the vehicle tries to run him down.

Passengers in the vehicle are also depicted to be consuming what appears to alcohol and smoking- others vomit out the car’s window into the street.

The flyer, placed in the Winnipeg Sun by McDougall Auto Superstore, a city used auto dealership asks readers to “steal a deal off our lot.”

The advertisement comes barely a week after a Winnipeg cab driver was killed at Portage Avenue and Maryland Street when a stolen SUV ran a red light and smashed into it.

In a statement, police said they had contacted the car dealership to let them know how they felt.

“We feel it’s very inappropriate in light of events in the city over the last few months,” a police spokeswoman said, adding the dealership was receptive to their concern.

McDougall Auto Superstore’s general sales manager, would only give his first name, “Sam,” said the ad was developed by an outside agency, and plans to run the ad in the future had been pulled.

Winnipeg Sun publisher Kevin Klein, apologized to readers offended by the content of the ad and said the newspaper would be reviewing its policy and procedures in respect to advertising inserts.

If you've got a stupid car dealer running roughshod over your rights, contact us or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. We've helped clients run over a few car dealers ourselves, so to speak. Sometimes that's what Justice is all about.

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

Click here to see what your state's Lemon Law says a lemon car is.

Tuesday

Flaming Fords

Their names were Billi, Ami and Caleb. She was a mother and a wife. Ami and Caleb were just 16 and 12 year old kids.

It hits close to home. Fords that go up in flames.

A 2002 Ford Expedition parked in Peter Romans' carport in Madison County, Ohio is suspected to be the cause of a house fire that killed a woman and her two minor children. Romans survived the fire and told investigators that the fire started in his parked Ford SUV according to The Columbus Dispatch newspaper a few days ago.

If you've got a Ford in your garage, you might want to park it on the street tonight.

Romans' Ford was one of over 9 million Fords included in a recall that started in 2005 but which dragged on and on because of the sheer quantity of vehicles involve and a shortage of parts. But most of all, federal regulators show no urgency to push Ford to get the job done faster.

Several homes have burned and people have died. Many believe a direct link exists between the fires and faulty cruise control switches that can overheat and erupt into flames. Years of recalls and fires involving Ford vehicles caused federal safety investigators to issue an extraordinary public warning that Ford and Lincoln and Mercury owners could have hidden fire hazards in Fords that have not been repaired.

A flaming Ford inferno hit a homeowner in Chisago City, Minnesota in January when her 2000 Ford Expedition “started on fire parked in our attached garage. We have now lost everything we owned,” wrote the Ford Expedition owner. “The home we built not even 2 years ago burned to the ground,” she said.

Ford says a parts shortage is delaying repairs of the fire prone cruise control system in the recalled vehicles until later in 2008. Meanwhile, they keep building new cars and trucks. There's something fundamentally wrong about a federal safety bureau that will let them keep selling new trucks without making them fix the old ones that are burning down consumer's homes.

If you've got one of the recalled Fords, take it to your nearest Ford dealer right away and tell them to disconnect the cruise control system immediately. If they tell you to just wait for the parts to come in, don't. Insist the dealer do it right then. Don't drive it home until they fix it.

We've blogged about this deadly defect before. These Fords will keep right on burning and people will keep right on getting hurt. Federal safety investigators should force Ford to notify each and every owner of the affected vehicles immediately. With their recall records, Ford can easily tell what vehicles have been fixed for the recall and what ones have not. All they need is someone to make them do it. Wimpy federal safety officials, catering to Big Business and big bucks, are costing lives.

Their names were Billi, Ami and Caleb. She was a mother and a wife. Ami and Caleb were just 16 and 12 year old kids.

Don't let it happen to you. If your Ford dealer gives you a runaround or any stall or delay, contact us or call us right away, 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. We know what to do.

Here's a list of the affected vehicles.

