WON Diminished Value Case in Van Nuys CA

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Yes! we won in Small Claims Court Civil Division Department P in Van Nuys, CA for the “Diminished Value”, in the amount of $10,000 plus court cost on March 12, 2019.

How did we do it?

Back in January I got a call from my client to write a “Diminished Value” report for his 2012 BMW 328i that had been rear ended when at a stop light by another driver.

I asked for the Estimate of Repair document to see the cost of repairs and it turned out to be over $17,000 in damages. I started to write the “Diminished Value” report that can be used in a court of law.

When I finished the “Diminished Value” report I sent it along with instructions on how to proceed.

First, my client had to send a Demand Letter to the Insurance Company of the driver that hit his car.  As expected, my client got a letter back from the Insurance Company that the claim was denied and the CA law does not have any such thing as “Diminished Value”.

Second, my client followed my instructions I sent him and filed a Small Claims law suit against the owner of the car that hit him and then got a court date to stand before a Judge.

On the day of trial I was with my client (Plaintiff) and we went inside the court room.  The owner of the car (Defendant) that hit my client’s car was in court with his Insurance Adjuster and we were asked to go outside and try to arbitrate.

The defendant’s insurance refused to arbitrate so we remained inside the court room to stand before the Judge.

The Plaintiff was called and he and I stood before the Judge. He told the Judge his Expert was with him and would like for me to speak about the “Diminished Value” and the Judge allowed me to speak.

First, the Plaintiff spoke about the accident and how it happened; he also stated the other driver admitted fault.

Now the Defendant’s Insurance Adjuster spoke and said, “Your Honor, he accepted the car’s repairs and he was satisfied and if he has any complaints he should return to the shop that did the repairs.” Then he also stated we had to prove loss of value and later when I spoke I did.

The Defendant reminded the Judge he was not in the court about the repairs but about the loss of money when reselling or trading the car in. The Judge asked me to explain the report and the formula I use to show “Diminished Value”. After I finished explaining the report and my findings and how I come to the loss of value which was far more than he can ask for which was over $17,000.

The Judge had another question for me, how to show structural damage.  I explained with a very simple and easy to understand of how this was, with that the Judge said, “One side here today will not like my judgement but it is final.”

After five days my client called me with excitement; we won the “Diminished Value” case for the full amount of $10,165.  This is the maximum allowable damage he can ask for plus court cost in a small claims court of law in CA.

I have been writing “Diminished Value” reports for law firms in NV and CA going on 8 years now, but mostly in superior court for attorneys.  This was my first small claims case on my own and we won that all my client was allowed to ask for.

If you have been in a car accident not your fault you are entitled to get “Diminished Value” and you can get it; it takes a little time but worth every minute you spend on.

You can contact me by way of e-mail and I will be willing to help you as well. Don’t let the Insurance Adjuster make you back down with their lies, telling you it is not allowed or you don’t have a claim because your car is fixed, that is a cover in hope you will back down and they win. Help is here and here to stay.

Feel free to contact me anytime because you can WIN in small claims court for “Diminished Value”. This case can be verified.  Tell a friend and get paid what is owed to you.

Thank you,

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection

 

 

Lemon Law case WON for Honda Brake Concerns

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I had a Lemon Law case for brake concerns a few years back for a Honda Odyssey not stopping as soon as they should and locking up at other times.  I got a call from the customer who had been referred to me by their Lemon Law Attorney here in Los Angeles.

I set a time to inspect the vehicle for the customer and drove out to Redlands, California on a Saturday morning. The weather was clear and the roads were dry. I photoed the Honda Odyssey Van and did a walk around checking for damages as I always do and the van was very well maintained. I checked all fluid levels and inspected under the van for leaks at each wheel and then the ABS Anti-lock Brake System the Hydraulic Control unit and the Brake Master Cylinder. I photo the Van under side and brake parts, the VIM number and odometer before and after the road test, this is normal operation when inspecting a vehicle.

I did observe moisture at the Hydraulic Control Unit which made me to be extra cautious and photographed that moisture at the Hydraulic Control Unit and would be extra cautious during my road test. This brakes system is what the main concerns were when the customer complained about to the dealership for not stopping as it should and locking up the wheels at times.

