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the lemon law

April 27, 2012

When Ali’s car wouldn’t start again three weeks ago, I felt really bad for him. Because aside from his beloved car, his laptop, a daughter who vomits like it’s going out of style, and an opinionated wife who never shuts up, what else does Ali really have to live for?

Not much.

So like I said, I felt bad. And that’s why, as Ali waited forever for a special tow truck with a crane to lift his car, Maya and I piled into my car (pajamas and all) and picked him up. Without complaint.

Me: “I think your car is a lemon Ali. You need to talk to a lawyer.”
Ali: “Yeah, maybe.”

The second time Ali’s car stopped working I was a little less sympathetic. Mostly because it was Saturday morning, I had an urgent salon appointment to get to, and thanks to tandem parking Ali’s car was blocking mine. (Those of you who color your hair understand the full extent of this situation.)

As I waited for Ali’s new BFF – the tow truck driver – to pay us a little visit again, I shared my untimely thoughts:

Me: “You need to talk to a Lemon Law lawyer Ali. Like today.”
Ali: “Why are you stressing me out?”

Yesterday marked the third time in three weeks that Ali’s car refused to start. Yes my friends, I had to leave work and deal with Ali’s car situation again. I had a litany of complaints:

  • Why are you paying for a car that doesn’t work?
  • The fact that they told you, “They can’t replicate the problem and that things have to get worse before they get better” is bull$@#$.
  • Does the dealer think you have NOTHING else to do than to hang out waiting for a tow truck to rescue you once a week? You need to march down there and roll some heads.
  • Does the dealer think that I have NOTHING else to do than to keep picking you up when your car won’t start? Heads MUST roll.
  • You are too nice. Nobody responds to that anymore.
  • Did I mention you need to hire a lawyer! Or am I just talking to myself here?

 Ali: “I talked to the lawyer. Now will you leave me alone?”

And now I feel bad. Again.

103 Comments leave one →
  1. Sheetal permalink
    April 27, 2012 1:34 am

    I so know how Ali feels. I feel THE same when my cycle chain unhinges itself. THE same.

    • April 27, 2012 2:02 pm

      Things with wheels can be frustrating, can’t they?

  2. April 27, 2012 2:39 am

    Some people express their personalities in the form of the car they drive. It seems this new banger (car) is not just a box on four wheels, it may be an expression of his personality, the fact that sometimes it doesn’t function is more embarrassing then to get rid of it altogether and get a different car.

    • April 27, 2012 2:03 pm

      Wait…so they call cars “bangers” in the UK? Why didn’t I know that?

      • April 27, 2012 5:54 pm

        Bangers are those cars that cost an arm and a leg but yet fail to function properly. You need to visit the UK, Yorkshire especially.

      • May 2, 2012 5:11 pm

        In Glasgow a banger is a heap of crap that coughs, splutters, smokes and bangs when you try to drive it. It’s body will resemble a scrap heap full of rust and nobody wants to be seen dead in it.

        But it’s driver loves it and is mighty proud to have it.

        Oh… And it holds a lot of fond memories too…

      • May 2, 2012 7:59 pm

        In that case, my dad had banger once upon a time. I learned to drive on it! It was a sad day for him when the car finally went away. It was a happy day for the rest of us! 🙂

  3. April 27, 2012 4:00 am

    I bought Chad a really expensive touch screen head unit for his car stereo last year; all the bells and whistles- it was sooo great for awhile, and then it started flaking out. Knobs ceased to cooperate, photo slide shows went crazy- I of course saved receipts and was all over the manufacturer’s warranty. So through the store I bought it from we returned it for repair. THAT WAS IN FEBRUARY. No sign of the car stereo since. And every time I go to drive Chad’s car – with a big gaping hole where the stereo should be – I sound exactly like this: You’re too nice! That guy is ignoring you! I bet he never even sent it in! He hasn’t returned one single phone call! This is ridiculous! Do you want me to call? Cause I’ll call. You’re too nice!

    • April 27, 2012 2:04 pm

      You know you are going to have to take charge on this if you ever want to see the stereo again…

      What I want to know is how Chad can go without a radio for this long? Isn’t it driving him crazy?

  4. April 27, 2012 4:02 am

    Did they really say things would need to get worse before they get better? I’m so glad you pay so much for quality service these days…

  5. April 27, 2012 4:33 am

    There is nothing more frustrating than car issues; especially when you take it in and spend a pile of money, only to be told they don’t know what the problem is. Heads would definitely be rolling if it were me too. I hope he is able to get it taken care of!

