Originally Posted by ben04
This. Exactly. Before I bought a Jeep I was in a warranty battle with another manufacturer. I sued for warranty buy-back under the lemon law. Mods don't matter... You have to prove that the manufacturer's product was defective.
Technically the manufacturer must prove your mods caused a problem, but in my actual experience, the vehicle owner must prove the manufacturer produced a defective vehicle. It's harder than you'd think; a lawsuit isn't always about the facts.
Lemon laws are proved for and against by the same party...the dealer. All lemon laws require you (the owner) to let the dealer attempt to fix the problem. If they fail to do so a certain number of times, and/or if the vehicle is out of commission for too long, then the vehicle qualifies as a lemon. The owner doesn't prove anything. The dealer is doing the work for both sides.
Next, the arbitration. While the warranty work might be a hassle, the arbitration is a VERY big hassle for the dealer. First of all, it costs the owner a few hundred bucks to file for arbitration. Arbitration is designed to make legal action easier on the private person when dealing with a major company. However, when arbitration is filed, all the fees are paid (up front) by the dealer (until the resolution, which if they win you must split/pay back.) so right there, the dealer must shell out $2000+ for the arbitrator at $300+ per hour. Adding to that, the dealer now has to pay their lawyer, which is another $500+ per hour. Arbitrations are designed to be done quickly, but can drag out depending on people's schedules. Dealers do NOT like to deal with arbitrations, it seldom ends well for them. Every loss is a public record, and can be used later on in commercial fraud suits. Dealers take lawsuits very seriously, provided they believe that you are actually going to take legal action. Being that my wife is a commercial litigator, they always take me VERY seriously.