We're here to help you because life is too short to drive a lemon

If you think you've got a lemon car or lemon truck, then you have come to the right place. Helping consumers get rid of lemons is what we do, everyday. Get your Free Case Review and find out if you are entitled to a new car or truck or your money back. Motor vehicle lemon law, consumer protection law, car law, auto industry news, lemon law news (c) 2011 Burdge Law Office Co LPA

Thursday

Vote for Who Makes the Worst Rv's, Here

Who makes the most lemon Rv's?
A broadcasting news organization asked us to run a Poll to find out the answers to the above 2 questions.

The Poll is open right now so cast your vote by clicking here - it will only take a minute and in June we will announce the results!

And if you have a lemon, well, you know what to do.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Rv Owners Get Rid of Lemons for nearly 40 years
www.RvLemonLaw.com

Wednesday

Car Buying Tips - Don't Leave Home Without it

Ten tips that can save you a lot of money when you buy your next car.
One of the smartest folks I know just wrote a terrific article giving you ten tips on how to buy a car that should be required reading for anyone who is even thinking about it. 

Its published over at the NHS Consumer Law Center blog, where you can find out much more about consumer rights, scams, and how to protect yourself.

One Smart Car Buyer Gives You 10 Tips
In the article, Nadine Ballard explains what she just did in buying a car that kept her in control of the process and avoiding some of the major pitfalls and dangers that lurk in the sales staff and paperwork car dealers use.

She also shows you how just saying "NO" can save you time and money and preserve your legal rights - and how car dealers will change even their form contract paperwork just to make a sale to you if they have to.

Nadine's advice is highly recommended to everyone!  Don't leave home (to go car shopping) without it -

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves, Everyday

Sunday

Are Cars Flooded in Texas Headed to a Kentucky Car Lot Near You?

Flooded Vehicles Heading to Auction Yard
A tip from an industry source warns us that as many as 10,000 damaged vehicles may come out of the recent Texas floods and insurance companies may be letting wholesalers buy these vehicles so they can end up at your neighbor dealer's car lot in Kentucky.

Automotive News and Bloomberg News are both reporting that about 2,500 flooded cars, trucks, Rv's and motorcycles have already been towed to a Copart yard in Houston, where they likely will be auctioned off for salvage value to the highest bidder. Copart works with insurance companies to sell vehicles wholesale that have been totaled in accidents and floods.

Normally these totaled out flood cars are sold for salvageable parts only. But some are often bought by dealers who intend to resell them after cleaning them up.

Those dealers often move the cleaned up flooded vehicles to one or more states and then off to the local auction yard they go - where their flooded or wrecked history can often be made difficult to trace back. Many states don't use the title brand of "flood" so the brand may fall off the title records as these dealers retitle the flooded vehicles from state to state. And then they can end up on a Kentucky car lot near you with what looks like a nice, clean title that shows no history of its flooded past at all.

Thousands of Flooded Texas Vehicles Headed to Ky?
So if you are car shopping and the dealer tells you that the vehicle you are looking at "has a clean history" or even if they use a brand name like CarFax or AutoCheck, don't count on it being totally the truth. Not everything gets reported on those vehicle title history web site reports and some reports may have different info than other reports. Sure, it's a good idea to run a report before you buy that good-looking used car or truck - but don't bet the farm on its accuracy!

And if you are in the market to buy a used vehicle in the next eight months or so, watch out. Inspect carefully, have a local mechanic or body shop check out the vehicle before you buy it. Check under seats and in trunks for any sign of water damage, such as sand or dirt or waterline markings.Look for signs of premature rust. Smell for musty odors and look for mold.

And, most important of all, ask the selling dealer to guarantee that the vehicle you are looking at was NOT in a flood anywhere.

And don't just take their word for it. When they say "no flood - no way" be sure to tell them that you want them to write that on the sales contract too. And if they won't do it, then watch out! Don't buy! Go somewhere else.

Don't waste your money on flooded or wrecked cars! They just aren't worth it.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemons, every day.
It's what we do.

Tuesday

New Zealants Enacts Ban on Stinky US New Cars

Is There a Stink Bug Legion in Your New Car?
Literally. US Cars literally stink in New Zealand, according to an official announcement that was made in New Zealand last December. But apparently word has just reached US shores this month. Really?

