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Lesson 3

Part 1

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GETTING SQUEEZED BY YOUR WHEELS?


Forget the cell phone.

 

Did you ever try driving a car with an engine that stalls, a steering wheel that locks or a speedometer that fails and an air conditioner that spews fumes?

 

These are just some of the complaints that have landed cars on LemonLaw.com’s Lemon List of vehicles. Kimmel & Silverman, an Ambler-based firm, which has provided free legal assistance to 19,000 drivers, manages the site.

 

“We want to make it clear that this is one tool you should use in buying a car, it shouldn’t be an end-all deal,” said Michael Sacks, director of communication and client services at LemonLaw.Com.

 

Sacks said consumer advocate Jack Gillis compiled the list for the Ultimate Car Book and the Center for Auto Safety by tallying the number of complaints consumers registered with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

 

“We might receive hundreds of complaints, but if they are not safety related we may not open an investigation,” said NHTSA spokeswoman Liz Neblett.

 

She said the agency doesn’t keep track of the number of complaints it receives.

 

Sacks said consumers should use the list only as a guide, because not all models have the same problems that owners complained about.

Before buying, he also suggests that consumers check web sites such as ConsumerReports.com. To see how their cars rate, and review complaints about the model they’re considering, check out the NHTSA web site at nhtsa.dot.gov.

 

Above all, Sacks said, before signing on the dotted line, consumers should make sure every feature on the car works and have a mechanic look over the car if it’s used.

 

“This is your chance to demand perfection, so demand it,” Sacks said.

To register a vehicle complaint with the National Highway Safety Administration, view complaints that have been filed or check for recalls on your vehicle, go to www.nhtsa.ldot.gov or call (888)DASH-2-DOT.

To see LemonLaw.Com’s full lemon list go to www.lemonlaw.com or call (800)LemonLaw.

 

 

 

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