    • April 27, 2012 2:05 pm

      If they don’t know what the problem is…isn’t that THEIR problem? That’s sort of what I’m wondering.

  6. April 27, 2012 5:03 am

    So frustrating when you pay good money for something and it doesn’t work. Even more frustrating when it keeps happening to “you” but won’t when “they” have the car so they think you’re Crazy!!

    • April 27, 2012 2:06 pm

      Exactly…I think they think we’re making the whole thing up?

  7. April 27, 2012 5:49 am

    car woes are the WORST! Best of luck getting this resolved.

  8. April 27, 2012 5:59 am

    How can you make something about a car interesting and funny?

    Well, YOU DO!

    Ali’s car looks Awesome. What is it? Xx

    • April 27, 2012 2:07 pm

      Thank you my friend…and Ali has a non-working Porsche at this time…

  9. April 27, 2012 6:41 am

    I am just surprised he has managed to deal with it so calmly for this long! you needed to light a fire. (and shouldn’t feel bad) haha. have a great weekend, Ameena!

    • April 27, 2012 2:07 pm

      I do need to light a fire…that’s the only way things get done!

  10. hcoving permalink
    April 27, 2012 7:42 am

    Ugh! How frustrating. It is definitely time to start knocking some heads together down at the dealership and to make sure you never let Ali tandem park behind you again, especially when there is hair color on the line.

    • April 27, 2012 2:08 pm

      Luckily I’m good with the tandem parking for another 6-8 weeks. (When my grays find their way back…)

  11. April 27, 2012 8:12 am

    Hilarious post Ameena! Stop feeling bad, I would react exactly the same way! Only I wouldn’t write about it as well 🙂

  12. April 27, 2012 8:14 am

    I know nothing about car except driving it. So when I have car problems they usually become my husband’s problems.. 🙂

    Good thing Ali (finally) listened to your advices, he sounded very calm though through the entire ordeal, well maybe because he doesn’t realize how important the hair color situation is.
    I know how you feel, my hair’s due like right now, but I just do it at home (while doing my laundry, sad, isn’t it?) .. 😉
    Have a great weekend!

    • April 27, 2012 8:16 am

      Sorry, that was just me, for some unknown reason (again) it log on from my old old account.. sigh..

    • April 27, 2012 2:09 pm

      If I could do my own hair and have it look decent I would. Talk about convenient!

  13. April 27, 2012 8:35 am

    For what it’s worth, I get it. When I could afford to get my hair done, if anything (like parking) or anything else stood in my way, I’d get pretty annoyed. I hope you made it to your appointment.

    • April 27, 2012 2:10 pm

      I did make it to my appointment and my hair turned out great. 🙂

  14. April 27, 2012 8:47 am

    What a nightmare! I remember researching the California lemon law a couple years back (when I suspected I had bought a lemon). And it was ridiculous! In order to qualify as a lemon, the car had to be inoperable and in the repair shop for a zillion and one days. Basically forever. The criteria was written in a way that it seemed impossible for a car to count as a lemon. Totally illegal, in my book!

    • April 27, 2012 2:10 pm

      My parents both had their cars returned under the lemon law. So it’s possible! It just requires a lot of diligence and a good lawyer.

      I hope your car ended up not being a lemon?

      • April 27, 2012 4:10 pm

        Yes not a lemon anymore. Just momentary bout of panic. Currently it’s biggest problem is a huge need to go to the car wash and get an oil change. Details. Details.

  15. April 27, 2012 9:05 am

    Aww.. Ameena, but you’re right. 2 years ago I purchased a new car.. and it worked fine for a few weeks until some indicator went off telling me to pull over on the side of the road and turn off the car. My mom was with me and it was like 95 degrees outside. We called the dealership, they had a tow person come and rescue me. We gave the car to the dealership and they corrected the problem – not even sure what it was. But I was pissed that I was paying for a car that may be a lemon. So i told them if this happens again, that’s it, i want my money back and all. I sent a complaint to the dealership and all… they ended up extending our warranty for another year so 6 years free service. I know, it’s something.. but I didn’t have a problem since.

    If his baby broke down 3 times in 3 weeks – that is a bad sign. You can’t be too nice in matters like this, I get shy and refrain from saying things, but I was pissed when you spend so much on a car. Poor guy, I feel his pain. Be nice. :-))))) I cried so much when my car died in the middle of the interstate and asked me to pull over.

    • April 27, 2012 2:11 pm

      I’m so glad you haven’t had the problem since…nothing worse than being stranded in 95 degree weather! I would cry too.

