Tuesday

Is our country being run by millionaires?

Between 1984 and 2009 the net worth of members of the US House of Representatives almost tripled while the net worth of the average American actually declined. Same sort of thing is going on in the US Senate. It seems the fat cats are taking charge and we better take it back soon or we will lose it forever.

With a new study just released by the Center for Responsive Politics, almost half of the members of the US Congress are millionaires - the so-called "one percenters" who make up a tiny percentage of the US population at large. And the richest person looks to be a nver-heard-of-him-before Republican named Darrell Issa from California who is worth reportedly just over $700 million. Then there's Vernon Buchanan, a Florida Republican whose net worth reportedly is just shy of a third of a billion dollars.

There are plenty of other examples, both Republican and Democrat, but what this study really shows you is that while the rest of us have just been struggling to get by, the richest of the rich have been getting by just fine, thank you very much. In fact, they've been doing really rather well.

Is it any wonder that Congress favors big businesses owned by millionaires and billionaires, over the interests of the everyday consumer just trying to get by? Not really. There is a natural human tendancy to want to favor and help the people you know and who know you. And let's face it, millionaires know other millionaires, billionaires know other billionaires, and folks like the rest of us just know the rest of us.

Meanwhile, the rich put politicians in charge and the laws get changed. Think it isn't happening to you? Don't be so sure.

All across this country there is one law that every state has and that protects consumers from unfair and deceptive sales practices by dishonest merchants. Called "Udap" laws (unfair and deceptive acts and practices) or Consumer Sales Practices Acts, these laws are under attack by wealthy, conservative state legislators who are chipping away at your legal rights.

For example, in Ohio the Republican-controlled state legislature is about to amend the law so that it practically wipes it out. The Ohio Consumer Act has helped consumers fight illegal sales practices and, at the same time, helped honest merchants compete with dishonest merchants. But hard-core rich legislators, perhaps looking to their donors from the last election or the next one, want to get rid of any law that can be used against any business - no matter how honest or dishonest the business owner may be.

These zealots of change are misguided. They forget that a dishonest business hurts everyone, including the honest business-person down the street who can't compete with a liar and a thief.

Not all business owners are crooks, that's true. But there is no reason that an honest business owner should help protect a crook just because he wears a suit.

Meanwhile the bill is the Ohio legislature is steamrollling its way to approval in the coming weeks. Can you stop it? Maybe. But you better act fast. Otherwise, honest merchants will have to start adopting the deceptive and unfair tactics of dishonest merchants if they want to survive in the dog-eat-dog world that the Ohio state house seems to be brewing up for Ohio consumers.

Email, write, or call your state house representative and state senator, click here, and tell them to leave the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act alone. We don't need House Bill 275 and we don't need any change to our Consumer Protection law. This House Bill would help rich people get richer by wiping out some of your rights and making it harder than ever to use what little rights are left over.

We have enough rich people running our lives already. Tell the state legislature to leave our Consumer Law alone. Do it now. Before it's too late.

Find out who your state congressman is by clicking here, and call them now. And if they don't listen to you? Vote the millionaire rascals out.

Burdge Law Office
Helping people protect themselves every day

Saturday

Giving Back with Giftpacks Filled for the Needy

Each year the staff of Burdge Law Office does something for a local charity to help out the needy.

This year we returned to Fairhaven Church to help Homefull.org. Homefull works tirelessly to help homeless people by providing housing relocation help, prevention services, street outreach assistance, support services and education to the homeless in Ohio. Every day the folks at Homefull dedicate themselves to ending homelessness in our communities. Nationally an estimated nearly 700,000 people in the US are homeless according to a report in 2011 from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Fairhaven Church is a very giving congregation and this year their Christmas Gift project was to fill over 1,000 large plastic bins of needed home supplies for Homefull's team, to help make a difference in lives of homeless people as they struggle and gradually move into available housing opportunities.

The entire staff joined in the effort to fill some of the one thousand plus plastic tubs with the normal houseware goods and items that we all take for granted but which homeless people don't even have, so that as they move into housing they each have a 'starter' kit to help ease the transition. Now, with the tubs delivered to Homefull's staff for distribution, it's great to see so many tubs jammed full of the needed items to help ease the daily lives of the needy in our home town community.

Some of the over 1,000 plastic tubs
of supplies for the homeless

During the last year, attorney Burdge was also again invited to speak at a national seminar, this time in Colorado Springs and presented by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, where he spoke to attorneys and other professionals on the importance, value and reward of giving back to the community and the legal profession, based on research he and others have conducted on how the simple human act of sharing and giving impacts the world we live in, the legal profession, and each giver too.

The staff of our law firm has always sought to help the needy in our world and every one of us is proud to have contributed to the Fairhaven Church Christmas Gift project again this year. The homeless of every community can use a helping hand and we encourage you to help out in your home town too.

Giving is what makes the spirit of Christmas last all year long.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers all year long

Thursday

Escaping a Ford Escape with Seasons Greetings

Christmas and the holiday season are a wonderful time of the year.

We recently received a nice holiday greeting card from a former client. They had a bad Ford Escape that we had to fight with Ford over and they ended up getting their money back.

In the Christmas card they wrote their thanks and noted that they loved their new Honda.

When things work out right, and you can get rid of a lemon and get your money back, it's a great feeling. We were glad to have been of help in their case.

If you've got a lemon and the factory isn't taking care of you - and your dealer just wants you to trade it in on a new one - call us on our Toll Free Lemon Law Hotline at 1.888.331.6422 for a free case review. Or email us right now for free help. Christmas trees and lemon cars just don't mix!

Burdge Law Office
http://www.uslemonlawyers.com/
Because life is too short to drive a lemon

Tuesday

The super rich and their super cars crash into a super accident in Japan

You want to know where the money is and where they don't mind flaunting it once in awhile? It's in Japan.

In a single accident involving more than a dozen of super rich drivers and their "supercars" - flying by other cars at twice the speed limit -  a chain reaction crash into each other resulted in a total loss of millions of dollars. Apparently having money doesn't have much to do with being able to drive carefully.

Count 'em up, folks.

8 Ferrari cars, 3 Mercedes, a Lamborghini supercar, a Toyota supercar, and others - reportedly a total of 15 cars - crashed one into the other into the other into the other, etc, until there was $4 million + worth of supercars turned into smashed parts on the highway to Hiroshima. Amazingly ten people were taken to the hospital with only minor injuries if you don't consider their pride, which was badly damaged in the process.

And caught up in the midst of it all was one lone Prius - which was damaged not nearly as bad as the Lambo.

