Articles Posted in Consumer Fraud

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Pretty much every car or truck made in the United States comes equipped with windows. Yeah, sure, some millionaires and billionaires may drive what’s best described as a race car without windows (or a roof or backseats for that matter). But the vast majority of us will spend our entire lives driving cars with windows. And that’s because windows are important: windows keep rain and snow out of our cars, ensuring driver safety; keep us in the vehicle in the event of a crash; and offer an alternative exit in the event doors don’t work after an accident. Car windows are critical to vehicle safety, and most automotive manufacturers make sure power windows work as intended.

Unfortunately for owners of model year 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima vehicles and 2017 Kia Sportage vehicles, their windows will eventually stop working. In some cases, the windows in 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima and 2017 Kia Sportage cars will fall straight into the door, unable to be rolled up again to ensure loved ones are protected from the elements and that our possessions are safe from theft.

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That’s because the 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima and 2017 Kia Sportage suffer from a defect in the window regulator drum gear. According to Kia, the window regulator in the 2016 and 2017 Kia Optima and 2017 Kia Sportage fails because the regulator’s drum gear may separate or break, preventing the regulator from moving the window up or down. Continue reading

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Model Year 2014-2020 Dodge Durangos have a serious water problem. Durango owners have consistently reported that their rear tail lights and the unique LED “racetrack light” located on the tailgate assemblies of their Dodge Durangos flood with water. The resulting water damage results in a host of serious issues such as failure of the tail lights and brake lights, dimming, flickering, or complete failure of the racetrack lights, and other electrical issues such as failure of the rearview camera and license plate lights. And as we all know, water and electronics don’t mix – and the Durango’s racetrack and tail lights are no exception.

Working tail lights are essential for safety. Durango owners report experiencing near miss rear end collisions while driving at nighttime because their LED racetrack lights or tail lights have shorted out, or are flickering, due to water intrusion. Numerous other Durango owners recount being pulled over by law enforcement or failing safety tests because their racetrack lights and tail lights fail to operate because of water saturation and damage. Naturally, many Dodge Durango owners are concerned that such an important vehicle component is so easily susceptible to water intrusion due to water leaking into the racetrack and tail light assemblies. (See below picture of water draining from the taillight assembly after a Durango owner removed a bolt on the tailgate to drain out the accumulated water).

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Indeed, the Durango racetrack light water intrusion defect poses considerable safety risks, since the racetrack light and tail lights illuminate the rear of the Dodge Durango to ensure that the Durango is visible at night, in fog, and other low-light driving environments. One Durango owner even reported smelling a strong electrical fire smoke scent and seeing a faint smoke trail when the racetrack light and lighting assembly shorted out due to water pooling in the tailgate light assembly. Continue reading

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EcoVacs Robot Vacuums are advertised to “provide[ ] a versatile, everyday cleaning solution.”

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Despite their high price tag, however, EcoVacs Robot Vacuums experience various malfunctions (including main brush malfunction, sensor malfunction, and battery malfunction) and/or failure. Although EcoVacs is well-aware of these issues through consumer complaints and warranty coverage requests, it still has not done anything to provide a long-term solution. Worst of all, any attempts to fix these issues or seek warranty coverage fail or involve additional costs.

Indeed, once these costly vacuums–particularly the N79–experience what consumers now refer to as the “4 Beeps” or “Beeps of Death,” kiss your innovative robot vacuum goodbye. That’s because EcoVacs refuses to repair the N79 vacuums that experience a “main brush malfunction”–the error identified by the 4 beeps–once the one year warranty has expired. Moreover, consumers who want to repair their vacuums at their expense find they cannot because EcoVacs has yet to establish service centers in the United states.

As a result, after a little more than one year of use, consumers can expect their EcoVacs N79 vacuums to become little more than a piece of home decor that will beep 4 times and refuse to start. Consumers report the following about their EcoVacs Robot Vacuums: Continue reading

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Attorneys at Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP (“CCMS”) filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, Inc. on behalf of consumers who have been damaged by Apple’s perpetuation of, and profiting from, Apple App Store and iTunes gift card scams.

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Scammers trick victims into purchasing App Store or iTunes gift cards and providing the codes on the back of the cards.  The scammers either resell the codes at a significant discount or use them to make purchases from the App Store or iTunes.  Regardless of who ultimately redeems the gift cards, Apple collects a 30% commission on all purchases made with the funds from fraudulently obtained gift cards. Continue reading

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Recently it was discovered that Seagate Technology, Western Digital and Toshiba included Shingled Magnetic Recording (“SMR”) technology into various models of their hard disk drives without disclosing this fact to consumers.  Many consumers relied on the statements of the Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba data sheets and user manuals that did not disclose the use of SMR, an inferior technology to CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording).

The SMR hard drives are generally considered to be inferior and are often incompatible with many customers’ Network Attached Storage (“NAS”) systems. SMR writes or stores data in a different method where the lines of data overlap, like shingles. This is causing the hard disk drives to perform slower than expected and slowing down customers’ networks.

Here is a list of some of the Seagate drives using SMR without it being identified:Barracude 4tb HDD

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How confident are you that your car’s brakes are functioning properly?  If you own a 2013-2015 Toyota Avalon or Avalon Hybrid; a 2012-2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid; or 2010-2015 Toyota Prius or Prius Plug-In, you may want to rethink your answer.  Many owners of these cars, some of which are Toyota’s most popular offerings, have noticed something is not right with their brakes.

