Federal highway safety investigators are looking into complaints about Jeep Wrangler frame weld issues that could make it difficult for drivers to steer the vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced in September that it was opening a formal probe in response to the complaints. NHTSA said it had received 608 inquiries from Wrangler owners about the structural integrity of the vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which owns the Jeep brand, received another nearly 3,000 complaints, according to CNET.
NHTSA said in a notice of the investigation it also received “steering related complaints, including steering shimmy/wobble, intermittent lock-up, and looseness/wandering.” The agency said the investigation is designed to determine whether any frame issues "pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety."
How the California Lemon Law Protects Owners, Lessors
The reported Jeep defects are unfortunate, but problems like this with new cars are sadly common. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles are recalled each year because of defects that pose serious hazards to drivers, passengers and anyone else on the road.
Fiat Chrysler, for example, last year recalled some 4.8 million Jeep and other models in response to concerns that cruise control settings might not shut off when directed by drivers.
The good news is that car owners and lessors who get stuck with a lemon have some legal recourse. The California lemon law provides some important legal protections to car owners and lessors whose vehicles are still under warranty in the Golden State.
First, the law requires a car manufacturer to make certain repairs on those vehicles. Second, it obligates the manufacturer to buy the car back if the manufacturer refuses or is not able to repair the vehicle. That includes reimbursing the owner or lessor for the purchase price, financing charges and other related expenses, like rental cars. Although a manufacturer can instead offer to replace the car, it is ultimately the owner or lessor’s decision whether to accept that option.
The lemon law also forces a car manufacturer to pick up the bill for any legal fees that an owner or lessor incurs while enforcing their rights. Because there is no set number of repair attempts that a car manufacturer must make – or that an owner/lessor must request – before the obligation to rebuy kicks in, it is important to have an experienced California lemon law attorney by your side.
Consult a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a car owner or lessor who is haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, an experienced California lemon law attorney can help. A lawyer can help you weigh your rights and options to ensure that the carmaker is held fully accountable.
At the Bickel Law Firm, we have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in Southern California and across the state. We work tirelessly to get the people we represent the compensation they deserve.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.