Ah, the super rich and their super cars. In this age of austerity, when the rich go out to play in public and their toys all get broken, you have to just shake your head and sort of snicker at the stupidity.



It just goes to show you.

When you drive twice the legal speed limit, keep your hands on the wheel and your attention on the road - and carry lots of car insurance too.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon

Monday

Dollar Stores Now Outnumber National Retail Pharmacy Chain Stores

Another sure sign that people have changed their ways? Dollar stores - stores that specialize in selling items priced at $1 or less - now outnumber all the drug stores in the country.

It's a sign of the times that there are now over 21,500 "dollar" stores around the country, more than all the "Big 3" drugstores combined.

CVS drug stores seem to be just down the street from every Walgreens Drugstore, which are all just around the corner from Rite Aid stores. But when you count them all up, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and 99 Cents Only stores outnumber the drug stores across the board, according to a news release from DrugStoreNews.com.

A research study from Colliers International, just release Monday, reports the rapid expansion of dollar stores, which dressed themselves up with storefront and merchandise display improvements as their customer base increased - a sure sign that shoppers are getting far more careful of how and where they spend their money.

The simple fact of life seems to be that as debt mounts, dollar store sales increase. This is true, in spite of the fact that drug stores themselves now often sell a wide variety of items - including the same types of items sold in many of the dollar stores.

Given the harder economic times that a very large part of the consuming public are living in each and every day, it should not be a surprise. It's the same reason that more and more folks are looking hard at bankruptcy as a way to deal with their debt - even during the holiday season.

If that's on your mind too, it's understandable. It may be a good time to do some bankruptcy planning so that after the first of the year you can be sure you understand your legal rights and what your options are. Bankruptcy isn't for everyone, but in these times, it may be the relief you need.

We help consumers when cars turn into lemons and they need their money back or a car that runs right so they can get to work and earn the money their family needs. And when the economic roof caves in,  we help people with consumer bankruptcy cases in the Dayton, Ohio area too. In these times, people need all the help they can get.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers find a way out of trouble and debt, everyday

Tuesday

What bad economy? Car Sales are at a 2 year high point

It's getting better in spite of what "they" keep saying.
The economy appears to be heading up in spite of the doom and gloom from politicians and dismal failings of some college football coaches. Enough of the bad news, folks. We can talk ourselves out of this recession or we can talk ourselves in a deeper one - it's up to us.

The good news is that housing sales are actually up in many parts of the country. Employment numbers are also holding or going up too, including locally in Dayton, Ohio. Black Friday was a boon to retailers. Cyber Monday was super to online merchants. The Federal Reserve just reported that the total consumer debt load is down - and now comes word that auto sales, which drive major parts of the American economy, are up for the last six straight months of year-over-year gains according the The Detroit Bureau. And not only are more cars and trucks being sold, but consumers are paying higher prices for them too - a sign that they can afford it again?

It was Wall Street and Detroit that crashed the economy two years and both appear to be well into the black now and the rest of the economy is moving up too.

Numbers from Chrysler, Ford and GM all show increases in sales. The survey people at JD Power & Asc, who monitor auto retail sales, also reported the increase.

Maybe it's time for all the politicians to leave America alone so it can fix the economy without the bickering sideshow that Congress puts on the network news every night? Maybe, just maybe.

But they are still building cars and some of them come out as lemons, so we're still here too.

Burdge Law Office
Because life's too short to put up with a lemon

Friday

Tips To Help You Avoid Buying A Lemon

We don't often do guest posts but here's a very nice article from Isabella Woods, a professional writer for numerous websites and publications. She's got some great tips on what to watch out for so you don't get a lemon when you go car shopping.

You’ve heard of people buying lemons - not in the food store, but in the auto dealer’s sales showroom. You might have been lucky up until now, but when you hear the stories of how some people have suffered, think about getting some help before your next car purchase – just in case it’s a lemon. Here are some tips that will help you avoid difficulty.

Pick Your Favorites and Research Them

Tip one is to do your research. Google will show you page after page about the types of cars you plan to look at. Some cars have much worse records than others. Search for the worst lemons and avoid all of those in the bottom half of the table. Choose a vehicle that has a good reliability record. There are charts and data on all brands of cars. If a certain manufacturer is always recalling cars, it might be time to take them off your list.

If you’re buying from a used car dealer, the Federal Trade Commission rules state that every used vehicle should have a buyer’s guide clearly attached to the window. You will know if you’re buying purely as seen, or whether a warranty is included. If you’re buying without a warranty, the cost of anything that goes wrong with the car from the day you drive it away from the showroom, comes from your wallet.

Take a Walk Around the Vehicle

Sometimes damage isn't as obvious as this: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Damaged_car_door.jpg

That's why you need to take a slow walk around the vehicle. You’ll be looking for anything out of the ordinary – do all the body panel gaps line up perfectly? Do you see anything broken or replaced by parts that just don’t look right? For a video of how we spotted one wrecked car by looking it over carefully, click here.

Want to know if the previous owners used their driving school insurance to have the car resprayed (which alerts you to accidents)? Look out for paint that has been sprayed over the line and lands on chrome or rubber trims.

Check that all the moving body panels – doors, hood and trunk – fit perfectly. Use a magnet around the car. If it doesn’t hold onto the metal, there might be body filler lurking behind.

The Inside is Just as Important

When you look inside, go straight to the pedals. If they are worn, it will be a sign of a high mileage vehicle; don’t rely on what the milometer says.

A general look around the interior will help you know if the car is feeling worn out. Are there any missing knobs and are the handles original?

Checking the seat belts, can you see melted fibers? This might be evidence of a front end collision. Belts not in 100% pristine condition will need replacing.

Water smells, perhaps mildew, are especially difficult to erase. They may be a sign that the car has been flooded or suffers consistent water leakage. Walk away now.

How Good are the Tires?

Obviously you can change the tires easily, but there are some tell tale signs of problems you can look out for. Aggressive driving can affect the whole car. To spot this, you’ll see heavier wear on the exterior shoulder by the sidewall. If the tires are worn unequally, you’ll have to look further into brake, suspension or steering problems.

Steering Clues

When it's time to test drive, look out for these clues. When driving normally, the car shouldn’t pull to one side or the other. If it does, you may have a worn steering gear. Steering wheel shake can tell you to look into the vehicle’s suspension frame. If this has been bent during a collision, it will cost you.

Under the Hood


Most people won’t know what’s good or bad under the hood, but there are a few signs you should be wary of even before a mechanic looks over the car.

