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Washington Lemon Law - Opinion

achou0722

Member
Nov 27, 2018
95
53
Washington
Wanted to get feedback to see if you guys think I have a case. Car was purchased 1 Nov 2018 and currently has 22,500 miles. I have two primary issues. One is technically resolved, on just happened:

Rear motor popping sound: Was serviced over four times totaling over 30 days. They initially told me to pound sand however after escalating to their ELT they took another look. They ended up replacing the motor fluid and the sound went away. I'm pleased the sound went away, however a bit irked that it had that issue for 20K miles

Glass, glass and more glass: Just found another stress fracture in my rear glass. This will be the 3rd replacement for the rear glass. This vehicle will have had four glass replacements.
  • 1st time: Rear glass stress fracture (factory manufacturing defect)
  • 2nd time: Rear glass poor QC. Significant distortion (glass supplier defect - unfortunately QC didn’t catch it)
  • 3rd time: Front glass. Stress fracture (fracture occurred when it was in service)
  • 4th time: This time

Tesla said they won't provide any concession for any of the inconveniences, hence why I want to consider pursuing a lemon law claim. Maybe not a buyback, but at least get something? Thoughts guys?
 

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,234
404
USA
Are you worried the glass will keep breaking? If you think the car’s finally solid, I’d just enjoy it and not worry about pursuing any claim.

I can bet you the stamping press was out of alignment at factory, every glass panel has to be mounted under tension, hence fractures easily, just like the bent doors and out of alignment panels across all model lines past year. Was shocked to watch delivery day photos of brand spanking new Model S with bent door panels about six months ago.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
12,406
17,658
NC
The following is not legal advice and I am not licensed to practice law in your state :)

The WA law shows 4 categories of "lemon"

1 is if they have failed to fully/finally repair the -same- specific problem 4 or more times- that does not seem to be the case here, mostly different problems, and nothing 4 times and STILL broken. (front and rear glass are different problems for example- motor noise was fixed on 4th attempt)

2 is two or more failed repairs of a serious safety defect- also doesn't appear to apply here (serious safety defect impairs your ability to control or operate the vehicle or creates risk of fire or explosion)

3 is multiple serious safety defects- again nope

4 is days out of service- requires the car to be out of service during attempts to diagnose or repair one or more issues (they CAN be different issues) for 30 or more total days, at least 15 of which must be within the first 2 years of ownership and the first 24,000 miles of ownership.


4 MIGHT apply if it's been out of service that many days...(it sounded like it has been)-- . in which case you'd need to have sent a written request to Tesla asking for repurchase or replacement of the total vehicle and they must have failed to respond or resolved to your satisfaction within 40 days of that.

If all that happens, then it looks like you'd be eligible to request arbitration as long as you're still less than 30 months from original vehicle delivery date.

Since you're currently just past 24 months you'll want to get that letter to Tesla soonish if you haven't already and wish to pursue that option
 

achou0722

Member
Nov 27, 2018
95
53
Washington
The following is not legal advice and I am not licensed to practice law in your state :)

The WA law shows 4 categories of "lemon"

1 is if they have failed to fully/finally repair the -same- specific problem 4 or more times- that does not seem to be the case here, mostly different problems, and nothing 4 times and STILL broken. (front and rear glass are different problems for example- motor noise was fixed on 4th attempt)

2 is two or more failed repairs of a serious safety defect- also doesn't appear to apply here (serious safety defect impairs your ability to control or operate the vehicle or creates risk of fire or explosion)

3 is multiple serious safety defects- again nope

4 is days out of service- requires the car to be out of service during attempts to diagnose or repair one or more issues (they CAN be different issues) for 30 or more total days, at least 15 of which must be within the first 2 years of ownership and the first 24,000 miles of ownership.


4 MIGHT apply if it's been out of service that many days...(it sounded like it has been)-- . in which case you'd need to have sent a written request to Tesla asking for repurchase or replacement of the total vehicle and they must have failed to respond or resolved to your satisfaction within 40 days of that.

If all that happens, then it looks like you'd be eligible to request arbitration as long as you're still less than 30 months from original vehicle delivery date.

Since you're currently just past 24 months you'll want to get that letter to Tesla soonish if you haven't already and wish to pursue that option

Thanks. Friendly banter, but wouldn't glass defect that distorts the field of vision be a serious defect/
 

boiler81

Member
Feb 22, 2016
752
650
Manson, WA
Go for it. The arbitration may get you some compensation, but not likely a buyback.

The Washington State Motor Vehicle “Lemon Law” was enacted to help new vehicle owners who have substantial continuing problems with warranty repairs. The law allows the owner to request an arbitration hearing through the Lemon Law Administration of Attorney General’s Office. An owner can request arbitration under Lemon Law at any time within 30 months of the vehicle’s original retail delivery date. There will be no charge for the arbitration process. After an arbitration hearing, an arbitrator will decide whether a consumer’s claim meets the requirements under the law.
 
