‘Potentially Lethal’ Seatbelts Spark VW Recall
Car makers often recall vehicles for a wide variety of defects, from faulty ignition switches, to brake problems and transmission trouble. Sometimes, cars are even recalled because of problems with the features that are specifically designed to make driving safer.
Volkswagen, for example, recently announced that it wants to take another look at 75,000 cars in Europe because of a “potentially lethal” seatbelt malfunction. Rear and middle seatbelts in some Polo, Ibiza, and Arona models could unbuckle unexpectedly in the event of a crash.
That’s scary enough. Then there’s the news from UK publication Which? that the German car maker may have made the situation worse with a quick fix that involved using cable ties to keep the seatbelts stabilized.
That solution was rejected by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). There are reports that VW continued trying the cable ties on more than 55,000 cars. Now the company is recalling the vehicles for additional maintenance.
The seatbelt snafu comes as Volkswagen is still trying to shake off the effects of an emissions cheating scandal stateside. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency in 2015 caught VW deliberately misrepresenting emissions information about diesel vehicles and tricking systems to give false reads. The fall out cost the company $25 billion.
Protections for California Car Buyers
Unfortunately, the VW recall isn’t the only example of cars being sold with significant defects that can put everyone on the roads at risk. The good news for car buyers in California is that state law offers some protection.
The California lemon law requires car makers to repair various defects and other problems with the vehicle while it’s under warranty. If those efforts don’t work, the manufacturer is required to compensate the owner for the purchase price and/or down payment and financing charges, as well as other expenses like car rentals, towing and repair costs. The manufacturer may also offer to replace the car instead.
The law applies to both new and used cars, if repair attempts happen during the vehicle’s warranty period. The number of repair attempts required for the law to kick in depends on the situation.
Talk With an Experienced California Lemon Law Lawyer
If you’re a California car owner driving a lemon, it is vital that you consult an experienced lawyer to consider your rights an options. The California Lemon Law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. We understand the significant stress that can come with haggling with car dealers and manufacturers. Our lawyers work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.
Our offices are conveniently located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.