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Your Car May Be Easier to Hack Than You Think

» Posted February 20, 2019Resources | Share This Post

Technological advances have changed what it means to get behind the wheel of a car. From power steering and crash avoidance technology to Bluetooth connectivity, new bells and whistles make driving not only more comfortable but also often a safer experience.

But with new technology also comes new risks. Many car owners may not fully understand the security threats raised by making cars “smart,” according to a new report. Cyberattacks are coming to a parking lot or highway near you.

The Ponemon Institute, a research group that studies data protection and emerging technologies, asked automobile engineers and information technology professionals whether carmakers are keeping up with new security threats. A total of 84 percent of the respondents said “no.” Many say that the shift to more software-based operation of vehicles makes those cars much easier for hackers to break into.

In 2015, for example, a group of hackers took control of a Jeep Cherokee without ever getting in the car. The hackers—in an experiment staged with journalists at Wired—first took control of the vehicle’s air conditioning and radio controls. Then they turned off the car’s accelerator, slowing the vehicle to a slow crawl on a busy highway.

Protections Under the California Lemon Law

The car hack concerns show how new automobile technology raises risks of vehicle defects. Whether it’s hackable software controls, a shoddy transmission or a malfunctioning airbag, those defects can create serious safety hazards or everyone on the road.

The good news for car buyers and lessors in California, is that state law gives you some rights and options if you find yourself stuck with a lemon. The California lemon law requires carmakers to take certain steps the repair defects while vehicles are under warranty. If those efforts to don’t fix the problem, the manufacturer is obligated to take the car back and compensate the owner for the purchase price and any related expenses. The buyer also has the option to instead take a new, replacement car.

To be covered by the law, you have to document that you took certain steps to notify the manufacturer of the problem and get the car repaired while it was under warranty. The total number of repair attempts that must be made before you can get a replacement car or your money back depends on the circumstances.

Talk With an Experienced California Lemon Law Attorney

If you’re a California car owner driving a lemon, you have the right to make the vehicle manufacturer legally liable. An experienced California lemon law attorney can play an important role in that process by helping you build the strongest possible case.

At the Bickel Law Firm, our California Lemon lawyers have decades of experience helping car owners get the legal remedies they deserve. We understand the pain and stress that can come with dealing with a defective car. We work tirelessly to resolve these cases efficiently 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.


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