Question 1 of the Day: Should a consumer who bought a new car with existing water damage (or other significant damage degrading current value or resale value) at the time of the sale be able to return the car to a dealership and get a refund without hassles (within a certain reasonable timeframe)?
I think so.
Question 2 of the Day: Should a dealer be able to sell defective, damaged vehicles as new and profit from it and absolve itself of all responsibility?
I don’t think so.
But, at this moment, I don’t think there is any consumer protection in this area: where a car sold as new with no defects or damage, at full price, turns out not to be the product represented. It seems to me that I have no or minimal recourse unless the car turns out to qualify under the lemon law. If the defect that caused the original damage gets fixed, then I am probably going to be stuck with this car. I came to think this way after having the following three conversations today:
I called the state AG’s office to ask some more questions before I file a complaint with them, and I got a different impression about what may or may not happen (vs the impression I had after the first call I made to them yesterday). They referred me to the Consumer Law Group in Richmond, Virginia, from whom I received excellent advice regarding what to do if the problem is not fixed after two repair attempts.
Someone from Chrysler’s Jeep Resolution Team called me today to discuss the complaint I filed yesterday.
Today’s question of the day is what I keep posing to everyone I talk to, and no one can give me a clear answer. Who knows where the water went beyond the visible damage to the sunroof headliner (water stains) and stains in the carpeting on the driver’s side? Current and resale value are affected. This is not about lemon law. It may become about lemon law, but Jeep #4 has not yet been declared a lemon.
…unfortunately, this story continues…