Experience with 'Lemon Law' and Volvo

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Matt, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Have an XC90 in Virginia. Wonderful car.

    Will last forever, since it spends most of the time at the dealers.

    Dealer says 'Volvo will be calling you soon about this car...way too
    many repairs'.

    Mainly electronic gremlins that the dealer can't get right...including
    SRS sensors that have been replaced 4 times, multiple computers, all
    headlight systems --- transformers and headlight units both sides---
    plus, plus, plus, plus.

    Anybody have any experience with how Volvo deals with vehicles that
    are nearing the "Lemon Law' threshold?

    Is Volvo proactive in offering remedies (e.g. pay for the milesage
    I've driven, and trade in for new XC90)?

    Or do they fight every step of the way (should I hire a lawyer)?


    XC90 in VA
    Matt, Mar 20, 2006
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  2. Matt

    doc Guest


    How old is the vehicle? My understanding is that in Virginia one must
    file a lemon law claim within 18 months after the date the vehicle was
    delivered to the consumer.

    I'm not a lawyer, so realize I am NOT offering legal advice; rather,
    I'm offering my reading of what black-letter law in this situation and
    under said statute appears to be in your state.

    I'd suggest writing a firm but polite letter outlining the situation
    to the service manager of the dealership and giving them 7 days to
    respond with a remedy. Advise them if they can't rectify the
    issue--and at the dealer level they may not be able to do so
    easily--the you would like to know who to contact at Volvo of America.

    Note that most manufacturers use arbitration to resolve lemon issues.
    Nearly all use an arbitration service provided by the Better Business
    Bureau (bad, in my opinion) but Chrysler and Ford have their own
    arbitration programs, but I'm not sure if the Ford program includes

    Be sure to send the letter certified mail with a return receipt
    requested--and keep copies of all documents.

    Here's an excerpt from the Virginia DMV:

    "If your new vehicle is a lemon, Virginia's Lemon Law requires the
    dealer who sold you the car to refund your money or replace the

    "How do I know if my vehicle's a lemon?

    If you have tried unsuccessfully to have your new vehicle (purchased
    in Virginia) repaired three or more times for the same problem, or the
    vehicle has been out of service for more than thirty days in one year,
    your vehicle may be classified as a lemon under the Virginia Motor
    Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act."


    Here's a link to the full text of the actual Virginia statute:


    If you are unable to reslove this with Volvo of America and decide to
    go to trial, Virginia is a good place to have that happen. I've read
    quite a few cases and generally the juries have decided almost
    unilaterally in favor of the plaintiff.

    Good Luck, and let us know how it works out.

    doc, Mar 20, 2006
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  3. Matt

    doc Guest

    Hello Matt:

    This is a followup to my previous reply a bit earlier today.

    First, allow me to apologise for any typos. I just read my reply and
    see a few typos and grammatical errors.

    Now, what I may not have stressed appropriately in my last reply is
    that the dealer may have little to say about what happens--so they are
    caught in the middle and you are at the end of the "chain" as it were.

    I'd advise you to be polite but firm with the service manager and
    dealer if it seems they are trying to help.

    DO understand that Volvo will often NOT tell them about certain issues
    that SHOULD be covered by warranty.

    If the service department and manager at your dealer appear to be
    bending over backwards to help you, give them the benefit of the
    doubt--and ask whom you should contact at Volvo of America corporate.

    Also...forget about e-mails or a phone call to corporate as they will
    be read and "delegated" to a "file" (aka round file or trashbin) by
    someone who has no say in what happens.

    Best bet?

    Write a letter to the CEO of Volvo Cars North America LLC:

    Volvo Cars of North America, LLC
    Attn: Anne Belec, CEO
    7 Volvo Drive
    Rockleigh, New Jersey 07647

    Will she personally read your letter? Probably not, but one of her
    aides or assistants will and will bring it to her attention so she
    (or one of them) can make a decision.

    If you come across as a loyal Volvo owner who is upset and trying to
    resolve the issues in a reasonable manner, my guess is you will hear
    from someone soon. The key is to be polite and provide documentation
    of the problems and how they were not resolved thusfar.

    If you write an irate and hotheaded letter it will likely be ignored.

    You seem like an intelligent man, so I'm not disparaging you in any
    way but many miss this point.

    I do understand your frustration--and if you don't have any luck
    please get back to me and I'll endeavor to find the right person for
    you to speak with at Volvo.

    Actually, I'll be visiting my local dealer tomorrow and can get more
    info on whom you should contact and see what issues they have had on
    the XC 90..so wait a day until writing Anne Belec.

    Could well be this can be resolved without escalating it to her level.

    Ohhh..forgot to mention that on safety issues like SRS it's a slamdunk
    for the plaintiff and the manufacturer never wins in VA.

    The LAST thing Volvo wants is a jury trial on this sort of issue.
    They know well it will cost them a lot more than replacing the vehicle
    or giving you a refund.

    Also, under the VA Lemon Law there is usually a "three strikes"
    issue--but that does not apply for things like airbags.

    Unless I misunderstood your original post, the SRS sensors have been
    replaced FOUR times? That is unacceptable.

    Kindest Regards,

    doc, Mar 21, 2006
  4. Matt

    Matt Guest


    Thanks for your wise counsel.

    Hopefully the dealer/. Volvo wil offer some sort of deal on a new XC90
    (e.g. just chargefor mileage on this one).

    Will let you know.

    I never thought I'd witness a "Monday" car from Volvo that needed more
    repairs than my MGB.

    Matt, Mar 21, 2006
  5. Matt

    Steve Guest

    I suggest you see a lawyer. I bet you can get a new car for free/cheep out
    of this deal....
    Steve, Mar 22, 2006
  6. I have been through the whole process already with my 99 V70 T5 EU
    delivery. The same experience - in and out of the shop all the way till
    over 2 years 40k miles. In Bay Area I always drove a new volvo
    replacement cars and my car was always washed and waxed at the
    dealership for free. On average once a month service.
    The only problem was when the new replacement cars blew the engines,
    etc. :)
    After the all sensors and electronic accessory was replaced - sometimes
    multiple times the car got stable and drove with no issues till some
    100k miles. I never qualified for the Lemon Law in California which is
    written with the manufacturers interest in mind.
    After 100k miles it is a different story - sell the car well before that
    or become volvo hobbyist with a full set of tools, jacks OBDII
    readers, etc.
    Peter Ziobrzynski, Mar 22, 2006
  7. Matt

    jsmit Guest

    What's the year and mileage? Mileage probably doesn't matter, just a

    How many times into the shop, and how many time into the shop for the
    same problem? In my state it must be into the shop 3 times for the
    same problem, plus other factors apply which can't remember at

    Keep all receipts, (sure you're doing this anyway)

    Make a note of all conversations with dealer, date, time, who you
    spoke to, problem discussed, etc.

    Here is where you may have some leverage:
    "way too many repairs"

    Confirm everything dealer said in this particular conversation as best
    you can, write a letter confirming what he said and send it back to
    him registered / return receipt requested, etc.

    Just a few suggestions, take it for what it's worth.
    jsmit, Mar 22, 2006
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