I road tested the vehicle several miles as I do all vehicles and found the brakes at times in the rear would lock up as well as observed brake fading when holding the brakes down to stop, this is not normal operation. I finished the inspection and advised the customer to return to the dealership and show them the moisture at the Hydraulic Control Unit so she would be able to show the dealership Technician.

I returned to my office an did my research on ALLDATA for Technical Service Bulletins to see if Honda had published any Bulletin for the Technician could apply that to the problems on the vehicle.  There were no recalls but there was one Technician Service Bulletin on the brakes for brake leaking at the Hydraulic Control Unit and I was stunned to see what the repair was on this Odyssey Van. The Technician Service Bulletin actually had the Technician apply sealer to the leak at the Hydraulic Control Unit, my thought was this cannot be right because sealer will not hold on a Hydraulic control Leak.

I did my report and used that Technical Service Bulletin to show Honda knew about a brake problem with this New Honda Odyssey but the repair was not what I expected because sealer will not hold pressure or stop a leak in the brake system.

Several months later I was subpoenaed to be on the witness stand to show the Jury my finding as well as Video and Photo’s I had made during my inspection and explained how this brake system works and why sealer was not a good repair for it, it was unsafe and should not have been repaired under this Technician Service Bulletin. After my testimony the Technician for Honda disputed what I said and said the sealer was a good repair for this part. The Jury disagreed with his stamen and took the evidence I had and we won the case all the way across. The customer got a full buyback from Honda and the attorney’s fees and expert witness fees were paid.

The fact is brakes are a safety issue when not working properly which will include brake squealing noise when stopping, grabbing, groaning noise, pulling to one side, fading, vibrating when stopping, not slowing down or pulsating when stopping.

You can win in a lemon law case as long as you have it together, this customer had good records showing she had complained several times for her complaints and the fact is the factory will not make repairs unless it is a proven defect and repair attempts were made several times.  When a repair is made under the Factory Defect Warranty it is because it was verified and repair attempts were made. The Lemon Law applies to New and Used or Certified Pre-Owned vehicles.

Thank you and please pass it on if you like,

Jackie Winters

Lemon Protection@yahoo.com

800-700-0109

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car issues that may force you into Small Claim Court.

Going to small claims court is not a fun experience, especially when the other side is more prepared for trial than you are. How do you get prepared for trial? Here is a story of a person who was in an accident because the bolts that hold a part on broke. The part that was held on has a Recall on it from the NHTSA department. The bolts that hold that Recall part on, is what broke and caused an accident. The customer did not cause the accident but his repairs were dropped anyway because he was blamed for the accident not by law but by the dealership he trusted.

I recently had a Small Claim appearance for a customer who had purchased a new truck back in 2003 and took good care of it on regular bases.  The story I will tell you is about an accident he has because of a defective part that has a Recall on it. My customer had to file a Small Claim complaint to get satisfied. By the way the Small Claims Court can be used for car repairs, body damage even Diminished Value or actually anything between two or more people.

Back in 2010 he had an accident and totaled out the truck. First I will tell you about the accident. I will tell you about the process you will need to take in order to prepare for court in hope to get the results you want. When you actually go to court in front of a Judge to explain why you are there you need to be prepared, I will give you detail instruction later in the story.

When I met my customer he stated he was having problem and did not know where or who to turn to, he was not from America and only liver here for a short time and his English is very broken.  I ask what happened and if he had an attorney. He said no and he did not know much about what to do. He did as his Insurance Company told him to do. His passenger was hurt and the Insurance Company took care of him. But the owner is still without a truck or transportation and needs help.

He contacted three Personal Injury attorneys and sent them all his paper work and they all stated he waited too long to do anything and he was not hurt. He was advised to file for damages in Small Claims Court and so he did that, and did it just in time. It is my understanding you have one year to file your claim.

My customer found me at my web site lemonprotection.com. He called me and asks me to do an inspection and attempt to determine the cause of the accident so I accepted the job. I ask exactly what happened when he was driving, what speed he was going, what lane he was in, was the truck making any noise, did he feel anything unusual vibration. These are question you need to be able to answer in court if it is based on an accident filing.

He stated he was running around 65/70 mph in the car pool lane, he stated the truck started to vibrate the front dropped down and he hit the wall and that was it. He stated the Air Bags did not go off when he hit the wall. I ask how the road condition was, were you going straight or was the road curved. He said the road was straight and flat with good condition, what lane was you in when this happened? Here are more questions you need to know and be able to answer as well.

