Attorney Dani Liblang Advises What to Do if a Dealer Fails to Fix a New Car

If a new car is stalled in the garage because of repeated repairs, Attorney Dani Liblang recommends the importance of proper documentation and the use of social media to get the dealer's attention.

Dani Liblang, Birmingham lemon law attorney encourages customers to speak up to dealership administration and social media when they believe their concerns are ignored by sales and service departments. Drawing attention to the cause may be the best way to get action on a customer's $33,000 investment in transportation.

"Arrogant service advisers can brush off consumers who complain about onboard computer woes, elusive electrical problems, and intermittent problems, but these concerns are essential to driveability," says Liblang. "The problems may not be severe enough to sue the dealer but you can mount a strong campaign for covering repairs."

Liblang has spent most of her career advocating on behalf of new and used car owners. She loans clients a metallic "lemon" to put on each side of the aggrieved car as people drive around town. At a time when the average vehicle is priced at $33,000 and consumes up to half a monthly income, people expect good service and they deserve to get it.

To be sure most dealerships bend over backwards to work with customers. Most dealerships will work with attorneys because working through problems leads to a win-win for the customer and the dealership. Those who delay, defer and distract find themselves paying larger settlements in the long run.

Dani Liblang, Founder The Liblang Law Firm P.C.

Cars are rolling computers today with a myriad of elements that can go wrong and do go wrong. These new safety and convenience features could boggle the mind of people like Bill Gates and Stephen Jobs put together. People often complain on JD Power quality surveys about their keyless entry, tire pressure monitors, alarm and security systems. Sometimes the most nagging problems can't be fixed with one service visit.

"Keep going back," Liblang tells customers. "Service advisers may brush off customers but they need to take their cause to management levels, or if that doesn't work, ask to speak to a manufacturer's representative." Nearly every car company has an online complaint center available for customers.

If that fails, customers can resort to social media. Every dealer has a website with a comment section. People can go to yelp.com, cars.com, edmunds.com, dealerrater.com and cardealercheck.com to discuss concerns about slow or inept repairs. Dealers pay close attention to these sites and seek to avoid having their name criticized in bold details. They will often offer a "fix" to address problems.

The majority of dealerships are good citizens who have a large investment in people and the communities they serve. Unfortunately, Liblang finds some dealers are less reliable and harm their own businesses. As surveys consistently find, unhappy people are far more likely to tell their friends not to shop at a dealership. The cost of bad publicity can be overwhelming.

Customers must be vigilant in following up. Liblang recommends keeping a journal to document concerns and service history. They are advised to keep a record of the details including: the date, speed, type of roadway and specific problems. Check the initial write-up against what you have told the service writer. If he or she did not get it right, insist that concerns be written up correctly.

Also document all times this customer was turned down for repair requests. For those with a new car purchase subject to three unsuccessful repairs for the same problem or has accumulated 25 days or more in the shop, individuals should send written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the manufacturer demanding a “last chance” repair under Michigan’s Lemon Law.

Customers who can’t get satisfaction from the dealership or district manager can also make a complaint with the Michigan Secretary of State or the Michigan Attorney General. Resources are available.

Don’t stall out. Customers need to make their vehicle investment a good one. Every individual can be their own best advocate. Persist!

For more information, contact Melinda Curtis Kollins at (248) 722-5408 or email at melinda.kollins@gmail.com.

Source: The Liblang Law Firm P.C.