Of course most engines won't sparkle like this one:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1978_March-Triumph_F3_car_engine.jpg

But it ought to be pretty clean. There should be a lack or corrosion and the engine and battery should be grease free. The oil should be slick and not too thin. Any metal particles will show you it’s time to move on.

After the vehicle has been running for at least ten minutes, check under the hood to see if the engine sounds better or worse than when you started it. This is also a good time to check that gear changes are smooth.

Finally, "bounce the car" (by leaning or pushing hard on one corner of the body and suddenly letting go) to see that it bounces once or twice. More and you will know the suspension may be suspect.

If the vehicle passes all your tests, it’s time to call in your mechanic to check it thoroughly. The expense will save you hundred of dollars over time. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy a lemon, would you?

Isabella Woods is a professional writer for numerous websites and publications. One of her very interesting articles was published at US Daily Review raising the question Should Inventors and Innovaters be Compared? It's an interesting discussion contrasting the contributions and style of Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison and well worth the read.
 
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves everyday

Thursday

ABC News explains the Yo Yo game car dealers play on consumers

Noting that tomorrow the Federal Trade Commission starts considering a new regulation to stop unfair and deceptive car dealer fraud tricks, ABC News has an alert on their website with a nice video explanation of the Yo Yo scam that many car dealers use to trick consumers with their "gotcha" tactic.

If you don't know what a car dealer's Yo Yo scam is - then find out before it bites you in your wallet.

And if you've been victimized by what one car dealer on the ABC News video admits is a sinful and unfair tactic, then call us. Helping consumers get their money back is what we do. And we make the car dealer pay us for it too.

Burdge Law Office
Because it isn't fair to get cheated out of your money

Learn more car dealer slang terms by reading the Online Car Dealer Dictionary
Want to know what fraud legally means? Check out http://www.carfraudsales.com/

Tuesday

What cars have the highest repair bills?

One hand fixing the other
CBS News released a report on Monday which shows what cars have the fewest and least expensive repairs. In spite of the recall beating, Toyota took the top spot with its 2009 Corolla. Hyundai came in second.

The report covers model years 2001 to 2011 and looks at repairs that occurred in the last year. The report came out of CarMD originally, apparently, which is a service aimed at letting car owners know what is wrong with their car and what repair costs for problems ought to be.

CarMD based its data on mechanic info they say and not the owner survey reports that Consumer Reports gets from their reliability survey.

Luxury brands were generally worse, even though you'd think they'd rank better than non-lux brands.

You can check how reliable your car model is at CarMD's website, click here.

As for Toyota, taking the number one spot in this survey comes in the shadow of the latest Toyota recall - which hit the Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Solara, Highland and even its Lexus ES330 and RX330 and RX400h, all for model years 2004 - 2006. The latest recall is for a faulty crankshaft pulley in V6 engines which can lead to loss of power steering. Continuing their policy of apparently trying to keep recalls quiet as long as possible, Toyota isn't telling owners about this recall because they don't have an adequate supply of replacement parts, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor on Nov. 9.

Check out CarMD to see what repairs cost for your car before you fork over big money, so you don't waste your money.

And if you've got a lemon Toyota and the dealer isn't helping you out, call us on our Toll Free Toyota Lemon Law Hotline at 1.888.331.6422 or email us right now. We know how to get their attention. It's what we do, getting rid of lemon cars and getting consumers back their money.

Burdge Law Office
Because life's too short to drive a lemon

Thursday

Thank Someone Who Served

A few years ago, a local farmer came in to see me for some help. Bills and crop prices and debt had him over a barrel and we talked about bankruptcy and what it could and couldn’t do to help relieve his situation. He was a big strong man, the way some farmers just naturally are, both in his heart and his size. We were about the same age but he looked so much older.

His situation took about 5 months to get resolved but I will never forget the day that I learned that he was a chopper pilot in Vietnam about the same time as my older brother, Larry, was there. I had no clue and never would have guessed.

We both stopped what we were talking about, his own current problem, while he looked out the window and quietly talked about what it was like then, back in Vietnam. It was hard for me to look at this older and much heavier man and try to imagine what he must have looked like back in the days of 1966-'68. Now, he was mostly bald and probably weighed a lot more than he did back then, but like me he had been young once too. Now, he didn't move as quick as he undoubtedly did in 'nam either.

But you could tell from the distance in his eyes as he spoke that he had never really left it all behind him.

He talked about what it was like to fly a chopper in and out of valleys and hills and fire, dropping down as quickly as he could and picking up a wounded soldier or two and getting back out of there, wherever "there" was, as fast as he could. Nothing but plexiglass between him and the bullets.

He said he loved flying helicopters then, but that he was never in his life as scared as he was in those few minutes between the time just before he would land and when he was back out of the worst of the fire. He said they were the longest minutes of his life. He called it dodging a lifetime of bullets, scared to death that one of them had his name on it.

He had a dusty old baseball cap in his hand as we talked. It hung loosely in his hand as he gazed aimlessly out the window. It was from some team that didn't really matter, I'm sure. His eyes were never in the room with us as he calmly and matter-of-factly talked of how men died around him and also of those who came back like him.

You could tell he had memories he wished he didn't have. He said the worst feeling he had from the whole war was that every time he'd lift off the ground he knew that while he was getting out of there, he was leaving other boys behind. He'd fly away, his heart pounding loud in his chest, while the fighting went on below him.

After a long while, he stopped talking and we just sat there, not talking at all. I could see that things were going on inside his mind and I just didn't know what to say. I was dumbstruck by this seemingly now-gentle giant of a man who had been through hell. Truth be told, I didn't think I had a right to say anything at all. After what seemed like the longest time, both of us returned to the present moment. He never spoke about it again.

It's been years now. I don't even remember his name. Probably most of the guys he saved didn't remember it either. I haven't thought of him since then until my older brother sent me a recording he found on the internet, called God's Own Lunatics (click below) that explained what it was like to be one of those foot soldiers on the ground. I clicked on it, listened, and the memory all came back to me.

I recall that he was the son of a local farmer who had gone off to war and came back all grown up - to be his father's son, a farmer again. Something about beating your swords into plows seems appropriate for me to end this note but it also seems so trivial a thing to say. I can still recall his face.
We all owe veterans a whole lot more than any of us will ever be able to repay. If you know someone who served, shake their hand and thank them. You don't need to say why. They'll know.