The police came and had the vehicle towed, later it was moved to the dealership for inspection as recommended by his insurance company. The dealership inspected the truck and said the lower ball joint did not come apart as the NHTSA Recall was issued for. He was told the dealership does not have to fix the truck. He responded you have a Recall on that part and they stated the recall is not the part that broke, but the bolts that hold that part on are what broke. How dumb does that sound? The Recall NHTSA # is for the lower ball joint but it was his fault for the accident because the bolts broke instead of the ball joint it is holding.

His insurance refused to fix the truck based on their finding saying it was his fault that caused the accident.

I was ask to do an inspection and attempt to determine what happened and if possible what caused the accident. I went to the client home and photo the truck from every direction. I paid close attention to the impact area and the steering and suspension parts based on his explanation.

Upon inspection I found the lower control arm bolts have broken off leaving one extended ½ an inch indicating loose bolts and the bolt head popped off leaving the stud.

The inside steering knuckle at the backing plate held the truck up as it spun around and the hit the wall.  When the right front wheel folding under it caused the truck to spin around and hit the wall with the right front of the truck. This spin around impact caused the right front tire to get punctured and blow out but there was no wheel damage.

The right rear was also damaged from the truck after impact to the right front area, the truck continued to bounce back and around causing the rear right side impact. The truck was traveling North bound and hit the right front corner and appeared to be traveling from the South bound direction. This was caused by the lower control arm bolts breaking off and the wheel folding under as it did.

It was our turn to stand before the Honorable Judge. The other side presented their evidence attacking the owners because he did not use the dealership for maintenance and repairs. I was called in to tell what I witnessed. I first had to prove I am an ASE Certified professional and also proved I have an Appraisal certificate and that I did.

I then proceeded to explain how I did my inspection and I had photos to prove it. I explained how the accident happened and was very clear in every detail.

The Judge asks me how about the tire the other side stated that blow out and caused the accident because it was bald. I said your Honor that cannot happen; he was on flat dry straight road. The tire blows out at the point of impact by the bumper gouging the tire causing tire blowout, he was not in rain or in a curve. The Judge ask me about all the tires being slick, I ask to see opposing counsel photo they had and explained the tires have some tread on them but not slick as the other side is stating. I also explained the 3/8 steel bolts don’t sheer off from an impact and the other side Technician stated he has seen hundreds of bolts at that place sheer off because of impact. I told the Judge that is not true and he knows that because the other parts related are not damaged as he attempted to say.

Going to court and here is what you will need;

1)     Information on vehicle

2)     Date of accident or issue

3)     Place of accident

4)     Illustration or photos

5)     Witness if any or Notarized statement from witness if not present

6)     Expert witness if you have one

7)     Report of expert witness if written

8)     What is your complaint

9)     Do you have photos if no get some, if yes bring them, they must be clear and blown up 8/10 if possible to show the damage you are complain about

10)      Get someone you can trust and is certified to inspect your vehicle and is willing to go to court with you. Be sure they witnessed your problem so they can explain the issue you are there for.

11)      Proof of all evidence is your key, you must be able to paint a very clear picture and have documents to prove it, receipts dates and times, phone record and recording. Photos work well in accident damages or repairs. Notes, letters e-mils are all very important.

12)      Explain you story in a very slow step by step review of the event.

13)      When the other side speaking do not over speak that person it will make a difference, it shows animosity, you will get a chance to speak.

14)      Always be polite to a Judge and be respectful as well as dress proper with clean shaven and heir combed, this all make a difference.

15)      The more information your mechanic has about your car and the problems or accident information he has the better he can help describe his finding for court.

You only have one chance and you need to do the best you can. The truth is the one that paints the best picture will likely win, the judge and jury like photo and videos, this gives them something to use to help them decide for you. Good luck and get prepared.

Any question e-mail to lemonprotection@yahoo.com or go to our web site

Lemonprotection.com   and see names of law firms my over 3,500 clients have used for their Lemon Law cases.

NOTE: We are not a law firm and do not give legal advice, this information I am giving is information I have acquired over the years of doing lemon law inspection and going to trial as an expert.

