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Ford Cheats Consumers on Lemon Law Repurchase....or Was It an Honest Mistake?

If you've been short-changed by Ford Motor Company on your Lemon Law buy-back and want to talk about it, call us at the number to the upper right. But if you've got time for a story, read on:

When an auto manufacturer buys back - or repurchases - a defective Vehicle, the customer gets a refund of what he or she paid LESS a deduction for wear and tear, aka a Usage Deduction, Mileage Charge, Mileage Reduction, Mileage Offset or Usage Charge - you get the picture.

The size of the deduction is calculated by a formula which presumes a vehicle life of 120,000 miles. You pay for the percentage of that life which you use. If you put 10,000 miles on the vehicle, the usage deduction would be 1/12th of the sale price (10/120,000); if you drove 12,000 miles, the deduction would be 1/10th of the sale price, and so on. If you want to calculate the usage charge yourself, divide the number of miles by 120,000. Then multiply the sales price by that fraction - mileage/120,000 x Total Sale/Lease Price - and there's your usage deduction.

Makes sense. Right?

Here's how they pick your pocket:

They use the number of miles on the odometer when they buy the vehicle back! That means they use the mileage on the vehicle after the dealer has failed four or more times to fix the problem. It's as if you are paying for their incompetence!

Does that seem fair?

Not so much. And it’s not the law either.

California law requires that the mileage used in calculating the "usage" deduction be the mileage when the vehicle was first presented to the Dealer for repair of the defect. That's FIRST presented!

That's a good deal less wear and tear than unsuspecting consumers actually pay, and can amount to thousands of dollars per buy-back which Ford saves. Nice work if you can get it.

I had a client whose new $48,000 Ford truck stalled out every time he hit 70 mph. It happened first at 2000 miles on the freeway. Six months, five unsuccessful repair attempts and 8,500 miles later, Ford offered to buy the truck back. They reduced their payout by a use charge of $4,200, based on the mileage of 10,500 at the time of the repurchase. When the consumer protested the amount, Ford's rep stated "The California Lemon Law requires us to take that deduction.” Legal expert? The statement is flat out false.

The actual use deduction should have been based on 2000 miles when the vehicle was first presented. Calculated properly (legally) the reduction is only $800.00 which amounts to $3,400 more for the consumer. $3,400 !

Even though Ford couldn't grab that consumers cash, they'll have other opportunities.

If this has happened to you, it may not be too late. Call us at (877) 320-2380 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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