Tuesday

Credit Records and Credit Rights, an FYI Word for Consumers


Akron.com, a news outlet on the internet for the Akron Ohio area, recently published an article on Credit Rights and consumer rights about their credit record, authored by Dayton attorney Ron Burdge and now being circulated by the Ohio State Bar Association.
"Most consumers have no idea who can legal access their credit records," said attorney Burdge. The news article lets people know the answer to that question and lots more.

The state bar had not published any articles for the public dealing with credit rights and credit record information, Burdge's website on credit rights, OhioFairCredit.com, explains federal laws dealing with protecting your credit, monitoring your credit rating, how to get a free copy of your credit record, and more - so you can protect your good name.

Burdge has written other aritcles distributed by the Ohio State Bar Association to newspapers and media state-wide, including warranty rights and Rv lemon laws and other consumer protection laws.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers fight fraudsters

Monday

China Buys Saab - Are they buying everything?

Well, there's good news and, maybe, bad news.
Chinese companies, encouraged by government bureaucrats to expand ownership of foreign companies and assets, have now pledged to buy Saab, the Swedish auto maker that has been struggling to survive ever since GM cut them loose in the GM corporateUS  bankruptcy that closed down the Pontiac brand and wiped out the Saturn brand too.

The China companies that had long sought to take over the Swedish car company timed it pretty good, at times promising money and loans and million-dollar purchases, and at other times blaming government bureaucrats for blocking their corporate desires of conquest. The whole effort seems to have worked to break the back of union workers in Sweden who haven't been paid for weeks while dust gathers on factories of half-built Saab vehicles.

Meanwhile, Swedish court officials ran out of patience and threatened to drop Saab into the bankruptcy bucket for good - repeatedly.

Finally, up rides the white knight to save the day and, lo and behold, he's from China. That story had a different ending for sure.

We're just as much for free enterprise as the next guy, but Chinese companies and millionaires have been buying up real estate and companies and everything in between, on more than just one continent, for the last decade and it's getting to be a sore point. Granted there isn't much to be done about any of it, one could suppose.

On the other hand, you and I could start with the small places in our lives and start buying American products again. If Americans would stop looking at the price tag and start looking at the tiny tag that says where the product was made, and then buy products that are made in the US, it just might start to help put Americans back to work again.

While at the local Target store the other day, I decided to buy a box of pencils. Just ordinary pencils. I found a box of Ticonderoga brand - what we all used in grade school not so long ago - that cost nearly five dollars for a box of a dozen. Next to it was a larger box of two dozen pencils for a dollar. You can guess which one was made in China. It was the one I didn't buy.

The American economy can't run on the service industry alone. If we stop making products, we won't have the manufacturing capacity and knowledge necessary to remain independent of foreign influence. Yes, we realize this day and age is, to a large degree, a global economy. But there's something very wrong with a price structure that allows pencils shipped thousands of miles from China to cost so little that an American company can't stay in business making them when they ship them a few states away.

Part of the problem may be that politicians, bought by big business that shipped jobs overseas, not only gave tax incentives that wiped out jobs on US soil in favor of overseas jobs, but they also failed to create tariffs that could protect what little US jobs were left behind too. Money paid into a politician's pocket right now, means a dollar bill that never gets to a working man's pocket tomorrow.

Money is the root of the problem and it is not an issue for the President either because it is Congress that controls the playing board right now. If your Congressional representative and Senator don't act to protect your job, there is nothing the President can do. Congress has to pass the laws - no one else can do that in our political system.

Meanwhile, politicans bicker and blame each other and get nothing done and millions of jobs are shipped overseas and what few jobs don't disappear are in companies that are being gobbled up by foreign investors and government-backed companies - and who is watching out for you?

After all, when an American President said (long ago) that "the buck stops here" - he wasn't talking about the Yuan.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers live better lives everyday

Wednesday

Americans driving less miles than in almost a decade

You can tell the economy is still pinched tight. The Detroit Bureau is reporting that although car sales are creeping upward, Americans as a rule are driving less now than they have at any time since 2003 according to federal Dept of Transporation statistics.

That may be part of the reason that fuel prices a creeping down a little too, but they are still higher than recent times. But gas stations around here are still above $3.60, like most of the rest of the country.

Higher gas prices, joblessness, belt-tightening all around - it all adds up to the "hunker down" mentality that seems to have permeated US consumers. Driving is down in a down economy.

At the same time, recalls are still happening regularly.

Just this week Harley recalled bikes for brake lamp system defects, Daimler Trucks recalled buses for brake line dangers and fire dangers, Blue Bird recalled vehicles for passenger seat problems, Cruiser RV had its recall, along with Jayco travel trailers. Even fire trucks were recalled by Ferrara for steering problems that could cause a crash.

In the first 15 business days of this month there have been 25 recalls announced by federal safety investigators. Everything from Chevys to fire trucks and lots in between. Maybe all the recalls have something to do with less mileage too?

Remember, if you've got a lemon and your dealer isn't helping you out, call us on our Toll Free Lemon Law Help Hotline at 1.888.331.6422, or email us right now for a free case review. Getting rid of lemon vehicles is what we do. Everyday.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon.

Friday

Burdge addresses Hawaii military lawyers on consumer lemon laws

To help military legal personnel better understand Hawaii's consumer protection laws, Ron Burdge will join Hawaii's Lemon Lawyer Jeff Crabtree to provide base legal training at Schofield Barracks for all military branches today, covering the Hawaii Lemon Law, Hawaii's Unfair-Deceptive Acts statute, the Hawaii Commercial Sales Code and the federal Lemon Law, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.
Jeff Crabtree, a premier Hawaii consumer law advocate and Ronald Burdge will provide legal training October 14 for the US Army Garrison at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Expected to attend will be military lawyers from both Army and Navy and the seminar is open to all island military legal offices.

Jeff Crabtree will discuss Hawaii consumer protection laws and focus on Hawaii's powerful consumer protection law, HRS 480-2 and HRS 480-13, and how it can be adapted to many different kinds of consumer protection needs to help consumer military members when they have been victims of consumer sales fraud and unfair or deceptive consumer transactions in Hawaii. Crabtree has extensive experience with Hawaii's "Udap" law - the state law that makes it illegal for most merchants to commit an unfair or deceptive act on a consumer during a sales or lease or service transaction.
Ron Burdge will discuss Hawaii's Lemon Car Laws and the four lemon vehicle laws that can help Hawaii consumer military members get rid of lemon motor vehicles and get their money back or a new vehicle.