If you need an expert to go with your to court call me. If you need an attorney go to my web site for the list of attorneys over 3500 people have used and been satisfied with.

lemonprotection.com      

Wind Noise or Boom Box noise when we drive, can anything be done?

First I will speak about cars you drive. Wind noise is that noise you hear and may describe as a whistle noise or if you’re at high speed and a cross wind come by you may hear a loud groan or a loud boom box noise, on some vehicle (it is said to be a characteristic, not true).

I have found these problems with several new cars and on some new trucks but they can’t seem to get that problem fixed on some of them.

The cause of wind noise around the windows or windshield is the seals are not as tight as they should be but only tight enough to stop noise at low speed.   Most of the time the wind noise seem to be coming from the front doors at the top corner at the windshield and on some cars at the sun roof, a wind noise may be heard as well.

If any of you have ever owned or driven a 1964 Plymouth Fury made by Chrysler you will hear nothing even if a big truck goes by without a muffler, this car was the quietest car ever made in my opinion, funny the new cars and trucks are suppose to be better than the old cars and trucks, makes you wonder what happened?

I have seen service writer place a dollar bill in the door and try to pull it out and if it does not pull out they tell the customer there is nothing wrong with the seal. That may be right as far as the looks of it when you see it but when the door is closed and the seal is suppose to be pressed tight against both sides of the door so it does not leak air at high speeds. The excessive wind noise and loud booming noise is not normal for any vehicle.

At the front windshield when a cross wind is heard and you hear that loud growling sound, a sound that you cannot ignore because of the loudness and the sound it makes.  That wind noise seeming to come at the windshield is caused by a defective seal or the under hood opening at the hinges, this is where the wind travels up the A-Pillar and causes the noise with a cross wind.

I have proven this theory several times by plugging those holes with rags and running the same speed at the same area with cross wind (speeds above 65mph).

The problem is you are told by service they cannot drive over 65mph so we cannot hear anything wrong and your car or truck and it is released without a repair, there are some who has had the service writer or service manager go for a ride with them. When you can prove a problem and they could hear for themselves, then they do seem to get fixed.  Wind noise is not normal and when you purchased the new vehicle you were not told you will get wind noise at high speed because if you were told that you would have likely walked away from the deal.  After several repair attempts are made you may hear from the service writer that the door seals and windshield seals may have been replaced already and that is it, no more repairs because they cannot verify a problem.  The sun roof will also cause a loud whirling sound at high speeds as well and is likely cause by defective seals or improperly installation, I have seen both and water leaked in as well when it rains.   That noise, can’t be fixed unless a Technician is willing to get serious and find the spot causing the problem and then properly fix it.

Now let me speak on the trucks with 4 doors or rear windows in them.  The noise I am speaking about is called a Boom Box Noise. This loud noise only happens when driving your truck at high speed with the two rear windows is ¼ way down.  This is another problem I have witnessed when testing vehicles and the owners had no idea what caused it.   I had an older gentleman with me on a road test and he told me his A/C went out when he and his wife were crossing the Ca desert and it was around 95 degrees.  He told his wife he was going to roll down the windows and did so but the air was so hot is wife complained about it and he rolled up the two front windows and rolled down the two rear windows about ¼ of the way.   The sound heard was ear piercing and he had to roll all the windows back up.  The noise created by the two rear windows rolled down ¼ way is caused by the top of the truck flexing like someone flopping a piece of flat metal on the ground.  This can be fixed but the repair needed is unlikely going to happen.   The reason given to most of my customers is you are suppose to run with the windows up and the A/C on when it is hot, no advice if the A/C goes out if you got to drive.

Weak seals and gaskets make the wind easy for it to come inside and cause the noise you hear.  A bad seal will also let water leak inside as well when it rains hard, water can cause electrical shorts and stop parts from working as well as unseen rusted seams that will rot out.

So what should you do if you got loud wind noise, complain about it to your dealership and demand a fix.  If your dealership says they won’t do anything or cannot do anything about it. They may tell you it is a characteristic of the vehicle and you are left hanging as if it’s your problem and not theirs, and then you need to call an attorney for help.  This wind noise is not normal for any car or truck excluding some convertibles.  I have inspected over 3,500 cars and trucks and have witnessed this problem on several over the years that have had to get attorney help in order to get it solved. Help is available if you need it and the advice is free.