It turns out that stink bugs, those pesky fingernail size brown bugs, can infest new cars and trucks shipped to New Zealand from the US and the island's government officials have put enacted a ban on imported US motor vehicles that are shipped to the country unless they have first been fumigated. Or "heat treated" to kill the bugs. No more stinky US cars hitting island shores - really?

“We are working closely with importers and treatment suppliers to ensure imported vehicles can receive biosecurity clearance where possible, although, if there are no suitable decontamination options, non-compliant vehicles may have to be turned away,” New Zealand's Ministry Biosecurity and Environment Manager Paul Hallett says.

The untreated US car ban is intended to keep the pesky bugs out of New Zealand before they do damage to the country's agriculture.

So, it is from small island nation of New Zealand that US consumers now learn that their new cars and trucks have stink bugs in them. A no-extra-cost standard feature, mind you.

If your new car or new truck stinks, call us. Getting rid of lemons in Kentucky is what we do. Everyday.


Burdge Law Office
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com
Helping Bluegrass Consumers Get Rid of Lemons Everyday
It's what we do.

Monday

Pictures Can Be Warranties Too

Do you pick up a showroom brochure when car shopping? If so, you should hold on to those brochures and keep them with your other important sales documents for the car or light truck that you buy.

Most folks don't think about it and the odds are you won't get a lemon, but if you do, that showroom brochure can come in handy.

Car manufacturers often put lots of wonderful promises and representations about quality and specific equipment in their brochures - often things that they don't put in writing anywhere else. Those can amount to specific warranties that you can enforce in court later if you need to.


Will it tow what it shows it towing?
We recall one case with a brochure that showed a Ford car towing a good size boat on a trailer. When the buyer's car turned out not to have the power necessary to tow his own boat, which was considerably smaller, we were able to use the picture in that brochure as a warranty the car didn't live up to. After arguing, Ford and its dealer to bought the car back. He promptly went out and bought a Chevy pickup truck that would do the job easily.

And Ford paid the attorney fees too so it wound up not costing him any money at all to get rid of the car that wouldn't tow.

So when you go car shopping, pick up the showroom brochure. You just never know when you might need it.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves Every Day

Thursday

How to Get Rid of Your Lemon Car

And we all love cake!
If you have a lemon car, let us make the manufacturer take it back and refund your money.

That's what we did today. And here's what a very happy client dropped off to give thanks and for our staff to enjoy (and we will, too).

For us it was just one more lemon that went back to where it came from, deservedly so.

For him it was a total refund of all his money. He's a happy man to be rid of his lemon.

Burdge Law Office
Getting Rid of Lemons is What We Do, Everyday

Tuesday

Remembrances of The Farmer, a Veteran, and a War Long Ago

Every Veterans Day we pause to thank those who served and to reflect on the meaning of this day by republishing an article written several years ago, to give tribute to the veterans in all of our families - and all the veterans who have served over the generations. We pause to note not our time but to honor the time of the millions of veterans who passed before and after us. The true story below is that of a farmer's son and a war that was only just beginning some fifty plus years ago and which now is little more than a few pages in a history book. Like every war in the last 100 years, it was life and death everyday, half a world away from the evening news.

A few years ago, a local farmer came in to see me for some help. Bills and crop prices and debt had him over a barrel and we talked about bankruptcy and what it could and couldn’t do to help relieve his situation. He was a big strong man, the way some farmers just naturally are, both in his heart and his size. We were about the same age but he looked so much older.

His situation took about 5 months to get resolved but I will never forget the day that I learned that he was a chopper pilot in Vietnam about the same time as my older brother, Larry, was there. I had no clue and never would have guessed.

We both stopped what we were talking about, his own current problem, while he looked out the window and quietly talked about what it was like then, back in Vietnam. It was hard for me to look at this older and much heavier man and try to imagine what he must have looked like back in the days of 1966-'68. Now, he was mostly bald and probably weighed a lot more than he did back then, but like me he had been young once too. Now, he didn't move as quick as he undoubtedly did back in 'Nam either.

But you could tell from the distance in his eyes as he spoke that he had never really left it all behind him.

He talked about what it was like to fly a chopper in and out of valleys and hills and fire, dropping down as quickly as he could and picking up a wounded soldier or two and getting back out of there, wherever "there" was, as fast as he could. Nothing but plexiglass between him and the bullets.