Even Toyota has noticed the problem with the brakes on the Avalon, Camry and Prius because it appears Toyota may have implemented a limited warranty extension program, agreeing to provide necessary repairs free of charge or to reimburse consumers for money paid to repair the brake booster assembly on these cars.

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However, Toyota is not as generous as it appears because it is not going to reimburse consumers or perform the repairs unless customers experienced one of five brake system warnings, indicating the Diagnostic Trouble Codes C1391; C1252; C1256; or C1253.  This means Toyota is only going to fix a driver’s brake system after it has failed or malfunctioned, leaving drivers to wonder when their brakes may fail.

Many drivers complain about their car’s brakes being “too soft” or the brake assist and stability control not working when it should or initiating at times it should not.  This brake defect can result in an increased stopping distance or an inability to stop, and has caused accidents. Continue reading

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Do you or did you own a Lenovo Yoga, Ideapad or Thinkpad computer manufactured after 2008? Has the hinge on your computer broken off the screen? You are not alone: thousands of other Lenovo Yoga series computer owners across the country have experienced the same problems: Lenovo laptop hinges are predisposed to cracking for no reason whatsoever, and once a Lenovo hinge cracks or breaks, it often damages the screen itself and renders Lenovo laptops almost useless. Lenovo has known that the hinge on their computers were defective as early as 2008 (if not earlier) when customers complained about the problem either directly to Lenovo or indirectly through the Lenovo’s online forum.

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Lenovo claims “to deliver the unexpected – whether it’s a ThinkPad that can survive a sandstorm, a Yoga that’s the first 2-in-1 to flip and fold, or a smartphone that continually changes its shape and functions.” However, customers have witnessed that Lenovo products cannot withstand even daily use. (https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/about/innovation). But Lenovo owners had no reason to suspect that the laptop hinges would eventually crack, damaging the screen itself and depriving owners of a functioning computer for which they paid thousands of dollars. Indeed, consumers report the following to say about their Lenovo Yoga series laptops:

“I bought my notebook only last March… Didn’t notice that something was wrong with it until last week when I tried to close it (as per normal), that something [suddenly] snap/cracked. I was shocked to see that the hinge near the volume control had broken… I’m afraid the damage could also get worse as everytime I close it, there’s a clicking sound. Now, I have to send it for repair and they’re telling me that it needs to be tested to provide that it’s not customer induce damage, else I need to pay for the repair. I guess this is just a standard procedure for them but I really hope this test is reliable as I’ve never done anything to damage it. I sincerely hope they will also be able to fix it properly in the soonest possible time.” (https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-P-Y-and-Z-series/Y510-Hinge-Problem/td-p/39066/page/2). Continue reading

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Did you buy a Copper Chef pan? Are you frustrated that the “non-stick coating” wore away extremely quickly or never worked in the first place, making it extremely difficult to cook even the simplest of meals? You’re not alone: hundreds of consumers report that Copper Chef pans are defective do not work as advertised. Food sticks to the pan, the coating wears away, and customers are left with expensive pans for which they paid a premium price.

Copper Chef markets itself as a maker of “revolutionary” non-stick, no cleanup pans that will be used for “everyday cooking”. Their products sound extremely useful to many consumers. However, many consumers were left disappointed when their Copper Chef pans turned useless soon after they bought it. A few of these complaints include:

“Pan was great for first month. A small part of the coating on the edge chipped off within a week, but this did not interfere with cooking. However, the pan lost its stick-free quality within two months of daily use. We very carefully followed cooking and cleaning instructions…”

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Decks often are the focal point of your backyard space—an outdoor living room to enjoy during nice weather. Decks also are an expensive investment, and most homeowners take steps to protect it by staining their decks to protect it from the elements, extend its life and beautify their outdoor space.

Maybe you finally decided this summer was the time to re-stain your deck.  Maybe you just built and stained the deck recently.  Either way, you took the time out of your weekend or maybe, you even took a few days off of work to properly apply the stain you bought, which has a nice, long warranty.  Now it’s Saturday morning, the weather is nice and comfortable, and you decide to enjoy your morning’s coffee out on your deck.  But when you go out back, all you see is the stain chipping, cracking, and peeling off of your deck.  And there is nothing worse than when your deck starts cracking, chipping, peeling, or losing its color long before a stain is supposed to fail.

“How can this be? The stain came with a multi-year warranty,” you think to yourself. You stained your deck just last year.  Your deck should not already have the chips and cracks it has.  Maybe part of the stain is peeling away entirely.  The bottom line is, this should not be happening to your nicely stained deck.  Unfortunately, many customers who stained their decks or fences with Olympic MAXIMUM Stain + Sealant in One – Semi-Transparent and Olympic MAXIMUM Stain + Sealant in One – Toner stains report cracking, chipping, peeling or fading long before the warranty expires.

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Olympic guarantees its MAXIMUM-brand stains will prevent water damage and graying for a minimum of six years (Semi-Transparent) and four years (Toner) on decks and eight years (Semi-Transparent) and six years (Toner) on fences and siding.  These are bold warranties for stains that are cracking, chipping, and peeling on many customers’ decks and fences within a year of application.  Frankly, the product cannot meet Olympic’s lofty guarantees. Continue reading

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