      Let’s see what happens…hopefully we’ll have some sort of conclusion on things ASAP!

  16. April 27, 2012 9:09 am

    ugh. that is frustrating! we share a car since nate walks to work but sometimes it can be a struggle. at least i can ride the bus to work if our little car needs worked on. on the plus side, at least everyone is safe and it wasn’t an accident or something 🙂

    • April 27, 2012 2:12 pm

      I wish I could ride the bus. But here in Los Angeles it’s just not that easy! That’s why I love NYC…public transportation all the way!

  17. April 27, 2012 9:36 am

    Cars!!!! I know how frustrating it can be, it happens with Adil’s car too and still he think there is nothing wrong….. To be honest now I don’t care..LOL

    • April 27, 2012 2:13 pm

      I wish I didn’t care…but since I have to keep picking Ali up I have no choice but to care!

  18. April 27, 2012 9:36 am

    Yikes, maybe the lawyer can pick him next time. I hope he gets a new car fast, or his father’s motorcycle.

    • April 27, 2012 2:13 pm

      Good idea! Maybe I can get Ali to ride a motorcycle and put this whole thing behind us. 🙂

  19. April 27, 2012 9:40 am

    Sadly, our hooptie dies all the time too. Ali’s just looks a lot nicer 🙂

    • April 27, 2012 2:13 pm

      I’m going to call Ali’s car a hooptie now. I think it’s very fitting…

  20. glamorous glutton permalink
    April 27, 2012 9:43 am

    I had a fault the car company couldn’t replicate. From time to time when I was driving the back windows would open on their own. No. No one playing a joke I was on my own but the dealership said they’d never heard of it and couldn’t replicate it. Mr Glam started to think I’d imagined it. Then. It happened with him in the car…….Surprise, surprise he got it fixed! GG

    • April 27, 2012 2:14 pm

      Now that’s a bizarre one…the back windows? How…why…how?

      In any case, glad that it was fixed!!

  21. April 27, 2012 9:57 am

    that’s way to pretty a car for it not to start. As for husbands it’s way to hard to be sympathetic all the time. “For those of you who color their hair” so wait, are there people who don’t? I’m in shock.

    • April 27, 2012 2:15 pm

      Yeah, there really are people who have good hair and who don’t have to spend hours at a salon and tons of $$ making their hair look decent.

      Who knew?

  22. The Mom Chef permalink
    April 27, 2012 10:31 am

    Our Subaru has never not started. Just saying.

    • April 27, 2012 2:15 pm

      My car (knock on wood) is nice and reliable. I’m just saying too…

  23. April 27, 2012 12:36 pm


  24. April 27, 2012 1:24 pm

    Jeez that sucks. I get really upset when I have car issues but fortunately it’s been smooth sailing since I bought my last car. Not starting is really odd. We rely on our car so much and I’m sure it wasn’t cheap. Hope that you all get to the bottom of it.

    • April 27, 2012 2:16 pm

      Thanks my friend. We definitely have to rely on our car – way too much – here in Los Angeles!

  25. April 27, 2012 3:24 pm

    Ugh…car issues. Second only to computer issues, right?

  26. April 27, 2012 8:01 pm

    That is like my worst nightmare. Buy a new car and have it break down all the time. I actually feel kind of bad for Ali. Of course I feel worse for you, I mean it is forcing you to interrupt your life to take care of his problem!

    • April 28, 2012 8:33 pm

      Of course you feel worse for me… 🙂 It’s the right thing to do!

  27. April 27, 2012 8:34 pm

    Poor Ali…and you too 🙂
    That really sucks tho. I HATE when the car dealer says that…ughh well there is a problem and its not that I like getting my car towed for fun so fix it ugghhh


    • April 28, 2012 8:33 pm

      They don’t care because it’s not their car…of course. So frustrating.

  28. April 27, 2012 10:11 pm

    Yeah that’s a really nice car-one must take matters into their hands when dealing with cars like that!!! 🙂 What a nightmare. Frustrating and annoying for sure. Hopefully Ali will be able to work something out. I hate car problems. Work on cars is so much money luckily my husband changes our oil, does the brakes and tunes the cars up by himself.

    All aside, hope your weekend is going well and happy!!


    • April 28, 2012 8:34 pm

      I’m so impressed…your husband knows how to do that kind of stuff? Both Ali and I are completely incapable of doing anything car-related except handling the gas tank. It’s kind of sad really…

  29. April 28, 2012 3:53 am

    Hahah omg I can’t believe they used that line about things getting worse before they get better…call me cynical but I have my doubts! There’s nothing like spending plenty of money and then realising you made a mistake! Hope this situ gets sorted out asap! Have a great weekend, Ameena!