He said he loved flying helicopters then, but that he was never in his life as scared as he was in those few minutes between the time just before he would land and when he was back out of the worst of the fire. He said they were the longest minutes of his life. He called it dodging a lifetime of bullets, scared to death that one of them had his name on it.

He had a dusty old baseball cap in his hand as we talked. It hung loosely in his hand as he gazed aimlessly out the window. It was from some team that didn't really matter, I'm sure. His eyes were never in the room with us as he calmly and matter-of-factly talked of how men died around him and also of those who came back like him.

You could tell he had memories he wished he didn't have. He said the worst feeling he had from the whole war was that every time he'd lift off the ground he knew that while he was getting out of there, he was leaving other boys behind. He'd fly away, his heart pounding loud in his chest, while the fighting went on below him.

After a long while, he stopped talking and we just sat there, not talking at all. I could see that things were going on inside his mind and I just didn't know what to say. I was dumbstruck by this seemingly now-gentle giant of a man who had been through hell. Truth be told, I didn't think I had a right to say anything at all. After what seemed like the longest time, both of us returned to the present moment. He never spoke about it again.

It's been years now. I don't even remember his name. Probably most of the guys he saved didn't remember it either. I haven't thought of him since then until my older brother sent me a recording he found on the internet, called God's Own Lunatics (click below) that explained what it was like to be one of those foot soldiers on the ground. I clicked on it, listened, and the memory all came back to me.

I recall that he was the son of a local farmer who had gone off to war and came back all grown up - to be his father's son, a farmer again. Something about beating your swords into plows seems appropriate for me to end this note but it also seems so trivial a thing to say. I can still recall his face.

We all owe veterans a whole lot more than any of us will ever be able to repay. If you know someone who served, shake their hand and thank them. You don't need to say why. They'll know. And remember on this Veterans Day that there are lots of vets that aren't around for you to thank, so say thanks to those who still are. Thanks, Dad. And thank you, Larry. Two of the bravest men I have known in my lifetime. Veterans.

Friday

Accident Reports Now Available Online

Wrecked cars. What you don't know, can hurt you
One of the more irritating things in life is buying a used car only to find out later that it was involved in an accident before. It can leave you wondering just how bad it was and whether it was fixed right. Well, now you can do something about it.

You can now get accident reports over the internet at CrashDocs.org, a new service provided by the folks that brought you CarFax.

Copies of Police Accident and Incident Reports can now be obtained online within days after the event. That can make it easy and convenient for consumers to know for sure what happened and when and where and just how bad it was.

We've had our issues with the accuracy and thoroughness of CarFax reports before but since this new service appears to be simply providing just what police departments are themselves already doing then it is likely to be far more accurate than gathering data and assimilating it into a report that someone besides the police department personnel have actually written. 
 
In other words, this sounds like a great new service for consumers and car dealers alike. Odds are, however, that consumers will make the most use of it since car dealers usually prefer to know as little as possible about a car's prior history so they can easily claim ignorance later if the buyer finds out something really bad. Like maybe that it was in a bad accident.

So, for now we are recommending that consumers still be careful when buying used motor vehicles. Getting a vehicle history report from one or more of online vehicle history report services is a smart move, but only one. You should also have a vehicle inspection done by a good mechanic and body shop. And if you see anything on the vehicle history report about an accident, maybe give CrashDocs.org a try. See if you can get the accident report yourself.

Vehicle History Report Services Online: CarFax, AutoCheck, NMVTIS, InstaVin, VehicleHistory, and more. Who is the best? Well, that is debatable because they each get their information from sometimes different sources, but the point is to check things out for yourself so you don't waste your money. Don't get suckered by a crooked car dealer. And be careful out there.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves, everyday.

Sunday

Negative Equity Can Cost You Big Money


Would you pay $5 for a gallon of milk that only costs $3.00 at the grocery store just because the last gallon you bought there was bad? Why should you pay extra for something that isn't your fault?

We are seeing more and more people who have a lemon car that they got by trading in their last lemon to get rid of it and get a new car - only to find out their new car is as bad as the last one.

And that's when they find out just how deep their dealer put them into the hole when they got rid of that last lemon car. It's an expensive mistake you can avoid.

The "let's get you into a new car" helping hand that some dealers will give you, just to help you get rid of your lemon car that they can't fix, can be a slap in the face. More accurately, a slap in your wallet.

