On January 10, 2022 my client, a Michigan resident, leased a new 2021 Jeep Cherokee.
The client first experienced driveability problems and warning lights in April of 2021 and took the vehicle in for service to a local dealership on April 14, 2021. This first repair attempt was completed on the same day.
After picking up the vehicle from the service department, my client almost immediately continued to experience the same problems and made another service appointment for April 25, 2022. The service department identified various fault codes and made initial efforts to diagnose the problem. My client was advised the repairs would be completed by April 29, 2022. This turned out to be way off.
My client contacted FCA Customer Care to discuss the vehicle repairs but had a difficult time getting a return call. Additional calls to Customer Care went unanswered, but ultimately my client's case was allegedly assigned to a "premium specialist". However, this escalation was fruitless as Customer Care continued to ignore my client and/or provide useful information.
Notably, my client had difficulty obtaining a loaner vehicle from the dealership. Ultimately she rented a vehicle from Enterprise as the repairs continued take longer than expected.
Meanwhile the service department sought assistance from STAR, (FCA engineers), relating to the repairs. The defect was identified as a transmission control module, (TCM), but the fix was time-consuming and multiple strategies failed to repair the problems. On May 13, 2022 the service department drove the Cherokee 68 miles, ran it through their car wash and 58 diagnostic trouble codes returned. The service manager advised my client that a new TCM was required but parts were unavailable.
I was retained by the client on May 17, 2022, and sent a "final repair" letter to FCA on behalf of my client on May 17, 2022. I received no response from FCA. On May 31, 2022 my client went to the dealership to retrieve personal belongings from the vehicle.
With no resolution and no reasonable response from FCA or the dealership, on June 14, 2022 we filed a lawsuit against FCA. At that point the Cherokee had been in the service department for 51 consecutive days. On June 21, 2022 FCA's legal department contacted me to discuss a resolution. On July 5, 2022, FCA filed an Answer to our lawsuit with Affirmative Defenses. Settlement negotiations continued.
On August 3, 2022, FCA offered a tentative repurchase of the vehicle. While the details were ironed out, the Cherokee remained unfixed at FCA's authorized dealership service department.
On September 7, 2022 we received a detailed repurchase offer from FCA that was accepted by my client. FCA ended up paying for the Enterprise rental vehicle as well.
The vehicle surrender occurred on October 14, 2022 and my client received her settlement check. The Lemon Cherokee was, finally, thankfully repurchased.
(This case summary is an example of a recent Lemon Law repurchase. Your experience and/or results may differ depending on the specific circumstances of your case. This summary is not a guarantee, nor does it represent legal advice).
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