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So I'm in the middle of the lemon law process

16801 Views 39 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  hkhoosier
Like the title says I'm going the lemon law route with my 2012 Ford Focus Ti. I live in Georgia. I'd like to share my experience so far.

The process requires you have had a non-conformity repair attempted in the first 12k miles or 1 year of ownership. Then two more attempts at repair in the next two years or 24k miles. Then you have up to 1 year additional to file a claim. It's a bit different if the non-conformity is considered a safety issue. The DCT isn't considered a safety issue.

It's also important to note that I don't have to participate in the BBB autoline program as is it isn't certified by the state of Georgia.

So at 6k miles I went in for the shudder/DCT issues and got programming done. At 15k miles I went in again for the shudder/DCT issues and got updated programming. At 18.3k miles I went again and was told there was no updated flash. At 18.6k I went back and broke the RPM flare threshold on the PID test, 350. I got new clutches and seals for my trouble.

That period was within the first two years of ownership. Over this summer the wonky DCT behavior has returned. I'm within the third year of ownership and as such I started the lemon law process. Currently around 28k miles. I filled out a form and overnighted it to Ford.

The form is an official request for a final repair attempt. You must give Ford a chance to fix the issues.

Well today Ford had their scheduled final repair attempt. A Ford service engineer drove my car for 31 miles and said no issues. He also said both my PCM and TCM were on the latest software level. That is interesting as neither have been touched since 18.6k miles in October of last year. I also know, thanks to this forum, about TSB 14-0131 which comes with updated software in addition to the "F" clutch revision. He also neglected to have another PID test ran on my vehicle. Or if they did, they didn't put it in writing on my repair invoice. He was nice enough to explain how a dual dry clutch transmission shifts though.

Tomorrow I'm doing step 3 which is overnighting a re-purchase request, per Ga lemon law, as Ford neglected to fix my non-conformity, DCT continues to require programming and/ or repair, when given a final attempt.

Ford has 20 days to honor my request per Georgia lemon law. I'm sure I'll hear back soon.

I've learn so much from this forum. I just wanted to share my experience for anyone on the lemon law fence.
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If you DO happen to end up having to live with it for a while at least, the info I posted links for in this thread: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=487441 might be useful.

Some unofficial comments on driving it, and a very recent unofficial video from a mechanic who's posted many useful videos on the subject.

Good list of things to try or do when it's "in spec" but not operating as you'd like.
 

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Don't be too giddy that the process is moving along or you'll lose for sure.

Look at the requirements very closely, and find the best legal definitions you can.

Then make your case precisely along those lines.

Unhappy that it doesn't meet expectations is NOT likely to win you anything, so ignore that portion of your situation completely when making your case.

You aren't going into this to show Ford up, you're going to this trouble so YOU can come out ahead.

Ignore the opposing case they can present & your time is wasted. You need to anticipate & address their counter argument to have a chance.
 

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Lemon law case can be like using a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

It is a way to get out of an untenable situation, but the victory can be a pyrrhic one.

Walking away even is a best case result after all the effort involved.
 

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"My state law says a nonconformity means a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition, any of which substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle to the consumer or renders the new motor vehicle nonconforming to a warranty."


Look at this condition for a lemon law case, quoted from the OP.

Ford's advertising doesn't even apply.

TooOld - I know you like to stir the pot, but for this one you prob. should start your own thread rather than going off topic here.


Tilting at windmills with a false advertising lawsuit is an entirely different subject, and I already tried to give a BROAD hint to the OP that it wouldn't serve him well in a lemon case.
 

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That's simply not correct sir. Notice the end of your definition of nonconformity, "nonconforming to a warranty." A warranty can be expressed by advertisement. That's just as valid as an implied warranty.

Ford choosing to advertise the Powershift DCT as being seamless is an expressed warranty. Therefore a Focus with a DCT that is exhibiting shifting issues that could be defined as not seamless by a reasonable person has a nonconformity.
Not my definition, YOUR quote from the Georgia Lemon Law.


You're welcome to approach this any way you please, IMHO you'd be better served directing your arguments more closely to the Georgia law's requirements you quoted.

Arguing that hyperbole from advertising is an "expressed warranty" gets into an argument that's unlikely to be upheld at the hearing level you are dealing with.

If that is going to be the crux of your case, I think you're wasting your time.


Hopefully you will make a better argument by the time this comes to a hearing, I'm only trying to prod you into a more productive path for your case.
 

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I hope any dialog here helps, I've seen some fail at the lemon law process elsewhere (no details, assume not adequately prepared) and I've seen unexpected testimony at a hearing (outright falsehood) come close to derailing a case (not lemon law).

Sounds like the GA process is set up to favor the petitioner, just remember that it's not a slam dunk. Even the written response terms mention that the arbitrator "can" refuse to consider, not "should" or "must".

Clear timeline on your facts and at least a couple separate arguments on why you should prevail will help. You don't want to be in the position of going in with a single line of argument that has no backup.

In your planning, consider worst case situations like "shudder" being thrown out as subjective when it doesn't reach a tested value (the rpm variation std. used for clutch replacement by Ford) and prepare a back up argument for that contingency.

There's a good chance you won't KNOW during the presentations what will be considered as adequate proof, so presenting multiple separate arguments may be the only way to get at least one into the record that could be upheld in your favor.

Like a Chess game where an obvious attack can easily be parried, a second or third avenue could be the successful one.

The point here is that the more items in the law's definition that you can cover with separate arguments the better the chance of winning the case.


You've got "defect, serious safety defect or condition" an the front side (three avenues) and they have to "seriously impair the use, value or safety" for any of those to be applicable. Address each individually with the best argument you can make.

"Or renders the vehicle non-conforming to a warranty" is a secondary avenue to use for any of the front three situations when you can't show how they "seriously impair the use, value or safety" of the vehicle.


Hopefully this helps, and shows why I put less emphasis on your "implied warranty" approach.
 
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