They call it gas lighting - when someone acts like you are losing your mind for believing in something that is true. Dealers do this to consumers as well - when it comes to defective cars. “Engine knock? Oh no, I can’t hear anything. And if I did, I’d say it sounds normal,” the service writer yells to you as your car’s engine self-destructs.

This is a common complaint I hear about from consumers. It often happens with problems that are widespread for which there is no fix. Think recent dual-clutch transmissions. Or, I’ve heard a few involving engine noise. But their denial of the existence of the problem doesn’t make it go away.

Nor does it relieve them of liability for the repair - or their exposure under the Lemon Law. So, don’t take “No” (or, “You’re crazy”) for an answer.

Bring it back in, to other dealers if necessary, and keep treating the problem like it is real. Especially because it is. Get repair orders. And then, if it gets that far, call an attorney. I explain it all in this week’s podcast. Here is the audio (astute observers may notice that it is substantially longer than the video):


And the video (which is shorter than the audio, the reason for which would not be obvious from the video):

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Steve Lehto has been practicing law for 25 years, almost exclusively in consumer protection and Michigan lemon law. He wrote The Lemon Law Bible and Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation.


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