The National Center for Dispute Resolution handles hearing for many manufacturer. There are mixed views. Some see them as a tool of the manufacturer, particularly since the manufacturer recommends their use rather than court. Others note that the entity periodically does provide relief, the procedure is quicker than court, and the entity is at least stylized as an impartial entity.
1. In person or documents hearing
Generally, the consumer will want an in person hearing. Having a person set forth his or her fears about the car or history of problem is generally more powerful than submitting some papers.
2. Guidelines for the hearing
The consumer or his counsel should be well-prepared.
3. Common Defenses
A. Characteristic of the Vehicle
A manufacturer may aver that seeming problems are just how the car is designed, some have looser or tighter steering and shifting, and that is a matter of personal preference. The argument can be rebutted by showing that problems were acknowledge in the repair history and also showing many other consumers complained. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a list of reported problems, and many blogs and Facebook excerpt them.
B. Substantial Mileage
The manufacturer may note substantial mileage or a gap between visits. Note generally, a consumer should bring back the car whenever he believes it is not functioning properly even if the dealer suggests the issue is a normal characteristic.
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