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Lemon Law Time?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by RatRace, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. RatRace

    RatRace Member

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    I got my Model S back in August of last year. I have driven it 23,000 miles.

    When I got the car I noticed the A/C cuts out and get the message that its being diverted to battery. At first the Tech said this is normal. When summer it, it was doing it would do this once a day and after 15 minutes. This is the 3rd time its been in the shop for this issue. They seem to have a hard time trying to figure it out, as I been out of a car near 2 weeks at one time. The loaners I had, have not had this issue occur at all.

    As I near lemon law at 24,000 miles that I am curious that it maybe time to declare Lemon Law on this and start the process.

    As much as I love the Model S, and I would get another upon replacement, but I also probably would have to get an attorney to recoup the state taxes that I had to pay separately from the vehicle and amount I would have to pay again when I get another Model S, summing to around $10k.

    So question is, has anybody had to do this with their Model S and as Tesla is hell bent on customer service were they more then helpful in the process?

    Over the year I had the tachometer(dash) go out and replaced.
    Rear tail light replaced(adhesive was coming undone
    Fans replaced
    A/C checked out 3 times with same issue.
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Would it make more sense to file for lemon law or just sell/trade in the car?

    You'd still be liable for the miles you put on the car with lemon law, so they would not be giving you the full price of the car back.
     
  3. chillaban

    chillaban Member

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    As someone who's gone through the lemon law process with a luxury car, I personally don't think in your situation you'd have very good luck getting a lemon law buyback with the issues you've mentioned. I totally understand how the experience can be disappointing, but as Max said, I think you would have better luck negotiating a trade in or private party sale or even seeing if you can convince Tesla to let you buy a newer one if you feel like these problems are specific to your car.

    I would personally recommend escalating this as a service issue, because if, as you said, loaners in the same conditions don't have AC problems, you should be able to convince a service tech that there's something wrong with your particular car, and it sounds like it's probably related to the AC compressor.
     
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  4. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I don't know much about lemon law, but nearly a year of depreciation is a big hit. Probably much more than whatever the law allows for regarding mileage? Plus there's sales tax, which was a substantial amount on a car this expensive. On the other had, if you just sell there's no lawyer, which saves you a good bit.

    You might have more luck negotiating with Tesla for a different car: "Look, you guys can't seem to fix this one. What can you do for me on a different one?"
     
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  5. tomas

    tomas Traded in 9 rep bars for M3, used to be somebody!

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    I'm shocked they do not recognize as issue. What does the warning say? Have you taken pix of that? I'd ask to speak with regional service manager.
     
  6. ABCCBA

    ABCCBA Member

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    @RatRace I just had to Lemon Law my wife's vehicle (not Telsa) because of major electronic issues. So, I am intimately familiar with the Florida Lemon Law. I looked at the Arizona Lemon Law, and it favors the auto dealers a bit more than Florida. Listed below is a portion of the Arizona Lemon Law that I read that may cause you some issue. Note #1 that the vehicle MUST have had 4 attempts to correct the same issue. Then, #2 it must have been in the shop a cumulative of 30 days.

    Also, you will be able to recoup the sales tax paid on the new vehicle, but you will not be able to receive any of the sales tax lost by trading in any vehicle. Finally, the useful life of a vehicle is considered 120,000 miles. Therefore, you will be charged 23,000/120,000 or 19.17% of the purchase price for the 'use of the vehicle'. I.E - If you paid $100,000 for the new Model S, you are only entitled to $81,000 because of the 23,000 miles you used.

    Arizona Lemon Law 44-1264 Reasonable number of attempts.

    To conform motor vehicle to express warranty; presumption.

    A. It is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties if either:

    1. The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents or authorized dealers during the shorter of the express warranty term or the period of two years or twenty-four thousand miles following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever is earlier, but the nonconformity continues to exist.

    2. The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during the shorter of the express warranty term or the two year period or twenty-four thousand miles, whichever is earlier.

    B. The term of an express warranty, the two year period and the thirty day period are extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of any war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.

    C. The presumption prescribed in this section does not apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has received prior direct written notification from or on behalf of the consumer of the alleged defect and has had an opportunity to cure the alleged defect.
     
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  7. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

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    I'm really trying to pull for Tesla, however this isn't good. Is Tesla aware that you are exploring the lemon law?
     
  8. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

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    Who pays for the lemon law? The State? Insurance?
     
  9. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    The way I read it is that you can lemon it if either of those conditions are true. So he would have to have them try to repair the A/C a fourth time, and then if it happens again he could go down the lemon rabbit hole.

