Hyundai Veracruz Owners Sue Auto Maker in Unusual California Lemon Law Lawsuit

California lemon law lawyer sues Hyundai Motor America alleging that subsequent owners of Hyundai Veracruz are entitled to protection of California's lemon law statute.

Prominent Southern California lemon law attorney Michael R. Vachon, Esq. has filed a lawsuit against Hyundai Motor America (the warrantor of Hyundai brand automobiles) on behalf of two San Diego consumers who own what they allege to be a defective 2008 Hyundai Veracruz. According to Vachon, this lawsuit is novel because the Plaintiffs are not the Hyundai Veracruz's original registered owners, and they technically did not acquire the vehicle by purchasing it at retail. Under the California lemon law's rules, an automobile must be purchased "at retail" in order for the lemon law's requirements to apply. The lawsuit was filed on June 20, 2012 in the San Diego County Superior Court, and is titled Baker et al. v. Hyundai Motor America, et al. (Court Case No. 30-2012-00099300).


The complaint in the lawsuit alleges that in November, 2008 the Plaintiffs (a husband and wife from San Diego, CA) visited a local Hyundai dealership and picked out a 2008 Hyundai Veracruz; however, instead of purchasing it in their own names, the father of one of the Plaintiffs bought it in his name, and the vehicle was initially registered to him as well. Despite the name appearing on the vehicle purchase contract, the Plaintiffs themselves made all of the payments on the automobile's loan. The complaint goes on to allege that the Hyundai Veracruz began to suffer from a defect that causes its check engine warning light to go off, that causes an unsafe loss of acceleration, and which causes the fuel gauge to malfunction and the vehicle to shake while it is being driven. The Plaintiffs allege that they took their Hyundai Veracruz in for repair at least six times for this defect, but that Hyundai could not fix it.

Click here to read a detailed description of the lawsuit filed in the San Diego County Superior Court.

The court in this lawsuit has not yet determined whether or not the Plaintiffs are entitled to a lemon law buyback, or whether or not Hyundai Motor America violated any applicable laws.

According to Vachon, lemon law lawsuits (like this one) involving check engine light defects are typically strong cases for which a consumer can quickly obtain a lemon law buyback. But what makes this case somewhat novel is the fact that the Hyundai Veracruz was not originally purchased by the Plaintiffs, who later acquired it directly from one of the Plaintiffs' parents. In the past, automobile manufacturers have attempted to seize on situations like this and argue that the California lemon law statute only applies to vehicles sold "at retail." Vachon, who is the founder of the Law Office of Michael R. Vachon, Esq., is known for taking difficult lemon law and auto fraud cases, and thinks that this case can still fit under the California lemon law's rules by virtue of the fact the original purchaser is willing to assign all of his rights to the Plaintiffs. He thinks that this could potentially be a precedent-setting case that expands the scope of the California lemon law.


Vachon has also announced that he is also currently attempting to locate and to talk to other owners of Hyundai Veracruz automobiles who may have been experiencing the same problems. The California lemon law attorney is asking that any Hyundai Veracruz owners who have experienced check engine light problems, chronic loss of acceleration, or malfunctioning fuel gauges to call him immediately at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665).