Better World Club

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lemon Information

The 2009 Hyundai Sonata

Component: Door Locks
Consequence: All the doors automatically unlock when the car is placed in park. This is an intentional design feature that cannot be deactivated or changed by dealers.

Component: Suspension
Consequence: Car sounded as though it needs new shocks/struts as soon as it was driven off the lot. The dealer couldn't do anything, and Hyundai advised that is how the car is built, and there is nothing to fix.

Component: Engine Cooling System
Consequence: New Sonata was delivered to customer with a pre-existing oil leak. The engine had to be replaced, and now there is powertrain vibration and strong odor when the engine is warm.

Component: Equipment
Consequence: The satellite/FM/AM digital radio doesn't work properly. The radio was replaced, and there are still problems. Dealer advised that a non-digital radio cannot be installed.

Component: Suspension
Consequence: Brand new Sonata has bad front shock absorbers. Dealer ordered new shocks.

Component: Suspension
Consequence: Car makes loud noises when driving over bumps, as if something were loose.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lemon Information for the 2009 Dodge Journey

Component: Steering/Handling
Consequence: This vehicle has had multiple issues. It stopped suddenly while driving up a hill for no apparent reason. The car had to be towed to level ground. Also, the vehicle suffers from a consistently bumpy ride and pulls to the right.

Component: Passenger-Side Front Assembly Strut
Consequence: Strut bearing is made of plastic. The passenger-side strut spring twisted and punctured the bearing. Both were replaced. The driver-side front spring has also begun to twist.

Component: Tires/Fuel Gauge
Consequence: Vehicle suddenly started vibrating and pulled to the left while the driver was traveling at roughly 60 mph. The tires were replaced, but this did not fix the problem. The same vehicle also has an inaccurate fuel gauge.

Component: Steering/Handling
Consequence: Vehicle lost power at slow speed and would not restart. The power train control module was replaced at the dealership. Additional grinding and whining noises necessitated the replacement of the power steering pump and rack and pinion. The whining noise continues, albeit intermittently and only while turning left.

Component: Tires
Consequence: One of the tires began to bulge. The driver replaced all four tires.

Component: Automatic Transmission
Consequence: The automatic shifter has been accidentally knocked out of drive and into reverse on several occasions without the break pedal being depressed. [NOTE: Two Journey owners lodged this same complaint.]

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lemon Information for the 2008 Toyota Prius

Better World Club's "Lemon Information" highlights consumer complaints against a different car model each month. We are not editorializing or claiming that these cars are necessarily lemons. Instead, we are merely providing information and ask readers to form their own opinions.

Component: Fuel System
Consequence: The fuel gauge does not work, and the driver cannot completely fill the gas tank due to a faulty fuel bladder. [NOTE: This same complaint was lodged by five different Prius owners.]

Component: Seat Belts
Consequence: The left-rear and center seatbelt receptacles are positioned backwards. Thus, when passengers are seated in the left-rear and center seats, seatbelts cross awkwardly at the adjacent receptacles.

Component: Interior Lighting
Consequence: The interior display is reflected in the windshield at night. This causes a distracting 6-inch-long line of blue light to appear in the middle of the windshield.

Component: Headlights
Consequence: Headlights fail to project far enough down the road.

Component: Headlights
Consequence: Both headlights work when they are initially turned on, but the driver-side light turns off after a few minutes.

Component: Airbags
Consequence: The Prius was struck on the passenger side by another vehicle. None of the airbags deployed, resulting in the deaths of two of the vehicle's passengers.

Component: Seating
Consequence: Middle-back seat is incompatible with at least 3 different child restraint/booster seats.

Component: Cruise Control
Consequence: The cruise control suddenly turned off while the Prius was driving 65 mph on the highway. This caused the car to quickly slow, almost as if the breaks were being applied. The driver had to pull over, turn the car off and then back on before the cruise control could be reset. The problem occurred three more times since.

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