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Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,870
1,152
Syracuse, NY
Wanted to get feedback to see if you guys think I have a case. Car was purchased 1 Nov 2018 and currently has 22,500 miles. I have two primary issues. One is technically resolved, on just happened:

Rear motor popping sound: Was serviced over four times totaling over 30 days. They initially told me to pound sand however after escalating to their ELT they took another look. They ended up replacing the motor fluid and the sound went away. I'm pleased the sound went away, however a bit irked that it had that issue for 20K miles

Glass, glass and more glass: Just found another stress fracture in my rear glass. This will be the 3rd replacement for the rear glass. This vehicle will have had four glass replacements.
  • 1st time: Rear glass stress fracture (factory manufacturing defect)
  • 2nd time: Rear glass poor QC. Significant distortion (glass supplier defect - unfortunately QC didn’t catch it)
  • 3rd time: Front glass. Stress fracture (fracture occurred when it was in service)
  • 4th time: This time

Tesla said they won't provide any concession for any of the inconveniences, hence why I want to consider pursuing a lemon law claim. Maybe not a buyback, but at least get something? Thoughts guys?


Isn't it a little late for a lemon law buyback?
 

3ngineer

Member
Nov 26, 2019
94
15
Mass
Wanted to get feedback to see if you guys think I have a case. Car was purchased 1 Nov 2018 and currently has 22,500 miles. I have two primary issues. One is technically resolved, on just happened:

Rear motor popping sound: Was serviced over four times totaling over 30 days. They initially told me to pound sand however after escalating to their ELT they took another look. They ended up replacing the motor fluid and the sound went away. I'm pleased the sound went away, however a bit irked that it had that issue for 20K miles

Glass, glass and more glass: Just found another stress fracture in my rear glass. This will be the 3rd replacement for the rear glass. This vehicle will have had four glass replacements.
  • 1st time: Rear glass stress fracture (factory manufacturing defect)
  • 2nd time: Rear glass poor QC. Significant distortion (glass supplier defect - unfortunately QC didn’t catch it)
  • 3rd time: Front glass. Stress fracture (fracture occurred when it was in service)
  • 4th time: This time

Tesla said they won't provide any concession for any of the inconveniences, hence why I want to consider pursuing a lemon law claim. Maybe not a buyback, but at least get something? Thoughts guys?


The following is not legal advice and I am not licensed to practice law in your state :)

The WA law shows 4 categories of "lemon"

1 is if they have failed to fully/finally repair the -same- specific problem 4 or more times- that does not seem to be the case here, mostly different problems, and nothing 4 times and STILL broken. (front and rear glass are different problems for example- motor noise was fixed on 4th attempt)

2 is two or more failed repairs of a serious safety defect- also doesn't appear to apply here (serious safety defect impairs your ability to control or operate the vehicle or creates risk of fire or explosion)

3 is multiple serious safety defects- again nope

4 is days out of service- requires the car to be out of service during attempts to diagnose or repair one or more issues (they CAN be different issues) for 30 or more total days, at least 15 of which must be within the first 2 years of ownership and the first 24,000 miles of ownership.


4 MIGHT apply if it's been out of service that many days...(it sounded like it has been)-- . in which case you'd need to have sent a written request to Tesla asking for repurchase or replacement of the total vehicle and they must have failed to respond or resolved to your satisfaction within 40 days of that.

If all that happens, then it looks like you'd be eligible to request arbitration as long as you're still less than 30 months from original vehicle delivery date.

Since you're currently just past 24 months you'll want to get that letter to Tesla soonish if you haven't already and wish to pursue that option

Agree option 4 is your only chance. Note that your offset for use is based on day 15 of repair ( Replacement or Repurchase? | Washington State). Subtract price of car *[email protected] 15/120,000 = your reduced award, if they award in your favor. Wa attorney general told me most consumers prevail, and the ones that don't didn't do their homework to make sure they meet the guidelines, or called something serious safety defect that board didn't agree and they didn't have 4 repairs on it and still existing.
 
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adrianp89

Member
Oct 21, 2019
318
235
Pinellas Park, FL
I think it will be a board decision if you win or not. Personally I don't wouldn't approve, as the primary issue was fixed. Rear and front glass were fixed. If all your issues are fixed, then Tesla is doing their job (albiet prob not as well as they should have). If you currently have no issues, this may be difficult.

It looks like your state law allows it even if repaired but I think it will be a tough win.

With that being said, when I did lemon law in FL, it really took minimal effort. Maybe a few hours of total work. If you have the time - go for it, I just wouldn't expect a guaranteed victory. Maybe you can at least get them to settle and you get some cash in your pocket.
 