The frustration of a lemon car can drive you nuts, we know. But watch out for that friendly car dealer who wants to help you out by taking that lemon off your hands and selling you a new car. We are commonly seeing dealers jacking up the new car's cost by an average of $7,000 to pay off the loan on the lemon you are trading in. The simple truth is that your friendly car dealer isn't helping you out at all - they are burying you deeper and deeper in their red ink "negative equity."

And that trade in negative equity can bite you in the tail, big time, if your new car turns out to be another lemon. It's already biting into your wallet big time even if your new car runs wonderfully. Here's how.

Most car dealers have no real interest in helping you out. They are in business to make money and your lemon trade in just gives them one more chance to make money off of you, albeit sooner than they expected when they sold you that lemon in the first place.

Most people keep their new car for 3 years, more or less. But if it turns into a lemon, there's a big temptation to trade it in sooner, just to be rid of it and get reliable transportation again. Watch out! That is exactly when the dealer reaches deeper into your wallet or your purse, making that trade in even more expensive than it has to be.

The dealer knows you are fed up with the lemon car you are driving. How? Because they've been working on it. Or, more often, you told them. So they know that you want out of the vehicle badly. That tells them that they have the upper hand over you, before you even start talking trade in value.

Is it really negative equity or is it just a car dealer ripoff?
So the dealer is strongly tempted to tell you your trade in is worth even less than normal because they know you want rid of it. And up comes the negative equity discussion.

"You know," they start off to say, "your trade in is a lemon and we aren't going to get much out of it when we send it to the auction yard. And if we try to sell it, first we have to try to fix it and we'll probably have to give a warranty with it too. But don't worry," and this is when you think they are helping you the most, "we will pay off the loan and get you into a brand new car!"

Sounds great, doesn't it? But you don't even know what is happening. If your trade in is worth $20,000 the dealer will probably only write up a trade in allowance of $12,000 because they know how bad you want rid of it, even though they will resell your trade in for the full $20,000 or more! And more and more dealers are not even telling you how much the trade in allowance is, by hiding it in the paperwork fine print. Many buyers are so desperate to get rid of their lemon that they don't look closely at the numbers on the sales contract. Big mistake!

In the fine print, and in the confusing form layout that separates the trade in allowance from the trade in loan payoff number, the dealer buries the fact that the trade in allowance is far, far less than the trade in loan payoff amount - and the bottom line number appears to be the price for your new car when, in reality, it's the cost for both the new car and the cost for paying off the old lemon car! It's sometimes called "stealing the trade" by some car dealers, because the buyer doesn't even realize what the numbers are because they are so focused on getting a new car for $xxx per month.

Trading in Your Lemon Can be a Costly Mistake
In other words, the dealer concentrates your attention on the cost of your new car (which includes the extra loan payoff charge on your lemon trade in) and never points out how the loan balance on your lemon trade in is being added to the price of the new car you are getting.

Desperate consumers look at the monthly payment number for the new car and think how glad they are to be getting a new car. But they don't realize that the dealer is adding an extra $7,000 or more to the actual MSRP of the new car they are selling you. Think about it this way. Would you pay $5 for a gallon of milk that only costs $3.00, just because the last gallon you bought there was bad?

Of course not.

Well, don't let the car dealer slick talking rip you off. When a car dealer says they can trade you out of your lemon, they are actually saying we can sell you another car and make even more money off of you if you let us. Well, don't let them.

So, what's the solution? Easy. Get a lemon lawyer to get your money back and get rid of your lemon at no net cost to you at all. Kentucky's Lemon Law gives you the right to a new car or your money back. And it makes the manufacturer pay your attorney fees and court costs too.

So, you have a choice. You can get rid of your lemon car and get your money back, for free. Or you can pay the dealer an extra $7,000 or more to sell you another car. Seems like an easy choice, if you care about your money.

You can probably use that $7,000, so don't give it away so easily, folks. Keep it in your pocket. Get a lemon lawyer on your side. Get your money back and rid of your lemon. Get Justice.

Burdge Law Office
www.KentuckyLemonLaw.com
Helping consumers get rid of lemons and get their money back, for more than 25 years.
Lemon Law - it's what we do. Everyday.

Saturday

How Car Dealers Get Into Your Wallet Even Deeper

video

Ever wonder how your car payment got so high without you realizing it? Well, there's a method to some car dealer's madness when it comes to getting into your wallet. Here's one example. Don't get ripped off when you buy your next car or truck.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumer Protect Themselves, Every Day