1. 1993 – 2004 F150
2. 1993 – 1999 F250 (gasoline engine)
3. 1993 – 1996 Bronco
4. 1994 – 1996 Econoline
5. 1997 – 2002 Ford Expedition
6. 1998 – 2002 Lincoln Navigator
7. 1998 – 2002 Ford Ranger
8. 1992 – 1998 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car
9. 1993 – 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII
10. 1993 – 1995 Ford Taurus SHO with automatic transmission
11. 1994 – Mercury Capri
12. 1998 – 2001 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer
13. 2001 – 2002 Ford Explorer Sport and Explorer Sport Trac
14. 1992 – 1993 and 1997 – 2003 Ford E-150-350 gasoline or natural gas vehicles
15. 2002 – E-550 gasoline engine vehicles
16. 1996 – 2003 E-450 gasoline or natural gas vehicles
17. 1994 – 2002 F-250 through F-550 super Duty trucks (gasoline engine)
18. 2000 – 2002 Ford Excursion (gasoline engine)
19. 2003 – F250 – F550 Super Duty, Ford Excursion
20. 1995 – 2002 Ford F53 Motor home chassis
21. 2002 – 2003 Lincoln Blackwood

Don't let it happen to you. If your Ford dealer gives you a runaround or any stall or delay, contact us or call us right away, 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. We know what to do.

Burdge Law Office
www. US Lemon Lawyers .com
Helping People Protect Their Families from Flaming Fords Since 1978

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

Monday

Rumor has it


The engineers from GM (who thought they could convert a gasoline engine into a diesel engine back in the 1980's) got together with the engineers from Navistar (who designed the engines for Ford’s pickup trucks that resulted in hundreds of lawsuits in the last few years) and the style experts from the old Yugo plant (refugees from Yugoslavia), to design a new car for retiring Russian President Putin. One that could go one direction while looking like it was going another. Here it is.

If your new car looks like it was built right but runs like it was built wrong, contact us or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Getting rid of lemon cars and lemon trucks is what we do. Everyday.

Sunday

Car Recall News

Recalls aren't always well publicized. Many go completely unnoticed, although the massive recalls of hundreds of thousands of cars at one time often show up on the evening news or in the paper. But for the average recall, you may never hear about it.



Trying to find out if there's been a recent recall can be difficult and a real pain. The federal government has hundreds of web sites and the internet has more than anyone can probably count.



Well, we decided to cut to the bone. If you want to know if there's a recent recall on a particular vehicle, we are posting them all in one spot as soon as they come out.

There's a new place to find Car Recall Info, News and Notes. If it's a car, and there's a recall on it, you can find it by clicking here. http://carrecalls.blogspot.com/

It's where car recalls are. Why? Because it ought to be easy to find out if you've got a lemon, and it ought to be easy to avoid buying one too.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons Every Day, Since 1978


Friday

Rv Industry Continues Slump

In another sign of the continuing slump in the motorhome market, industry giant Fleetwood cut four dozen jobs and demoted dozens of employees at its Riverside, California plant yesterday.

With revenue down 20% and posting a $16+ million loss last quarter, Fleetwood had little choice.

Fleetwood reported that supervisors were offered assembly line jobs with as much as 23% pay cuts. We recently reported Weekend Warrior's layoffs and National RV's bankruptcy demise. In fact, large law firms expect bankruptcy to be the hottest growth area for law firms this year, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey of corporate lawyers.

Thor California, maker of , recently shut down its California plant for 3 weeks to prevent a bloat in built motorhome inventory that dealers are having a hard enough time getting rid of. And when it reopened, workers came back to 4 day a week jobs and a scaled back production schedule.

We've said it before. From all this Rv doom and gloom you can probably expect two things.

The first is likely to be a harder time getting debatable repairs done under the factory warranty as the factories look for ways to cut corners and cut costs. And that may also mean workmanship problems as employees are cut back, moved around, demoted, and generally disgruntled. Both of those are issues that may have longer lasting effect than some Rv makers intend (or expect).

The second news is, though, the silver lining here. If you want a new motorhome, you may not see a better time to get a good price for a long while. Dealers are stuck with inventory that is aging and that they are paying for every day with floor planning finance rates that are eating into profits. To put it blunt, they gotta move the boxes or they will go broke.

With the market shrinking though, the fit are the survivers. Those with less cash in their coffers will find it harder to get through these tough times.

So for consumers it means that you need to be careful about the brand you buy right now too. After all, you can just imagine what it must have been like to buy a brand new $100,000 National Rv brand motorhome the day before they shut the plant down.

And you may not want to be the one to own the Rv that was built by the ticked off supervisor who now works on the line and takes home only 3/4 of what he earned last week. A demotion without a loss of pay is one thing, but a demotion that costs you a big chunk of income is a whole different thing.