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achou0722

Member
Nov 27, 2018
95
53
Washington
Adding to the saga:
  • 1st piece of glass: Rear glass stress fracture (factory manufacturing defect)
  • 2nd piece of glass/1st replacement: Rear glass poor QC. Significant distortion (glass supplier defect - unfortunately QC didn’t catch it). Front glass also cracked while they replaced the rear
  • 3rd piece of glass/2nd replacement: Rear glass. Stress fracture (fracture occurred when it was in service)
  • 4th piece of glass/3rd replacement: Rear defroster on replacement glass doesn't work. Glass will need to be replaced
  • 5th piece of glass/4th replacement: This time
I have a lemon law lawyer who agreed to take the case. 2x demand letters sent. Filing arbitration right now.
 

Blur1895

Member
Sep 2, 2018
31
34
Seattle
Adding to the saga:
  • 1st piece of glass: Rear glass stress fracture (factory manufacturing defect)
  • 2nd piece of glass/1st replacement: Rear glass poor QC. Significant distortion (glass supplier defect - unfortunately QC didn’t catch it). Front glass also cracked while they replaced the rear
  • 3rd piece of glass/2nd replacement: Rear glass. Stress fracture (fracture occurred when it was in service)
  • 4th piece of glass/3rd replacement: Rear defroster on replacement glass doesn't work. Glass will need to be replaced
  • 5th piece of glass/4th replacement: This time
I have a lemon law lawyer who agreed to take the case. 2x demand letters sent. Filing arbitration right now.
Curious, how did the case go?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,655
10,904
Riverside Co. CA
Curious, how did the case go?

I would guess that this post from the OP is a clue:

 
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3ngineer

Member
Nov 26, 2019
94
15
Mass
I would guess that this post from the OP is a clue:

Yes, we both won our arbitrations. Talked with them offline.
 

evguy42

New Member
Jul 2, 2021
3
0
WA
My relatively new 2018 Model S (< 5k miles) started having loud clanking noise when turning. I took it to Tesla service center. The technician said they need to replace pair of front sway bar+links. The sway bars were not in stock therefore they had to order them. The sway bars have not arrived for 6+ months after ordering. I was afraid to drive the car because my research indicated the need to be extremely careful when changing lanes or when turning when sway bars/links are damaged.

I opened a lemon law case against Tesla for their failure to fix the issue for such a long time. In their response, Tesla's attorney claims that the sway bar issue is a minor noise issue and it does not affect use, value or safely of the car.

I would like to get as much information from current/ex Tesla owners relevant to this issue. Is replacing sway bars really a minor noise annoyance as claimed by Tesla attorney or is it really a safety issue?
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,864
35,545
Oregon
My relatively new 2018 Model S

You consider 3 years old relatively new? (Close to out of warranty.)

I would like to get as much information from current/ex Tesla owners relevant to this issue. Is replacing sway bars really a minor noise annoyance as claimed by Tesla attorney or is it really a safety issue?

Yes, in my opinion/experience noisy sway bar links are just an annoyance and are not a big safety issue.

I'm not sure why they would have responded that way, unless you bought the car as a demo/loaner unit. (Doesn't the Washington lemon law coverage expire after 2 years?)
 

3ngineer

Member
Nov 26, 2019
94
15
Mass
My relatively new 2018 Model S (< 5k miles) started having loud clanking noise when turning. I took it to Tesla service center. The technician said they need to replace pair of front sway bar+links. The sway bars were not in stock therefore they had to order them. The sway bars have not arrived for 6+ months after ordering. I was afraid to drive the car because my research indicated the need to be extremely careful when changing lanes or when turning when sway bars/links are damaged.

I opened a lemon law case against Tesla for their failure to fix the issue for such a long time. In their response, Tesla's attorney claims that the sway bar issue is a minor noise issue and it does not affect use, value or safely of the car.

I would like to get as much information from current/ex Tesla owners relevant to this issue. Is replacing sway bars really a minor noise annoyance as claimed by Tesla attorney or is it really a safety issue?

I could be wrong, but I think that might be an active recall? Check your VIN with NHTSA.gov. I was getting a light noise and had the left front replaced a while back. Don't know enough about the suspension components to give input on safety implications. For lemon law, I can say that taking a long time doesn't matter unless your car is "out of service" in their hands, or unable to drive. Your car does not appear to meet that definition, if their analysis is trustworthy.

I'm impressed you actually got a response from legal. I was only ever allowed to talk to my local service manager.

You consider 3 years old relatively new? (Close to out of warranty.)



Yes, in my opinion/experience noisy sway bar links are just an annoyance and are not a big safety issue.

I'm not sure why they would have responded that way, unless you bought the car as a demo/loaner unit. (Doesn't the Washington lemon law coverage expire after 2 years?)
30 months from original purchase. But we're past July 1st now, so unless the car was actually a 2018 model sold in 2019, or the demand letter was already sent before the 30 months, it's likely to be a moot point.
 

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