Motorcycle Finance and Defects

Counsel at Kemnitzer Barron & Krieg have handled cases involving motorcycle sales, finance and defects. One case involved the failure by a dealer to provide “hanger tags” with price information on the motorcycles being sold. Other cases we have undertaken involved open ended finance schemes. The dealers finance the sales through an open ended credit card plan. The sales agreement fails to provide all the disclosures and protections required by the Rees-Levering Automobile Sales Finance Act. The Rees-Levering Act imposes very specific disclosure requirements in conditional sale contracts between motorcycle dealers and their customers to enable consumers to make informed decisions with respect to the cost of credit.

The Rees-Levering Act also requires the seller or holder of the contract to issue a detailed notice to the buyer following repossession and the opportunity to get the motorcycle back. The open ended credit card financing of the motorcycles is an attempt to circumvent these requirements and deprive consumers of their rights.

Counsel at Kemnitzer Barron & Krieg also handle cases involving motorcycle defects. If you have bought a new or newer motorcycle that is still under warranty but has defects you should seek legal advice. California’s lemon law does not apply to motorcycles, but provisions of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act do apply. That law provides that where a dealer or designated service or repair facility can’t repair the vehicle in conformance to the existing warranty, then it must be replaced or the buyer reimbursed for the price of the vehicle less a setoff for use.

The defects must substantially impair the use, value or safety of the motorcycle. The defects must be covered by the express warranty and the motorcycle must be presented to an authorized representative of the manufacturer of the vehicle for repair. Only an authorized dealer can perform warranty work. When taking the motorcycle to the dealer for repair, be aggressive with the dealer. Make sure the service representative writes down your complaint about the motorcycle on the repair order and that you get a copy of the repair order upon leaving it at the dealer. You also need to obtain a copy of the repair invoice upon picking up the motorcycle. These documents are evidence if the repair doesn’t solve the problem. It is helpful if you get the business card or write down the names of any employees at the dealership you talked to about the problem with your motorcycle. If you have communicated directly with the manufacturer you should also obtain documents verifying the information. Keep all the documents involving your motorcycle, including purchase documents and repair documents, in a folder at home.

If the dealer hasn’t fixed the problem to your satisfaction bring the motorcycle back for repair again. If, after a few attempts, the dealer can’t repair the problem, you will need legal advice. Our firm does not charge for a consultation and when we accept a case, it is on contingency basis, meaning that we must get our fees from the defendants in the case. If the problem affects the safety of the motorcycle, you should seek legal advice immediately.

Note that if your warranty has expired, but you took the motorcycle into the dealer to fix the problem before it expired and the problem persisted, you still may have a case covered by the warranty. A number of different problems with the motorcycle requiring a significant amount of days in the shop can become a valid warranty case as well.

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