It's time to be very, very careful as a motorhome buyer. Our recommendation? If you buy a new Rv, tell the dealer you want their personal guarantee that they will stand behind the manufacturer's warranty. But don't take their word for it either. Make them write in down on the sales contract itself.

And remember, if you get a bad Rv, contact us or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. Helping consumers get rid of lemon motorhomes is what we do. Everyday.

Thursday

The Car I Wanted. The Car I Got

A friend of mine sent me this hilarious message that's worth taking a break to pass on...

"This is the car I wanted."

It's a Novitec modified Ferrari Enzo in screaming yellow. Zero to 100 mph in 3.5 seconds (no G-force ratings disclosed). Top speed rated at 348 kph (no mph rating disclosed because you need a pilot license). Let's face it, this car probably even has "macho man" chiseled into the frame.

"This is the car I got. And it only goes downhill."

It's a King Midget that was basic transportation with soap box derby styling. It was sold back in 1946 as a kit car with a 6 horsepower, one cylinder engine with a 2 speed automatic gearbox but with no reverse. It could actually get up to 45 mph (probably just downhill), and had a base price of just $270.

Sometimes life just works out that way. You want a Ferrari and you get a King Midget that only goes downhill.

If you get stuck with a car that only goes downhill, contact us or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. As long as it's got an engine (and the King Midget did) we can help get rid of your lemon.

Burdge Law Office
www. Us Lemon Lawyers .com
Helping Consumers, and Consumer Law Attorneys, Since 1978

Click here to see what your state's Lemon Law says a lemon car is.

Motown's Tough Times

Times are tough in Motown.

Factory stats are out and the picture isn't good in Detroit. With the Mayor having his own tough times, things aren't good in Dearborn either.

Sales at GM and Chrysler dropped 19% in March and Ford fell 14%. Even Toyota was down 10% compared with last March. Nissan was off 4% and Honda reported a 3% drop.

If those numbers hold true course for the year, then US sales will top out at just over 15 million vehicles in 2008 and that's a big drop from last year's 16.2 million.

For consumers, it means that factories will be getting tighter as profits shrink. And that can mean less generosity when it comes to covering borderline warranty work. You may have to argue more to get things fixed that are not clearly covered by your warranty.

Click here for a list of Automotive Manufacturer's Phone Numbers and Fax Numbers and Web Sites. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so start squeakin'

When you get tired of arguing, though, contact us or call us 1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. The factory should build it right or pay for it when it's wrong, that's our motto.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemon Cars and Lemon Trucks Since 1978.

Tuesday

Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Law Advisor eNewsletter


You gotta give credit where credit's due.


Ohio consumers are finally diggin their way out from lackluster and careless government now that Marc Dann is Ohio's Attorney General. His choice of Nadine Ballard is a great example of putting someone in charge who cares (like he does) about consumers and who knows (like he does) Ohio's consumer protection laws.


Now they're doing even more for you.


Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has started a Consumer Law Advisor newsletter to help Ohio's consumer advocates keep up to date on changes in the law and new cases that can help them help their clients even more. It's a great idea that was long overdue and it took someone who cared to get it done. Marc Dann deserves a big thanks for this one, folks.


A recent issue included a list of new cases that were put in the Attorney General's Public Inspection File (which helps establish what acts and practices are declared unfair to Ohio consumers). Case discussions ranged from arbitration, home improvement, motor vehicle cases, prepaid entertainment deals, mortgage issues, telemarketing and more. Clearly, subscribing to this newsletter is necessary to keep up to date.


I've often gone searching online to find cases in the PIF that dealt with an issue and silently bemoaned the lack of any way to find out what was new. Well, no more.


The newsletter also covered some new consumer cases filed by the Attorney General and some new pending consumer legislation alerts. The pending legislation list is particularly helpful since it's a great way for consumers and consumer advocates to learn what bills are pending before the legislature so that you can help garner support for laws that will protect consumers more. That's something to keep your eye one.


Another part of the newsletter covers class action notices that affect Ohio consumers and which Ohio attorneys need to be aware of too.


The Attorney General's office should get 5 stars for this newsletter, folks. It's a "must subscribe" for anyone who cares about consumers or who wants to learn new ways to protect themselves from deceptive and unfair business practices.


You can subscribe by sending an email to ConsumerEnewsletter@ag.state.oh.us or telephoning 614.752.6729. Remember when you were a kid and your mom said "you snooze, you lose" ? Well that's the deal here. With every issue you don't read, you are missing out.