Burdge will explain the Hawaii Lemon Law, the federal Lemon Law - called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act - and how it also applies to lemon motor vehicles and even lemon used cars, and the Hawaii Commercial Sales Code and Hawaii's Udap law and how they also can help consumers get valuable consumer protection remedies in a lemon car or lemon truck or lemon Rv case.
The all-afternoon seminar is open to all branches of the military JAG offices in Hawaii and their personnel. Joining them will be Elizabeth Kent, head of the Hawaii State Judiciary's Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, to discuss alternative dispute options for Hawaii consumers, and Washington attorney Michael Kinkley, who will discuss debt collection practices.

The Consumer Law seminar was designed by attorney Crabtree to provide base legal personnel with updated information and advice on how they can use Hawaii's consumer protection laws to assist military personnel with their consumer problems.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon

Thursday

Saab - it ain't over yet, folks. 70 million rolls in at last minute

The Swedes aren't doing it the way US government officials did. Their government isn't rushing to the aid of Saab with a taxpayer bailout. Instead the company is forced to scramble to find money in the marketplace to stay in business. No private jet trips to the capital for them.

Teetering on the brink of oblivion, Saab announced that it just received 70 million euro from a Chinese partner, according to Wall Street Journal news sources just minutes ago. It's the first payment in a badly needed restructuring loan deal intended to keep the Swedish automaker afloat.

Court officials were talking just days ago of the high likelihood of the automaker falling into bankruptcy and while the 70 million will get used up fast, it gives the car maker the ability to stave off creditors for now - and maybe just long enough to get the rest of its reorganization funding in order.

WSJ reported that "Saab Automobile needs the money to pay wages as Sweden's state wage guarantee—an insurance scheme providing salaries for employees of companies who are either bankrupt or undergoing a restructure—runs out on Oct. 21." Without the loan, Saab would have completely run out of time just days from now.

The Swedish factory for Saab has been closed for over 5 months while corporate officials sought loans and white knight buyout help from Russian and Chinese companies that often were promised but never materialized in the bank accounts. The 70 million just received is from a Chinese company that promises more if their government lets them - and that effort is still winding its way through Chinese red tape.

Whether the US made the right move, with its billions in taxpayer bailout money to US carmakers, or the Swedes have it right by turning a cold shoulder to Saab - only time will tell. The one thing we do know is that but for the bailout, the entire US economy would have been plunged into chaos with the auto company failures coming in the midst of the financial mess that investment bankers were brewing on Wall Street.

No question the US economy is heavily dependent on the auto industry. Meanwhile, in Sweden the economy is more broadly based on a variety of industries and technologies - even though their livelihood depends on exports of their goods and services more than imports. Out of the top 20 corporations in Sweden, only Volvo is known for its motor vehicle manufacturing. They build, sell, and do other things to keep their economy going.

Granted Sweden has its minuses - a tax rate double the US rate, for one - but it is also one of the top places for new business opportunities according to many economists too.

Perhaps the US economy came to depend too much on the auto industry, unlike Sweden where the auto industry isn't the only thing impacting the daily lives of the public in so major a way.

Regardless, we're glad to see Saab get by for now. Lemon lawyers didn't get many Saab cases and their quality - and customer loyalty - was probably the reason.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon 

Tuesday

Is Saab about to disappear? Bankruptcy "just hours away" Swedish press says

Once upon a time, Saab was a shining star in the sea of vehicles GM built or had a hand in building. Now, with Swedish creditors pounding on the doors and Swedish employees unpaid, the factory shuttered in Sweden (although the one in Mexico has its doors open), and the Chinese government saying the Chinese "white knight" money is doubtful - the "administrator" put in charge of the Swedish company appears to be fed up, according to news reports.

Saab dodged the bankruptcy bullet last month but without money to get by from day to day, it may be only a matter of time. That's a shame in many ways, not the least of which is the fact that reviewers like what they saw when Saab unveiled it new 9-4X model only weeks ago.

Orphaned by GM during the GM bankruptcy, and shuttled back and forth among suitors ever since while it struggled for cash flow, it likely now faces the end of the fight soon. Perhaps very soon.

As we have been saying for months, maybe you need to think hard before you buy a new or used Saab unless, of course, you can get a bunch of spare parts as part of the sale. You may not be able to find a dealer who has any when your Saab's parts wear out or break down.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves since 1978

Factory production up at car plants - what do they know that we don't?

North American car manufacturers (US, Canada and Mexico) increased their overall production of new cars and trucks by 9% in the last month to a high of just unde 1.2 million new vehicles, according to numbers just out from Automotive News magazine.

Do you think they see a better economy coming? Probably.

Motor vehicle manufacturers are not stupid. They watch the economy carefully and don't build what they can't sell and don't build when they can't sell it. A lousy economy means fewer buyers on car dealer lots and that means more old inventory sitting around - and manufacturers cut back when that happens. So what's up?

Granted the latest employment report (literally out just hours ago) showed an uptick in employment numbers that was higher than industry experts and doom-sayer pundits thought would happen - and that's good news. In spite of the President's call for the do-nothing Congress to pass his jobs bill - which would itself create thousands of new jobs and boost the economy because of it, conservatives and tea partiers in Washington are refusing to go along with the program, although they have no program of their own.

With employment numbers up, maybe the economy really is getting better.

When we look at inflation numbers reported by InflationData.com for the first 8 months of this year and compare them with the same 8 months from five years ago in 2006, the rate of inflation in every single month is LOWER now than it was then. Granted, the conservatives and tea partiers don't like the current President, but when they were in charge, back in 2006, inflation was a lot worse than it is now.

With inflation numbers actually down, maybe the economy really is getting better.

Looking at household income, there's no doubt that the average person's household income has dropped in the last year, so who are they building all those new cars and trucks for? Well, one answer comes from looking at the sector of the economy that is actually making more money than ever before.


Their profits are back up again
 While the average Joe has seen his paycheck get smaller, there is one segment of the economy that is back to its pre-recession boom times - in fact, their numbers are higher in the last year than they were before the financial meltdown that continues to worry the average Joe.

The rich investment bankers, it seems, are getting richer.

It's reports like that which are causing the sit-in protests that are spreading - but that doesn't explain the upsurge in new cars and trucks being built. All those rich people can't buy all the new cars being built.

The only logical answer is that the vehicle manufacturers have decided that the economy is doing better than the nay-sayers are saying.

Why else would BMW increase its production in one month by 82%? or GM by 20%? or Hyundai-Kia by 48%? or Nissan by 22%? Even Mexico's car plants are building 22% more cars than they did the month before.

