Auto News: Lemon Laws, VW Strategy Shift

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For Car Buyers Who Got a Lemon, State Laws Vary Widely

Motorists who live in New Jersey and have a major problem with a new vehicle have a handy tool: the best lemon law in the land. But about a third of the states have such weak lemon laws that consumers will have a tough time getting a fair deal, according to a study released this month by the Center for Auto Safety.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have “something that is arguably a lemon law,” but too many fail consumers, said Jason Levine, the executive director of the center, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded by Ralph Nader.

In the worst states, Mr. Levine said, there might as well be no lemon law on the books.

The states differ on what constitutes a lemon. But in general, a lemon car or truck has a single, serious defect impairing its safety, use or value. A vehicle could also be a lemon if it had a series of problems and could not be used for a long period — often set at 30 days — because it was at the dealership. read more »

Bet everything on electric: Inside Volkswagen's radical strategy shift

The biggest strategy shift in Volkswagen’s 80 years has its roots in a weekend crisis meeting at the Rothehof guesthouse in Wolfsburg on October 10, 2015.

At the meeting hosted by then VW brand chief Herbert Diess, nine top managers gathered on a cloudy Saturday afternoon to discuss the way forward after regulators blew the whistle on the company’s emissions cheating, a scandal that cost it more than 27 billion euros in fines and tainted its name.

For months after the Volkswagen scandal blew up in 2015, rival carmakers treated diesel-cheating as a “VW issue”, according to industry experts. But regulators have since uncovered excessive emissions across the sector and unleashed a clampdown that undermines the business case for combustion engines, forcing a sector-wide rethink. read more »