According to a 2012 Strategic Vision (SV) survey, consumer’s rate Volkswagen and Ford as having the highest quality ratings of all 2011 vehicles surveyed. The difference between Strategic Vision’s survey as compared to J.D. Power’s Quality Reports, done earlier this year, is that Strategic Vision uses what it calls the “Total Quality Index” (TQI). TQI not only rates vehicles by consumer complaints, but also takes into consideration the customer buying experience, vehicle performance and all around customer satisfaction. Strategic Vision has been working directly with automotive consumers since 1995, as well as maintains relationships with all major automotive manufacturers. This allows them to report on all aspects of the new car buyer’s experience.

This year’s survey questioned almost 40,000 people who bought model year 2011 vehicles between September and December 2010. Volkswagen came in first, mostly due to the success of the Golf, Jetta, and Tiguan. Despite complaints about about Fords infotainment systems; strong designs, technological innovations, and brand equity in the Mustang, Flex and F-Series trucks, gave Ford a second place. The biggest surprise came from the most improved corporation, Chrysler Group, who’s Dodge Charger and redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee excelled in innovation, influencing the perceptions of quality. Even though Toyota vehicles were reported to have the lowest actual problems, there were no Toyota vehicles in the top of the list. With all automobile manufacturers running the tightest “quality race” ever, customers are increasingly defining “quality” by using the Total Quality Index.

Ford is working hard to become the leader in hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) as they invest over $130 million to build an advanced electrification center in Dearborn, Michigan. The facility will employ approximately 1,000 engineers and will accelerate the companies EV development capabilities. The company hopes to top the market by launching five new electric or hybrid vehicles this year alone. Ford has just recently started developing their own transmission technology which will be built on the same platform as their mainstream gasoline engines. This has allowed them to cut the costs by 30% and will also allow the company to build vehicles according to consumer demand. Amy Machesney, the C-Max marketing manager said Ford feels it now has a product capable of competing with Toyota, and we are confident our EV and hybrid vehicles are comparable to the Prius.

Counties in the San Francisco Bay area are considering getting rid of gas taxes and switching to a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) system instead. The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission (NSTIFC) recommends the switch because revenue from gas taxes have declined over the years as hybrid, electric, and more fuel efficient vehicles become prevalent on roads. They say that it will “balance the costs and benefits of the surface transportation system to those who are using it”, and could also reduce traffic congestion on the roads. The proposal is one idea in long range planning, updated by the agency every four years. If the idea is accepted, it would likely not be fully imposed until 2020.

Randy Rentschler, a spokesman for the regional commission, admits that the idea could be difficult to introduce. Radical changes like this will always be opposed by certain groups, and privacy issues will be questioned as a GPS based systems would be used to log information on when and where drivers are traveling. Transit advocacy groups are encouraging the transition to a VMT system to be tested first in the Bay area where the idea will be more easily accepted and the revenue could be used to support alternative public transportation options.

Consumers who are thinking of purchasing an electric car are usually deterred by the range of the lithium-ion battery used as the power source. Concerns about range, life expectancy, and the ability to find a charging station usually results in the consumer purchasing the vehicle with the technology they are familiar with, the combustion engine. Researchers are hoping to change consumers attitude toward electric vehicles with a new electrochemical cell called the lithium-air battery.

Lithium-air batteries are attractive to researchers because they rely on air as the cathode and lithium metal as the anode. This allows the battery to be lighter and can offer up to ten times more energy per density mass unit than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The first lithium-air battery was developed in the mid 1990’s but the technology still requires improvements before we can expect to see it used commercially.

  • The battery requires a steady flow of oxygen to operate, so an air compressor and blower will need to be added to the system. This not only negates the weight reduced on the battery, but adds extra parts to the system.
  • Lithium metal is highly flammable when exposed to water, so water vapor must be removed from the air and a water tight encasing is required.

Despite recent significant improvements in the technology, researchers say we are still 15 to 20 years from seeing it offered to the public. Once the battery has been approved a long term array of testing is required to make sure the battery can be used safely.

Approximately one hundred 2011-2012 Ferrari 458 high performance sports cars will be recalled in the United States for a manufacturing problem that could lead to engine damage. The problem was found by Ferrari as they did a routine inspection of one of their fleet vehicles. According to the recall report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a programming error in the factory caused the crankshaft to be formed incorrectly. The error could lead to excessive engine vibration and eventually engine seizure. Ferrari will notify owners who will be given the option of having their engines repaired or replaced. Owners wanting more information on the problem can contact Ferrari at 201-816-2600.