    • April 28, 2012 8:35 pm

      Thanks Khushboo…I hope the situation is resolved ASAP too. And I hope you have a great weekend as well!

  30. April 28, 2012 5:37 am

    That’s actually really crappy about his car. I hope he gets it all sorted out. I am very glad he gave in to your demands and called the lawyer!

  31. April 28, 2012 10:53 am

    Oh! I owned a lemon once…well sort of a lemon…anyway I fet really bad about selling it!

    • April 28, 2012 8:36 pm

      Luckily Ali’s car is a lease…so no guilt giving it back!

  32. April 28, 2012 12:41 pm

    Hello Ameena, long time since i last visited u!
    an interesting update about my life: i got married-just nikah for the moment actually…lol your blog now gives me a vivid idea of whats coming ahead :p

    • April 28, 2012 8:36 pm

      Congratulations Habiba!

      If you want a realistic view of marriage, feel free to send me an email. 🙂

  33. April 28, 2012 5:57 pm

    Kudos to Ali for finally contacting a lawyer. I would’ve contacted one after the first breakdown.

    • April 28, 2012 8:37 pm

      Same here! It appears neither of us have ANY patience. 🙂

  34. brutus permalink
    April 28, 2012 9:55 pm

    Maybe leasing would be a good option for Ali. Cars are a necessary evil, just a money pit right? For what it’s worth I drive a Honda Odyssey and it’s fabulous. Ali might like it 🙂

    • April 30, 2012 7:53 pm

      I keep telling Ali that the more bells and whistles…the more that can go wrong. He refuses to listen!

  35. April 28, 2012 9:57 pm

    Oh hi it’s me Marie again. Obviously still have issues with wp. Just know that Brutus and I are one in the same! I will always be hopeless with the computer. I gave Ali the tip about the Honda so now he owes me a tip on this wp thing. I am waiting Ali……………

    • April 30, 2012 7:55 pm

      I think you have to log in to WP when leaving a comment…otherwise it defaults to something else. Or maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about?

      PS: Ali knows nothing about WP…sorry he can’t help in this case!

  36. April 29, 2012 10:00 am

    This is why you always TIP big to your tow truck driver.

  37. April 29, 2012 10:02 am

    Oh, and a lemon car is like a bad boyfriend: you should ditch it/him at the first sign of trouble; thinking that it will get better/I can improve him will not get you anywhere.

    • April 30, 2012 7:56 pm

      It sounds like you are speaking from experience…I think I can agree with you on this 100%!

  38. April 29, 2012 6:06 pm

    Cars are so so frustrating! I hope things work out for you :/

  39. April 29, 2012 6:41 pm

    In all seriousness, my aunt and uncle had a lemon and it was an absolute nightmare. I hope that the situation gets resolved ASAP. You have priorities that do not involve things like defective cars. And most definitely to do with making appointments that matter.

    On that note, it’s probably time to join some sort of towing company co-op.

    • April 30, 2012 7:57 pm

      Towing co-op…such a good idea. Especially in Los Angeles – the land of cars.

  40. April 30, 2012 8:36 am

    Hahahaha!! You’re hilarious! 1st visit and I’m loving the way you write.
    Aren’t husbands all the same? They just won’t ask for help just because you told them to ask for help. Good grief. Anyway, thanks for coming by my guest post earlier.

    • April 30, 2012 7:57 pm

      Thank you Ping! And yes…the are all the same. 🙂

  41. April 30, 2012 12:43 pm

    That would make me crazy. When you’re paying for a car, it damn well better work.

    • April 30, 2012 7:57 pm

      You’d think that’s not too much to ask for, right?

  42. May 1, 2012 12:27 am

    As always- you make even the mishaps of a broken down car seem hilarious- GREAT post!!

  43. May 1, 2012 10:42 am

    Ugh. I hate having car problems and I hate dealing with lawyers even more than that.

  44. Deeps @ Naughty Curry permalink
    May 2, 2012 5:35 am

    thats terrible, the only thing more irritating than being car-less is having to drive around a car-less person

  45. gayatri5 permalink
    May 3, 2012 3:12 pm

    Wow! You need to do an update on this story. The dealer is a douchebag.

    • May 3, 2012 8:43 pm

      Update: Ali still has a loaner and his car still isn’t working! Frustrating.

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