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How to Handle Difficult-to-Replicate Auto Issues: Do You Think You Have a Defective Vehicle?

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 22-Jan-2015

Automotive ownership comes with many sources of anxiety - especially as designs and functions become increasingly complicated. Most car owners can relate to the irritation that comes with hearing a problem with a vehicle but then being unable to reproduce the sound for the mechanic.

This replication problem is a source of frustration for many car owners, who are often forced to continue owning and driving a defective vehicle. It is also one reason why consumers have complex relationships with their dealership service managers. Consumer advocates pressure car companies to honor their recalls, but what if you can't even find the problem?

Working With Your Vehicle's Manufacturer

Manufacturers provide few, if any, alternatives for customers who feel they have a defective vehicle but cannot reproduce the problem at the dealership. There are, however, some strategies that may ensure better outcomes when problems arise. Follow these tips if you experience problems with your car:

  • Track what happens. Documentation makes everything easier. Use photos, videos, written journaling, and audio recordings to track your journey to get the vehicle fixed.
  • Maintain copious records of service, if available.
  • Remain conciliatory with mechanics and others who help you, and emphasize the importance of safety.
  • Explain the persistent nature of the problem, and offer to let the service department hold the car until they can identify it.
  • Speak to a service manager to gather more information about what happened; consulting with the higher-ups in the chain of command at the company will encourage the manufacturer to take the complaint seriously.
  • Consider filing a complaint with the Federal Highway Safety Administration.

Conscientious car ownership is not always enough to avoid hassles. Never let a mysterious issue catch you off-guard. Always be firm, and never settle for anything that leaves you feeling unsafe. Car companies sometimes risk safety to try to cut corners and eliminate costs. Hold these manufacturers responsible, not just to protect yourself and your auto investment but also to prevent them from providing dangerously mediocre service to other drivers.

Call our Washington D.C. car accident attorneys about your recent crash to determine whether you might be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages.

For a recent post about vehicle safety, check out: Battle Between the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Japanese Takata Corporation Has Ramifications for Millions of Vehicle Owners

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