While smartphones and personal computers have been repeated victims of hacking, the most recent cybersecurity threat may be shocking—your car. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently launched a recall of 1.4 million vehicles last Friday in response to the wireless hacking of its computer dashboard system. During a demonstration, two hackers wirelessly infiltrated a Jeep, gaining control of the vehicle’s ventilation, music system, and engine, and ultimately caused the car to run into a ditch without even getting behind the steering wheel.
The Fiat Chrysler recall concerns the security of the car manufacturer’s “Uconnect” system, which Fiat Chrysler hopes to address by a software update via USB drive. The models affected by the recall include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Charger, Viper, Ram pickup truck, and Chrysler 200 and 300 series from 2013 onward. As the “smart” technology trend increasingly extends to cars, drivers may be left vulnerable to hackers if manufacturers fail to provide adequate security within their vehicle computer systems.
What does this new threat mean for car owners? Purchasers of new, used and leased vehicles have consumer rights regarding defective, faulty, or dangerous vehicles, otherwise referred to as ‘lemons.’ The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers by making it easier for consumers to enforce written warranties on goods, including warranties on vehicles. When a vehicle fails to comply with the promises and the standards within the manufacturer’s warranty, the consumer may have a breach of warranty claim under this act, which is also known as a Lemon Law claim.
In addition to the Magnuson-Moss Act, states also provide Lemon Laws to protect consumers. Lemon Laws vary among states, and the applicable state’s Lemon Law typically depends on the state where the consumer purchased or leased the vehicle.
California offers one of the nation’s most comprehensive Lemon Laws—the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which covers vehicles that are purchased or leased with a warranty in California. The Song-Beverly Act requires manufacturers and dealers to guarantee that their vehicles are fit for their intended use under an implied warranty, and in the case of an express warranty, to provide service facilities to repair their vehicles. Within California’s Lemon Laws, there is a lemon law presumption that provides a guideline for when a vehicle is a lemon. AKA The Tanner Consumer Protection Act, California’s lemon law presumption presumes a vehicle is a lemon if within the first 18,000 miles or 18 months (whichever comes first), the car is repaired at least two times for a substantial safety issue or at least four times for a non-substantial safety issue or if the car is out of service for at least 30 days while getting repaired. If a consumer’s vehicle is a lemon, the consumer is entitled to obtain a refund or replacement plus the payment of his/her attorneys fees and costs.
If you are experiencing problems with your vehicle and have had it repeatedly repaired, it may be a lemon. Protect your safety, your investment, and your rights with a free consultation by calling the Lemon Law Experts today. Our attorneys have assisted thousands of clients with their purchased, leased, new and used lemon cars, trucks, SUVS, motorcycles, boats, RVs, trailers and more. Call our Lemon Law Experts today at 1-877-885-5366 for a free and confidential evaluation. Our attorneys boast a 99% success rate and have recovered millions for their consumer clients. The Lemon Law Experts of Consumer Law Experts are here to help you with your vehicle troubles.