The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Chrysler's lemons squeeze consumers

Apr 2, 2001

A North Carolina couple bought a new Chrysler minivan in 1996. Later on they found out it was a lemon that Chrysler already bought back from another owner! Then the dealer got it from Chrysler at a discount and palmed it off as new.

The couple's lawsuit is still in court. This month, the judge unsealed Chrysler's records. They show that since 1993, Chrysler spent 1.3 billion dollars to buy back about 58,000 lemons. Nearly every one was resold again as new!

Laws say customers are to be informed of all this. But neither Chrysler nor the dealers did so.

Chrysler got away with this fraud for a long time. Perhaps it was because consumers found it hard to tell the difference between a lemon and any other car.