Unfortunately, Jeep is one of the biggest culprits of manufacturing lemons in the US (along with GMC, Fiat, Cadillac, Dodge, Porsche, Volkswagen, Volvo, Subaru, and Land Rover). Roughly one in every 100,000 Jeeps produced is a lemon—compared to, for example, one in every 11.6 million produced by Toyota. Jeep is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and headquartered in Amsterdam.
Here you can see the available models of Jeep vehicles, how they stand up against other Jeep models, complaints received, and their “Pain Rank” (ownership hassle level) as calculated by CarComplaints.com:
Of the 2015 and newer Jeeps, these chronic defects are most likely to result in particular Jeep models becoming lemons:
As you can see, most of these models have the same or similar problems. These are some non-specific Jeep problems we see as well:
In order to pursue a lemon law claim against Jeep, your Jeep must still be under warranty (unless you have other active warranty coverage from the dealership or an extended warranty you purchased). Here are the details of Jeep’s standard warranty:
There are a few very specific exceptions for certain components with warranty protection of up to 8 years -or- 80,000 miles. If your vehicle does not meet any of these requirements anymore (too old, too many miles), then it’s unlikely the lemon law can help you. Consult an attorney just to be sure.
To initiate a lemon law claim, against Jeep it is essential to ensure that any required repairs are carried out at a Jeep dealership while your vehicle is still covered by warranty.
Negotiating a settlement can vary in duration, but it ultimately leads to the resolution of your lemon law case. If your Jeep qualifies under the lemon law, the lawyer will take your case.
In addition to still being under warranty, for you to bring a valid lemon law claim, all of the repairs must be completed at the Jeep dealer. Even if you yourself are a highly skilled mechanic, and it’s frustrating dealing with Jeep’s notoriously slow in-house repairs, it’s imperative to get serviced at the dealer.
Remember, the dealer will fix your under-warranty defect free of charge. Ensure that the way the dealership words your complaint in the service records is accurate and to the severity you mentioned. In other words, if you complained of the Jeep zooming forward suddenly while in cruise control and then stalling, don’t let them minimize that to “rough shifting.”
Start a folder with every receipt, invoice, phone message, anything you sign at the dealership, etc. If your Jeep’s defect can be safely recorded on video, take a video whenever you notice the issue (or photo). Start an incident log noting dates, times, durations, conditions, dealership phone calls, mechanic emails, etc—the more detailed, the better.
Think about what you’ll need to prove in court if it gets to that point, unfortunately. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, it’s important to save receipts for additional expenses you incur as a result of your Jeep’s defects. For instance, if you need to stay in a hotel room for three nights and eat in restaurants that whole time because your Jeep died on a road trip, save those receipts for future reimbursement.
If your Jeep continues to experience numerous malfunctions or the same single issue keeps happening over and over, it’s time to reach out to an Orange County lemon law attorney for a case review. You’ll need to share your records (mentioned above) with the lawyer plus your sales contract, pink slip, written warranty (if available), and other legal documentation. If your Jeep qualifies under the lemon law, the lawyer will take your case and begin working to get your purchase refunded or your Jeep exchanged.
The lemon law “buyback” or claim process begins with your lawyer writing a letter to Jeep explaining the defect (s), what has been done to repair the situation, and pointing out specifically which warranty element and lemon law protects you in this case. Your lawyer will communicate to Jeep how you would like the situation to be remedied as well.
In response to your demand letter, Jeep will typically say one of four things:
If you’ve ever had to make an insurance claim, the lemon law process can feel very similar.
It’s hard to say what specifically this part of the process may entail as each case is different, but it can go quickly (a few weeks) or slowly (several months) and be nerve-racking. Once a settlement is reached, it can still take a sometimes frustrating amount of time to actually have the remedy put into action. Don’t expect that if you accept the new Jeep exchange, you’ll be able to drive to the dealer later that day, pick a new model, and be done with it.
If your Jeep is no longer under warranty, it is possible that the defect you are experiencing has been recalled. If this is the case, that means Jeep should fix it for free, regardless of how many miles you’ve driven or anything else. Here are some recent Jeep recalls to be aware of:
Before bringing your Jeep to the dealer over a recall issue, call ahead and confirm all the details. You can also check for yourself using the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) “active recall” website. This platform will ask you for your Jeep’s VIN and then show you all recalls currently affecting your vehicle.
If your Jeep doesn’t qualify under the lemon law or for a recall, your third option is to see if your Jeep was possibly involved in a class action lawsuit. If so, you may be entitled to a portion of the settlement.
Settlements in cases like those are not typically huge, but it’s better than nothing. Here are some Jeeps that have been involved in class action lawsuits:
If your Jeep is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, in most cases, it isn’t going to matter if there was a sticker in the window saying “Sold As Is.” If you bought your Jeep used from a licensed dealer, and it was sold as is, again, the manufacturer’s warranty typically overrides that.
On the other hand, if your Jeep has a salvage title, for example, it could be one month old with 100 miles on it and still not be eligible for lemon law coverage. The bottom line is that if you purchased the Jeep knowing there was a major mechanical problem with it, there are not going to be many applicable remedies.
A lemon law claim is like a lawsuit. You don’t need to pay anything upfront or during the case. When your lawyer wins your claim, he or she will send your bill to Jeep, and Jeep will be legally responsible for paying your attorney fees. If it turns out that your lawyer was unable to resolve your claim, you won’t owe anything.
There are still options if your Jeep is defective and it’s no longer under warranty. Again, check for recalls and class actions, but you can also file a small claims case against the Jeep dealer and/or Jeep’s corporate office. If applicable, you can file a regular lawsuit against Jeep for pain and suffering or physical injuries and losses you’ve incurred as a result of your Jeep’s defects.
These remedies might not necessarily result in a buyback, but they may help reduce some of your financial burden.
Court cases can seem endless, intimidating, and risky. However, mediation and arbitration often work in Jeep’s favor, and that is why Jeep may be pushing you to try these alternate methods of dispute resolution regarding your defective vehicle. In mediation, you are rarely allowed to have your attorney with you. The attorneys for Jeep have the opportunity, not in front of a judge’s watchful eye, to speak directly to you up close and personal.
Unfortunately, they frequently use this opportunity to intimidate and play mental games with you. Another reason Jeep may try to steer you towards arbitration or mediation is that the lemon law gives you the right to have Jeep reimburse your legal fees, and mediation can be less costly than litigation. Please consult an experienced lemon law lawyer to learn your rights.
Some lemon laws are federal, and some are on the state level. California’s lemon laws do tend to offer more harsh penalties for auto manufacturers, but the federal lemon laws are more broad. Having said that, unfortunately, California prohibits private party vehicle transactions from being protected under its lemon law. This doesn’t mean that you might not still be able to seek protection under federal lemon laws, but this is another reason to consult a dedicated attorney for clarification.
Hiring a lemon law attorney can help things go much faster in getting you back on the road again. Allow LemonLaw123.com to review the facts of your case in a timely manner, free of charge. Our Orange County lemon law attorney can tell you right away whether you have a valid lemon law claim or not. We are passionate about protecting consumers and keeping roadways and families safe.
Submit your case documents for a fast and free review today, or reach out to us at 657-529-5239.