    I've seen other people have this problem an it was usually resolved. (On "older" Model Ss I think it was a faulty sensor that they ended up replacing/bypassing.)
     
  10. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    The manufacturer. (They are buying the "lemon" car back.)
     
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  11. chillaban

    chillaban Member

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    The manufacturer. Lemon laws generally force the manufacturer to buy back the car at a predetermined cost (which is usually substantially beneficial compared to the resale value of the car).

    Most of the times, though, if a manufacturer thinks they might lose a lemon law case, they will perform a "voluntary" buyback via a 3rd party company, which prevents the title/Carfax from showing a lemon law buyback in most states (California is excluded).


    As a result, be really wary of single-owner luxury cars showing up as CPO/preowned with really low mileage. If you really have to wonder why the previous owner got rid of their car when they did, a lemon or lemon-ish buyback might be the explanation more often than not.
     
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  12. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

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    Ahhhh got it. That makes sense. What a shame if Tesla is forced to buy this car back. I would assume they could never sell this car as new. I wonder if some of the low mileage cars they are selling on their website are CPO/preowned lemon law cars.

    This is making me kinda fearful concerning my M3 order.
     
  13. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

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    Thanks.
     
  14. chillaban

    chillaban Member

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    There's definitely a time and a place for lemon laws. When I had to invoke that option with one of my previous luxury cars, I was at wit's end with two bumbling service departments. At that point I made 14 lease payments but didn't have the car for 2 months (one of the months was without any loaner/accomodation, and the other one I was given the manufacturer's lowest end loaner car, which had a MSRP that was 30% of my car's MSRP). They never returned any of my calls on a timely basis, and they had to dispatch an engineer from Germany for this particular problem, and after attempting to repair it 2 times (including a month-long rebuild of the car with new airbag wiring that was run under the floormats rather than through a structurally reinforced element), the problem still came back.

    At that point, I had a 6 figure car with non-OEM airbag wiring that I didn't feel confident about, and frankly airbags are supposed to work on a $16,000 Kia, it's out of a question that it'd malfunction on this kind of luxury car.

    By the time I filed my lemon law arbitration paperwork, I asked the service dept to print out my entire service history. It was around 80 pages (10 visits to service within 18 months all for powertrain or crash safety faults), and the service manager said "between you and me I would've tried this a long time ago".


    They ended up buying back the car. The exact terms were under a NDA (I literally had to meet a neutral 3rd party buyback agent at a McDonald's parking lot) but let's just say financially speaking it was well in my favor BUT the whole ordeal was so painful and unenjoyable that 3 years later I still would not consider buying another car from that manufacturer. Last year they actually issued a formal recall for my car to fix this exact fault, and that made me feel like I made the right move.


    Long story short, you can be caught in a horrible situation where you truly have a lemon on your hands with extremely awful problems on a $1000+/mo car that literally affect your safety, and without lemon laws, it can be very difficult to get recourse. There's a time and a place for using it, but I'm glad the option is there.
     
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  15. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    Another thing with the Lemon Law is that if you invoke I suspect you will find Tesla somewhat reluctant to engage in further business with you.

    This is one of the very few negatives about dealing with the manufacturer direct, if you fall out with them you can't just go to another dealer and buy the same brand. Tesla do have (unfortunate) form here.

    As others have suggested get it escalated and perhaps some ppl here can link you to some old threads where this issue has been resolved, which in turn you can direct your SC to them, even if you shouldn't have to.
     
  16. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

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    I wonder why they would be reluctant to do further business with a lemon law client.....It would be their fault that a lemon law would occur. Maybe I'm missing something.
     
  17. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

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    I did hear something about Tesla canceling someone's reservation for a MS some reason or the other. I don't know the details, but I guess it can happen.
     
  18. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

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    I have not had to do it with Tesla but I had to do it with a very very expensive motor home. All I can say is that once you send the lemon law letter all of a sudden thinks started moving that weren't happening before. I would initiate it and give them an official opportunity to fix it one last time.
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    As others noted, you did not meet the criteria of 4 repairs for the same issue yet. However, it is possible that you meet the requirement of 30 days out of service, but you would need detailed records of this (or absent of this at least a very accurate estimate that you are well past that amount so you know you even have a case). Do note that the manufacturer will take a deduction of the value based on your usage (so while the price and taxes are covered, you will not get the full amount given you used it already 23000 miles).

    Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney, so for actual legal advice you should consult with a lemon law attorney.
     

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