Lack of Lemon Law catches consumer
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 5:06PM MST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2013 6:35PM MST
A Calgary man contacted our consumer specialist Lea Williams-Doherty after the transmission in his brand new car gave him nothing but grief.
Brad Silver test drove several 2013 SUVs before buying a Ford Escape from Northstar Ford.
He paid $42,000 and thought it was money well spent until the car died just ten days after he drove it off the lot.
“I brought it in so they could take a look at it, they said it was fine, they couldn't find a problem, they had test driven it, so I took it back," said Silver.
A week later and the SUV died again.
This time Silver had it towed to the shop and Northstar fixed it but just days later the car died for a third time.
Silver took it back to the shop and this time Northstar assured him the transmission problem causing the car to stall was fixed.
When he went to pick it up, the car stalled out before he could even leave the dealership.
"That's not what I bought. I bought a new car, a car that should work and that's not what they've given me," said Silver.
Silver asked Northstar to take back the vehicle and give him a new one but the dealership said no and that it would replace the entire transmission instead.
Silver says he called Ford and was told that it is the dealer's decision whether or not it will replace a new, faulty vehicle.
He asked Northstar once again to take his vehicle back and the dealer refused, saying its policy is to repair vehicles with problems.
Lea contacted Northstar and asked them to give Silver a new SUV and was told that they replaced Silver's entire transmission and asked him to come get his vehicle.
Silver decided to give them one more chance but when he went to pick the SUV up, the test drive revealed what the dealer called "another hiccup".
Lea contacted Northstar again and once again asked them to give him a new vehicle and the dealership honoured that request the next day.
"They said they wanted to have a happy customer and the second thing I think Lea, who got involved as on ombudsman, she talked to ford and I really think that helped as well too," said Silver.
Lea asked if the company had any comment but they declined.
In Alberta there is no Lemon Law that requires dealers to take back faulty vehicles so Silver would have had to file a complaint with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration program if the dealership didn’t replace his vehicle.
The program handles disputes between customers and car companies over vehicles that are no more than four years old and have less than 160,000 kilometers on them.
Impartial arbitrators decide cases when customers and car companies are at an impasse.