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A couple experiences house damage when vehicle fails

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2019 | Consumer Protection

Many drivers in Pennsylvania have purchased a car and found that not everything worked right. A Virginia couple who purchased a car with self-driving capabilities ended up with nightmarish results. The owners are now suing the car manufacturer.

The couple spent more than $100,000 for a new electric vehicle. It was advertised as having two auto driving features. The first feature claimed that the car could be moved while the operator was outside the car. With the key or phone app, the driver could move the car from the garage to the driveway. This was referred to as Summons. A parking assist feature, or Autopark, claimed that the car could be parked remotely.

The drivers paid an extra $3,000 for these features, referred to collectively by the company as Full Self-Driving Capability. However, when attempting to use Autopark, the vehicle crashed into their home. After repairs were made, the owner attempted to use the parking feature again only to have the vehicle strike a garage wall. After the second mishap, the company refused to repair the vehicle.

The car owners are suing under several legal theories. They are claiming breach of warranty, fraud, breach of contract and the Virginia Lemon Law. Under a lemon law, a manufacturer is normally given one or more attempts to repair a defect. If it fails to do so, it must buy the vehicle back.

A new motor vehicle is a substantial investment for a consumer. The consumer has reasonable expectation that the vehicle will operate as advertised. Normally a dealer is willing to correct a defect and make the owner whole. When the seller or manufacturer refuses to do so, there are consumer protection laws at the car owner’s disposal.

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