Wednesday

Who Makes the Most Lemon Cars?

The myth has for years been that European and Asian cars are made better than the ones that Detroit turns out. That may have been true when your father bought his cars, but not so much anymore.

The auto industry recognized the quality problems it had back in the 1980's and has spent the last two decades rebuilding its quality and its reputation for American-made excellence. It was a hard lesson, sure, and GM and Chrysler felt the worst of it five years ago when they filed for bankruptcy. But they came back.

How can you tell the quality is up for American-built cars? Federal safety investigators track recall statistics and they show that during the last two decades, the quantity of recalls of foreign cars has been going up while the quantity of recalls for US-made cars has been going down. Take a look at the Toyota debacle, for instance, where millions of cars were recalled during the last 5 years of production.

Massive Asian Recalls Getting More Common?
Almost any list of most common lemon cars is topped by Asian manufactured cars anymore, often in the top 3 or 4 spots before any US made car shows up on the list.

We've seen the same thing in our lemon car cases here at Burdge Law Office, where we have concluded that the only reason for the quantity of lemon US cars seems to be the higher quantity of US-made cars being sold.

Still, when you have a lemon it doesn't matter who made it - it's still a headache, a heartache, and a walletache too. So shop carefully and before you buy a new or used car, check with the federal recall website to see what the last few model years of that car have been like. That way you don't waste your money.

Burdge Law Office
Helping people get rid of lemons for more than 25 years.

Aston Martin - We're Too Busy Making Money to Build Safe Cars Too - Give Us a Break!

Side impact crashes injure more often
In 2007 the federal safety agency in charge of setting safety standards for motor vehicles sold in the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wanted to protect passengers from side crashes into things like utility poles and trees so they set a new standard for side impact crash protection.

That's because over the last 20 years frontal crashes have gone down while side impact crashes have increased by more than 20%.

Like most new vehicle safety standards, it was argued about and fought over before it finally became law. One of the compromises in the process was that the new law would would not begin to take effect for 3 years and that complete phase-in compliance would not be required for 7 years. So motor vehicle manufacturers had up to 7 years to redesign their cars to add greater side impact protection and comply with the new law. 

Are they too busy making money to build safe cars?
The law was passed in 2007 and was to be complied with by September 1, 2014. Plenty of time to get the job done, right?

So all the manufacturers started working on it and now they all comply. Except one.



Aston Martin, who apparently has been busy building and selling their expensive sports cars, has filed a request to postpone their convertible car model compliance for another 2 and 3 years. And their reason for the requested extension? Being unable to sell the soft-top cars would reduce their new car gross profits.

Buy a 2014 Aston Martin DB9 for just $214,000
The Aston Martin DB9, which carries a $214,000 MSRP, won't comply with federal safety standards until August 2016. The Aston Martin Vantage, with its paltry $126,000 MSRP, won't comply until August 2017.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin saw a 2013 sales jump of 11%, so the cash is certainly flowing.

The world's 8 top auto makers complied with the new safety standard and none of them saw their sales jump 11% in 2013 but Aston Martin did.

Will Money Buy NHTSA's forgiveness?
GM had a 2013 sales drop of 6.3% but it has complied with the new safety standard. VW had a whopping 2013 sales drop of 22.7% but it complied. Hyundai and Kia dropped 2% but they complied. Toyota dropped 1.7% but they complied.

Ford sales only increased by 1.8% but they complied. Honda scrapped by with a 1.9% increase but they complied. Chrysler sales increased 6% and they complied and Nissan, with an increase of 10.5%, complied too.

NHTSA should not reward Aston Martin for its decision to make more money instead of complying with a federal safety standard that they saw coming 7 years ago. They had 7 years to get around to it and instead focused on the almighty buck and big bucks at that. Aston Martin has no excuse. They do make beautiful sports cars, sure. And expensive ones, too. Let's hope that money is not what makes the safety decision at NHTSA on this.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemons for more than 25 years.
It's what we do.

Friday

In 31 Weeks, GM Recalls 29 Million Vehicles

Image from KSPR.com
GM issued 5 more recalls today, covering another 269,000 vehicles. That makes a total of 29 million GM vehicles recalled in the first 31 weeks of the year, 219 days so far this year. 

That's roughly 132,420 GM vehicles recalled per day, 7 days a week. How did things get this bad?

GM recalls announced August 8, 2014:

2002, 2003, 2004 Saturn Vue vehicles (202,115), for ignition key cylinder problems that could lead to a crash and injury. These Saturn vehicles join thousands of other GM ignition key cylinder recalls already released.


2013 Buick Encore and 2013 Cadillac ATS vehicles (48,059), because of seat belt system failure dangers that could lead to a failure to hold the occupant in position during an accident. Remember that song by James Taylor with the line that goes "slip, slidding away" ? It's not funny if it's you that is slipping and sliding away during an accident.

2014, 1015 Chevrolet Impala LT and LTZ sedans (14,940), because of latching problems on a passenger storage compartment that, in an accident, could injure occupants. On August 1 GM instructed dealers not to sell the affected vehicles until they are fixed, but we have been told of at least one dealer in Ohio who has ignored such GM orders and sold vehicles that were on the GM "do not sell" list. Parts that fly around the inside of a car in an accident? That's not supposed to happen, obviously.

2009, 2010 Chevrolet Aveo and 2009 Pontiac G3 vehicles (1,966), for brake system problems that can reduce brake system "performance" - in other words, the car won't stop on time and/or right, increasing the risk of a crash and injury. This problem was the subject of a "secret warranty" that started back in 2012 but has now been called a full-blown recall. This could be a deadly defect if your brakes fail just when you need them.


Image Copyright US News
2014 Chevrolet Spark minicars (1,919), because of the danger of loose control arm attaching bolts. This potentially deadly defect is so serious that GM is telling owners NOT to drive their vehicles but to have the car "transported" to the nearest Chevy dealer for inspection and any necessary repair. The control arm is a critical part associated with keeping your front wheels on the car, folks. Not something to mess around with.

One has to wonder how many GM cars are built in one day but at this rate, they appear to be recalling them faster than they can build them.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemons, it's what we do.

Monday

Does it look like $3 Million?
Yahoo News is reporting that a gold plated Rv has been sold in the oil-rich country of Dubai for $3,000,000 to an undisclosed buyer.

The double-decker, futuristic design Rv, named EleMMent Pallazzo (that's not a typo), was manufactured by the Austrian builder, Marchi Mobile, and comes with a pop-up rooftop terrace - for the lazy sunshine days in the dessert no doubt - along with a cocktail lounge, fireplace, underfloor heating, and all the luxury extras imaginable. More info can be seen at the YouTube video linked here.

And with a topping out speed somewhere north of 93 mph, it's no slouch on the highway either. And with glow in the dark exterior paint, you can see it flash by in the night darkness too.

Marchi Mobile recently opened a US subsidiary to sell their Rv's here in the states. We will go out on a limb here and bet that it's doubtful if the gold plated version will sell very well here. And Lord (or Allah) help the owner if it turns out to be a lemon.

Meanwhile, if you get a lemon Rv, don't put up with any stalling. Getting rid of your lemon Rv and getting your money back is what we do.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemons, everyday.