Maybe, just maybe, the doom and gloom that the talking heads spew is not so accurate after all. So why is there so much negative talk about the economy making news? There's no doubt that the economy is coming back but the big headline seems to be that it isn't happening as fast as people want. That makes sense when you step back and realize that we have become a "I want it now" society in so many ways.

It takes time for the economy to come back, sure, but there is no way that all the car manufacturers are building and shipping out cars and trucks that they think are going to sit around on dealer lots and gather dust. Detroit (and Canada and Mexico) all seem to think that something very good is coming down the road and it's going to get here sooner than the talking heads on the boob tube are saying.

Maybe that's why our parents called tv the boob tube in the first place. It's a shame more people in this generation don't remember that.

Burdge Law Office
When you get tired of looking down, it's time to look up

Sunday

Iowa Warns About Easy-to-Use Odometer Rollback Devices Running Rampant

Used odometers for sale on the internet
With two consumer complaints in the last week, odometer rollbacks appear to be increasing. And we aren't the only ones who think so.

At the end of September the Iowa Independent Automobile Dealer's Association issued a "Dealer Alert" to its members, warning them of a rise in odometer tampering. The alert includes a link to a revealing youtube video - one of a dozen or more video's that shows just how easy the electronic "gizmo" devices are that can quickly and easily change the odometer reading on cars with an electronic dash. As one video says, you can do it in two seconds.

The Iowa auto group notes that low mileage vehicles are very difficult to find these days and dealers re paying higher than normal prices for low mileage cars and trucks. Premium prices for low mileage vehicles means lots of opportunity for crooks to "roll" the odometer back and make a quick and easy buck - in fact, thousands of dollars.

The dealer alert warns dealers that the National Auto Auction Association has also issued several alerts about odometer programming devices being used to reset odometers to lower readings. Many of these devices are made overseas, often in China, and sell for a few hundred dollars up to as much as several thousands. Some are handheld devices that simply plug in while others require more work to get the numbers changed. Easy or hard - it's illegal in every state to tamper with an vehicle odometer.

Handheld Odometer tampering device for sale on the internet
We gave a speech three years ago at a conference of auto fraud lawyers in Texas, warning of the rise of these handy handheld odometer tampering devices.

They are relatively cheap and easily available. Here is a link to one that is on sale - half price - and only $215 and it looks like the one that appears in several of the YouTube videos online. This stuff is real and crooks are using it.

The youtube's even show how remarkably easy they are to operate.

And in a few minutes with one of these devices, a crook can crank back the odometer on a used car and increase its value on the resale market by an easy three to eight thousand dollars. Given the cost of the device itself, a crook can make a lot of money very fast and very easy.

These computer devices can tap into your car's onboard diagnostic computer and alter the odometer reading with just a few clicks. Moral of the story? If you are in the market for a used car, be very careful when you look at any low milage vehicles. In fact, it's easier to spin a high mileage commercial truck from 200,000 miles down to 100,000 and not get noticed - and the money is just as good.

So commercial or consumer vehicle, the danger is out there. Before you buy a used vehicle, protect yourself with these easy steps.

Run an AutoCheck or CarFax or NMVTIS report - better yet, run all three. Each of them get their data is slightly different ways and sometimes from different sources. Better safe than sorry and the cost isn't that much. But don't stop there.

Look at pedals for unusual wear
Check the vehicle out carefully for what you can see. Look for unusual pedal wear and floor mat wear, along with carpeting and seat wear.

Worn and thin places, combined with low mileage on the car or truck, is a sign that someone has rolled the odometer backwards to increase the vehicle's value. But don't stop here either.

Likely "target" vehicles are one-owner vehicle so be extra careful. Iowa's group points out that with one owner vehicles, the best thing to do is get sevice records to show real mileage number history. If the mileage seems suspiciously low and the seller has no service records, be careful.

Always get a pre-purchase vehicle inspection

Another way to minimize your problem later is to always insist on getting some kind of warranty from the seller. Even a 3 day warranty from the selling dealer will, in most states, trigger warranty rights that can help you later.

But of course, the best way to avoid a rollback vehicle is to always buy from someone you know. And that's not likely a car dealer.

Car dealers buy hundreds of vehicles at auto auctions all over the US and the auction yard is a crook's favorite place to unload a rollback vehicle. A quick sale and the thief is gone. Months later, long after the dealer has sold the vehicle, the consumer may find out the engine has a lot more wear than they thought when parts begin to fail. Complaining to the selling dealer won't do much good because they will just claim innocent lack of knowledge. And you get stuck.

Be careful out there. Thieves are everywhere. And some of them are car dealers who know what they are buying - and what they are selling.

If you get ripped off, call us. We can help you get even by getting your money back. It's what we do.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumer protect themselves for over 25 years.
Call our Toll Free Hotline, 1.888.331.6422

Thursday

There is a Lemon Law for Puppies 'n Pets Too

Because we are lemon law lawyers, we often get the question of whether or not there is a lemon law for pets. While we don't normally handle cases of that type, a lot of states actually do have what are called "Puppy Lemon Laws."

Yes, there can be such a thing as a "lemon" puppy (or cat) and, yes, there are lemon pet laws in several states.

Basically, pet lemon laws are intended to protect consumers from sellers who market sick pets to unaware consumers. How much protection you may get will depend on your particular state law though. Like some of the pets, some of the laws aren’t perfect either.

Generally these "puppy lemon laws" let the buyer get a refund when they return a sick puppy or at least get reimbursement for vet bills. Most of these laws cover different kinds of pets but you will need to read your state's law to see if it covers your kind of pet.

Here is a list of the states that have a puppy lemon law at last date checked:

- in the North: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont

- in the South: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia

- in the Mid West, Minnesota and Nebraska are the only states with a puppy lemon law

- in the West, only California and Nevada have puppy lemon laws

If your state has a puppy law, then you should have the right to either make the pet store take it back and refund your money or pay the vet bill.

If you state does not have a puppy law, then your sales paperwork may control your legal rights and you should be able to use your state’s commercial and sales laws under a breach of contract theory.

When you make a contract with someone, then as long as the contract is for something that is legal, then it is enforceable. Every state has a special law, however, that says that if more than a small amount of money (sometimes as little as $500) is involved then the contract has to be in writing. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but the basic terms have to be written down and usually signed. So, if your sick puppy cost less than $500, you don't need a written contract to bring a claim in most states because the oral contract for the sale is enforceable by itself.