The Law Offices of Delsack & Associates represents clients to the highest legal standards. With over 24 years of California Lemon Law experience, we have successfully represented thousands of clients throughout the state in all types of lemon law cases. We take pride in the fact that almost 100% of our cases are able to reach satisfactory settlements without litigation, making the process fast and stress free for our clients. Our goal is not to be the “largest” lemon law firm in California, but to continue to be the “BEST”. Below is a list of some of our most recent success stories where we helped consumers get settlements for their lemon vehicles:

  • 1. 2008 Audi RS4: Full buyback – Hesperia, CA – 50,409 miles
  • 2. 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe: Cash & Keep – Clovis, CA – 45,187 miles
  • 3. 2007 Volkswagen Passat: Full buyback – Ramona, CA – 45,481 miles
  • 4. 2011 Hyundai Sonata: Full buyback – Walnut, CA – 5,226 miles
  • 5. 2010 BMW 550IA: Full buyback – Fountain Valley, CA – 27,107 miles
  • 6. 2009 Mercedes Benz GL550: Full buyback – Wilcox, CA – 41,619 miles
  • 7. 2009 Audi A4: Cash and Keep – Sherman Oaks, CA – 32,240 miles
  • 8. 2006 Saab Aero: Full buyback – Sierre Madre, CA – 75,351 miles
  • 9. 2011 Dodge Ram 2500: Full buyback – Arvin, CA – 7,577 miles
  • 10. 2006 Dodge Ram 3500: Full buyback – Cypress, CA – 67,695 miles
  • 11. 2009 Honda Civic LX: Full buyback – Torrance, CA – 13,325 miles
  • 12. 2010 Nissan Murano: Cash & Keep – Yorba Linda, CA – 21,270 miles
  • 13. 2010 Jaguar XF: Full buyback – Chino Hills, CA – 16,058 miles
  • 14. 2008 Smart 2D Passion: Full buyback – Oakland, CA – 39,637 miles
  • 15. 2011 BMW 550i: Full buyback – West Hollywood, CA – 15,206 miles
  • 16. 2010 Chrysler 300: Cash and Keep – Beverly Hills, CA – 24,825 miles

If you live in California and and think your vehicle could be a lemon, contact our Lemon Law Offices, or fill out our Lemon Law Case Review, for a FREE consultation.

Anywhere in California (free call): 1.888.ExLemon (395.3666)

  • California Lemon Law in Los Angeles: 310-475-1700
  • California Lemon Law in San Francisco: 415-285-5366
  • California Lemon Law in San Diego: 619-229-6900
  • California Lemon Law in Orange County: 949-856-4333
  • California Lemon Law in Palm Springs: 760-395-1000
  • California Lemon Law in San Fernando Valley: 818-837-0500

A Los Angeles County judge has reversed a court decision to award a former attorney almost $10,000 over fuel economy claims for her 2006 Honda Civic. The case received national attention last year, when Heather Peters opted out of a class action settlement that would have paid Civic hybrid owners up to $200 or $1000 off the purchase of a new car. Honda appealed the court decision, and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dudley W. Gray reversed the small-claims judgment last Thursday.

According to Gray, the automaker was within its rights to advertise the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings for the vehicle and rejects the idea that it was misleading. He added that Federal regulations control the fuel economy ratings posted on vehicles, but they are only there for comparison among vehicles and don’t take into account conditions that could affect fuel economy such as how people drive and the condition of their vehicle.

Peters lawsuit has prompted almost 40 other Civic owners to seek similar recourse. Honda has already won 18 of the suits and has lost one case, in Santa Barbara, involving a 2003 Civic hybrid. Peters said that although she is disappointed with the final ruling, she is glad she raised awareness that Honda is no longer the great brand it used to be.

Common California lemon law misconceptions have prevented thousands of lemon owners from trying to get rid of their vehicle and get their money back. The requirements of the lemon laws are technical, differ from state to state, and different manufacturers may interpret their obligations differently. It is important to get an attorney who is experienced in the lemon law of the state you live in. If you live in California and think you have a lemon, contact the lemon law firm of Delsack & Associates at 1-888-395-3666, for a free consultation or go to, and GET RID OF YOUR LEMON TODAY!