Written by Jackie Winters of lemonprotection.com, I also have several attorneys listed on my web site that my customers have used with great success. Good luck and God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

What causes an engine to burn oil?

Is it normal for an engine to burn oil every 750 to 1000 miles?

Some manufactures seen to think it’s OK for their engine to burn a quart of oil every 750 to 1,000 miles.  I can assure you that oil burning is not normal for any engine and is a smog concern according to the California resources board.

The oil burning you experience may not be seen when driving or sitting steal with the engine running. The amount of oil burned is very small but never the less it is using oil. Over time the oil usage will get worst as the miles increase.

The cost to repair an engine from burning oil is as much as a new vehicle, depending on which vehicle you have purchased.

I have inspected several vehicles with the V-6 and V-8 engine and they were using oil every 750 to 1,000 miles.  The owners have complained to the dealership for the oil burning issue’s, and was told it is normal.  This normally happens after they run an oil consumption test and can’t repair the engine unless it’s completely replaced.

The engine cost can be from several hundred or as much as $10,000.00, this is just for the parts and this does not included the labor to remove and then reinstall the new engine at labor cost starting at $85.00 an hour for as much as $150.00 an hour at most dealers, exotic cars may be much more.

I have also seen this oil burning concern with the 3.8 engine, this person was told it is normal for their engine to burn oil every 750 to 1,000 miles of driving; in fact it was in writing the engine will burn a quart of oil every 750 miles but was not true. The engine should not burn oil any time between oil changes on any engine.

I have also seen very high end vehicle costing over $80,000 dollars to buy and they are having problems using oil every 1,000 miles and the owner is told; the engine burning oil is normal for this engine because it has a Turbo. The replacement engine for the vehicle is over $30,000 dollars (yes over 30K) not to include the over 25 hours of labor at $135.00 to $150 per hour average cost to install it. You might want to think twice before investing in a vehicle that has this oil burning concerns.

What causes an engine to lose or burn or lose oil?

There are several things that will cause abnormal oil usage or burning,

1)    Damaged or worn valve guides

2)    Damaged or worn valve seals

3)    Collapsed, broken or stuck piston rings

4)    Damage pistons

5)    Damage piston walls

6)    Clogged breather valve

7)    Oil leaking from seals and gaskets

Signs of oil burning are usually accompanied by Blue Smoke from the exhaust when it is started or running depending on what part is defective or damaged and how bad the damage is.  Oil leaking can also contribute to excessive oil usage and this is something that will be seen after you park and let the vehicle sit awhile. Most oil leak repairs are fixed by replacing a seal or gasket.

If valve guides are worn blue smoke will be seen when the engine is started, usually after it has run and then sits awhile.

If valve seals are worn or broken blue smoke will be seen when the engine is started, usually after it has run and then sits awhile.

If the piston ring seize, break or collapse in their groove, oil will pass causing the excessive oil burning. Damaged pistons and rings will cause oil burning and excessive blow-by. This will also cause the exhaust smoke to be blue when driving or at idle depending on how bad the oil is leaking past the piston rings or valve guides or seals.

When an engine is using oil it is caused by defective piston, rings or valve parts and the engine will need to be removed and over hauled. It’s a time consuming job and very costly depending on the vehicle.

If you are told the oil burning is normal don’t accept that just because the dealership is telling you. In fact if you call an engine repair shop that rebuilds engine they will tell you when an engine is burning oil it will possible need to be overhauled, that means all intern parts will need to be cleaned and replaced as needed.

The good news is the lemon law applies to all new and used vehicles with a warranty. If you are given the run the engine oil burning is normal, don’t accept that as a final word when help is available at no cost to you in most cases.

I suggest you go to my web site and see some of the attorneys listed that over 3,500 of my customers have used to help them get a full refund or a replacement vehicle and in some cases get some money compensation.  You have nothing to lose by asking for some free advice by some of California best Lemon Law and Personal Injury attorneys.

Keep in mind the Lemon Law applies to all new or used vehicles purchased from a dealership with a warranty and includes Pre-Owned Certified cars and trucks.  The warranties can be negotiated; you must be sure the extended warranty covers free loan car and zero deduction or you will pay for any and all complaints, be careful and be sure to read what is covered before you sign.

Good luck God bless you from Lemon Protection.