Technically, a contract is defined as an agreement where someone makes an offer to do something, someone accepts that offer, and there is a legally sufficient "consideration" for it. That usually means money but it can mean giving up something besides money too. If one side does not live up to the agreement, then the other side can file a claim against them in court. So if you were told the puppy was not sick and it turned out to be sick, then you may have a claim for breach of contract.

At court you have to prove there was a contract, that the other side did not do what they agreed to do (or perhaps did it wrong), and that they caused damage to occur (usually measured in money). So if they sell you a sick puppy, saying it is not sick, that's a breach.

Some states, however, require that you give the other side a notice that they breached the contract before you can file a claim against them in court. That can be as simple as a note or letter or phone call, but the more money that is involved, the more careful you should be to see that the notice is being done right. Some states also require that you give them a chance to "cure" (make it right) the breach before you can file a claim in court too. So, you have to tell them the puppy is sick and give them a chance to make it right with you.

If your puppy turns out to be ill when you purchase it, then return and complain to the pet shop or store. Try to negotiate to get what you want or what you can accept. If that doesn’t work, you can contact your state attorney general’s office or the Better Business Bureau and see if they can help.

There is little enforcement of these puppy lemon laws and they are generally written to let you do it yourself. You may have to talk to a private attorney for help or in some states you may be able to use your local small claims court process to get your money back.

If you can't work it out, you may want to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case to find out for sure how the law works in your state. Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers (http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/ocll-site/ocll-locate_local.shtml) and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net).

But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are.

Hopefully, your new pet (and you) won't need the protection that a Lemon Law can give, but it's good to know it's there when you need it.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves everyday

Wednesday

New Mini Cooper Goes 149 mph? Redesigned "bucket" roof looks cool

When it came out, the Mini Cooper was a remake of the classic shape from days gone by, updated with new dash instruments and toys. Well, hold on to your hub caps. Here comes a new one and it's not your father's Mini either.

The company is coming out with new shapes and updates and the most dramatic is the juiced up new coupe. A 2 seater 2012 Mini Cooper that can go 149 mph flat out (fasten that seat belt really tight) with a new aero design that cuts down wind friction, a "bucket" roof design that cuts it down further, a spoiler built into the rear roof design to force the rear end to hold the road at high speeds, and - the icing on the cake - an added spoiler that automatically pops up on the rear when the car hits 50 mph for even greater road hugging (and it retracts when your speed drops down to a more sluggish 37 mph).

With looks that any teenager will love and 20-somethings will lust after, and performance that will appeal to the 30-something generation, this one is likely to sell pretty good we suspect.

Add to that the usual reliable nature of the Mini brand and they could well have a hot seller here. The Detroit Bureau first look review is located here (click).

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon

Monday

Hyundai Sonata steering system breaking apart? Be careful out there, folks

Steering system falling apart?
So what's up with the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and their steering system failures? Either no one knows - or no one is talking freely about it. But the problem is there - and it's dangerous.

Hyundai built over 161,000 2011 Sonata vehicles. Some of them - how many, who knows - may have a deadly defective steering system problem. About 40,000 of them have never been fixed at all, according to Hyundai itself.

In a letter to federal safety investigators, Hyundai admitted that it has received warranty claims and customer complaints about a steering system failure where the steering system disengages from the steering wheel, in one way or another, and loss of vehicle control can result.

One owner reported that when trying to make a turn the vehicle steering had no control and the vehicle just went straight ahead. Obviously, the situation could be dangerous. In another report, a rattle noise was apparently heard before any failure occurred but parts showed signs of a coming failure defect possibility. In another case, missing steering shaft joint cap parts were discovered missing during a predelivery inspection. In yet another, a steering shaft "separation" had occurred.

Notice went out to Hyundai dealers to be on the lookout for the steering shaft defects but owners should be particularly attentive to any unusual noise or sensation related to the steering system. When the steering shaft separates - you lose steering control. If it happens on the highway, serious injuries can result.

So, at the first sign of a problem, get your Sonata to a Hyundai dealer right away - carefully. And if your dealer doesn't take care of your problem quickly, call us on our Hyundai lemon owner hotline toll free at 1.888.331.6422. Or email us right now for free lemon law help.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon Hyundai

Here's how Hyundai and federal safety investigators described the Sonata situation:

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is aware of 7 complaints and field reports and 10 warranty claims on the subject vehicles that allege the intermediate steering shaft became loose or in some cases separated from the upper steering column and/or the steering gearbox, causing (or potentially causing) the hand wheel to become mechanically de-coupled from the road wheels resulting in a complete loss of steering capability. The reported causes include excessive free play or separation of the intermediate steering shaft upper and/or lower universal joint cross shaft/yoke; missing, loose or damaged universal joint pinch bolts; improperly assembled intermediate steering shafts with misaligned splines or insufficient spline engagement preventing the universal joint pinch bolt from being secured in the retaining groove when fastened. On September 20, 2010, the manufacturer notified the agency that it would conduct a safety recall (NHTSA Recall No. 10V-426) to address the alleged defect in approximately 139,500 subject vehicles produced from December 11, 2009 through September 10, 2010. In addition to inspecting the steering shaft, the manufacturer will also update the electric power-assist steering control software to address complaints that the steering wheel vibrates or shakes as a result of a a motor driven power steering malfunction. The manufacturer began notifying affected owners by written letter on October 14, 2010. To date, 119,383 subject vehicles have been serviced under the recall campaign and 58 subject vehicles have received replacement parts as a result. Accordingly, this investigation is closed.

What's going on with Ford Escape rear windows breaking at unusually high frequency rate

Rear windows breaking at high rate - How come?
While we normally don't talk about recalls here, every once in a while we become aware of federal safety investigations that are "ahead" of the recall process and which are serious enough that consumers need to be aware of them - so they can be careful and perhaps even avoid buying problem cars or defective trucks. This is one of those situations.

So, what's up with the 2011 Ford Escape? And is the problem only with the 2011 model? What did they do to fix it after that model year started? And when did Ford first realize it was a problem?

It, is the unusual number of windows that are breaking in the early model year 2011 Focus vehicles. After four months of investigation by federal safety investigators, the investigation was closed with no explanation of the defect or its cause. Ford, no doubt, smiled. Meanwhile, consumers should be concerned.

