Are Vehicle Manufacturers Playing Chicken With You?

Image may contain: 2 peopleBack in the day when rock and roll was young, Hollywood made a series of movies about wild teenagers who drove their hot rod cars just as fast and wild as they were. One of the things Hollywood loved was a game called Chicken.

That was where two cars sat at the opposite end of a straight road, about a mile or so apart, and then simultaneously gunned it to head at each other faster and faster, closer and closer, until one of them "chickened out" and veered off the side of the road. And if no one did, then  you had a car wreck.

Well, after several times of taking lemon vehicle cases right up to the edge of starting trial, it looks to us like most vehicle manufacturers are just playing a game of chicken with consumers. Manufacturers fight back not because the consumer has a bad case or even a good case - it looks more like they just want to keep the money in their pocket as long as they can.

They engage in some loud mouth blustering and bullying, as they force consumers down the roaring litigation road, ratcheting up the anxiety with the costs and court-delays inherent in a risky process at the end of which, if the consumer hangs on tight and takes the ride with the pedal to the metal, the factory blinks, and settles.

And all the while, the factories are saving money by making everyone line up for the litigation ride, knowing that some folks will fold and some will fall off and some will never start their engines but merely stand by and watch those few with the courage or the anger to take the challenge all the way.

Granted, there are probably some baloney cases filed that have little merit to them, but in our experience those are few and far between and they never really go to trial because a Jury is made up of common sense people who will take little time to throw that kind of case out.

So why do vehicle manufacturers play chicken with their customers? Why do they do this?

Large corporations are all about the money. It did not used to be that way, we think, but it sure looks that way now. And the corporate lawyers are perfectly happy, in this too-many-lawyers world, to fight a case as long (and as senselessly) as it takes before the client gets tired of the bills. After all, for some of them a lawsuit is all about the billable hours.

So corporations decide between doing right by their customers or funding a bigger litigation budget so they can "be tough" about any claims that are filed against them.

It is perfectly okay for a vehicle manufacturer to deny a claim where they have done nothing wrong and the claim is both legally and morally without merit. In our combined 50+ years of practicing law, we have seen only one case like that happen.

So, to be clear, vehicle manufacturers don't fight lemon law cases because they are all bad cases. No, we are convinced that it's just about the money and keeping it in their pocket as long as they can.

Just before those two litigation cars will crash headlong into each other, most of the time the manufacturer is likely to chicken out. And if they don't? Well, that's the reason you hire a trial lawyer in the first place.

Burdge Law Office Co LPA
Lemon Law - It's What We Do

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.