Here's the official announcement by federal safety investigators:

In its response to the agency, Ford acknowledged a higher than normal level of glass breakage incidents in the model year (MY) 2010 to early-build MY 2011 subject vehicles. The incidents occurred when the liftgate glass was being opened, or more typically while being closed, but in both cases while the vehicle was stationery, i.e., not moving on the roadway. Additionally failures often occurred during early morning hours when ambient and/or liftgate glass temperatures may have been lower. Ford advised that it investigated the failures but failed to identify an anomaly in the glass manufacturing process (which is often a factor in glass breakage trends ODI investigates) that could explain the reports. It did however identify a potential thermal expansion/compression condition in the mounting of the rear wiper motor to the liftgate glass. Starting at MY 2008 vehicle production the motor was attached to the glass using an adhesive. Ford revised that design to a "nut and bolt" type attachment in October 2010, during MY 2011 vehicle production. ODI's review of Ford data indicates that vehicles built after this change exhibit lower glass breakage rates. Among the 296 consumer complaints on the subject vehicles, ODI identified 15 injury incidents resulting in a total of 18 alleged injuries. All the injuries were minor in nature and consisted mainly of superficial skin cuts or minor lacerations, with two of the injury incidents occurring when vehicle owners were cleaning up broken glass. Additionally both the injury rate and report rate (including warranty claims) are low in comparison to similar investigations resulting in safety recalls (see PE04-045, MY 2002 Ford explorer liftgate glass failure, which resulted in NHTSA safety recall 04V442). In November 2010 Ford issued Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 10-22-10 to address reports of liftgate glass breakage on all MY 2010 vehicles, and MY 2011 vehicles built through 10/15/2010, the date the above design revision was implemented. The TSB enables owners of affected vehicles to have a broken liftgate glass replaced under normal vehicle warranty, which would not otherwise be a warrantable failure, with the revised design liftgate glass. A safety-related defect has not been identified at this time and further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted. Accordingly, this investigation is closed. The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist. The agency will monitor this issue and reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

So, the proven fact seems to be that if you open the liftgate, the glass can break. And if you close the liftgate, the glass can break. Either way, it shouldn't be happening. And Ford has no idea why it happens more often here than with the earlier model year Escape vehicles.

But almost 300 consumers reported the breaking glass and 18 injuries occurred from the breaking glass in the Ford Escape.

Perhaps to take care of the complaints, or short circuit the recall process, Ford issued a secret warranty under its technical service bulletin process to make repairs for free in the 2010 and 2011 model year Escape vehicles. And the whole problem all quietly just stopped.

Is your 2011 Ford Escape safe? How about your 2010 Ford Escape? Will the liftgate window shatter for no apparent reason?

And if it does, will your dealer fix it - or should you even have to wonder?

If you've got a lemon Ford Escape, don't take a chance. If your dealer won't take care of you, call our toll free lemon Ford Escape Hotline at 1.888.331.6422 or email us right now by clicking here info@uslemonlawyers.com.

Getting rid of lemon Ford vehicles is what we do. Making Ford pay our attorney fees (instead of you), well that's only fair. After all, they built it.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon Ford

Federal safety experts investigating Ford Mustang

Pic by Michael Gil from Flickr
Sometimes complaints about a specific kind of defect in a vehicle cause us to issue an alert to our clients to watch out, and avoid, a developing defect problem. Today, it's the 2012 Ford Mustang.

Turns out that federal safety investigators at NHTSA are looking into the 2012 Ford Mustang and the rising frequency of complaints by owners

NHTSA is the federal agency in charge of motor vehicle safety recalls for the federal government. An investigation is one of the beginning steps to a recall and signals that a sufficient number of owners have complained about substantially the same defect to cause federal safety investigators to look more closely at the vehicle and the owner complaints that have been received.

So far nothing is proven, of course, but here is how federal motor vehicle safety investigators are characterizing their investigation:

ODI has received 32 complaints alleging an unexpected inability to shift into gear on model year (MY)2011-2012 Ford Mustangs equipped with manual transmissions. Some reports allege incidents occurred while merging into high speed traffic and others allege that incidents occurred while turning left across oncoming traffic. Some complainants allege that the erratic shifting behavior almost caused a collision with adjacent vehicles. A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency and potential safety consequences associated with the alleged defect.

ODI is the federal Office of Defect Investigations at NHTSA and where consumer complaints are compiled until a formal investigation is triggered. Now Ford Mustang's 2012 model is in the que to be examined.

If you've got one of these potentially deadly defect Mustang vehicles, you should be careful when driving it. At the first sign of a problem, get it to your dealer - even if you have to get it towed - and examined for defects. Don't take a chance with a deadly defective Ford or any other type vehicle. If you've got a lemon, ask your dealer to fix it.

If your dealer doesn't take care of you, call our Ford owner lemon hotline at 1.888.331.6422 for free lemon law help. Or, email us right now by clicking here: info@USLemonLawyers.com for FREE help right now.

Getting rid of lemons is what we do. Everyday. Making them pay your attorney fees too? Well, that's only fair.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon Ford
or any other kind of lemon car or lemon truck too!

Sunday

Dodge Journey Headed Down the Wrong Road as defects and complaints mount up?

We get a lot of calls every day from consumers who are having problems with vehicles. The defects vary anywhere from trim falling off to more serious defects such as engine stalling and brakes and more.

From time to time we notice an increase in complaints about a particular make or model and recently it happened again.

The Dodge Journey's defects run most commonly across the 2009 and 2010 and 2011 model years with complaints about hesitation in the transmission, fuel problems, electrical problems, abnormal brake wear and many other defects have come to our attention.

For instance the 2010 ws recalled for leaking power steering fluid complaints. And the 2009 model year Journey had five recalls including two on the air bag system, two on the electrical system and one on the transmission. And a steering column defect resulted in a recall on the 2011 model year Dodge Journey.

And that's just the safety recalls and we are not even counting the secret warranties covered by factory technical service bulletins where Chrysler quietly tells their dealers about known problems and fixes that aren't covered by recalls.

If you've got a lemon Dodge Journey, you're in good company. Don't take a chance. At the first sign of any defect, get your vehicle in to your dealer for repairs. And if your dealer doesn't take care of you. Call us right away on our toll free Dodge lemon hotline at 1.888.331.6422 or email us right away by clicking here. Getting rid of lemon Dodge and other lemon vehicles is what we do.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon

Wednesday

Free ebook The Ohio Lemon Law Bible, download here

Just released - the Ohio Lemon Law Bible - a free ebook now available from the Ohio Lemon Law lawyers at Burdge Law Office.


download-our-ohio-lemon-law-bible


Chapters include:
How Can this Book Help You?
Lemon Law Myths in Ohio
Bad Vehicles Happen
Your Ohio Lemon Law Rights Explained
... and more

Get your free copy by clicking here:


download-our-ohio-lemon-law-bible

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemon cars and trucks
for over 30 years