Monday, December 9, 2013

Hyundai Drops Arbitration Clause

A policy that required some warranty disputes to be settled through binding arbitration, unless owners notified Hyundai within 90 days of purchasing the vehicle of their decision to opt-out of the arrangement, was recently dropped. Following an article about the arbitration requirement that appeared in The New York Times’s Automobiles section, Hyundai issued a statement saying it would change the policy. Hyundai said it didn't want the public to be misled that it would not stand behind "America’s best warranty.” Hyundai claims it has only used arbitration ten times since 2006. Under the earlier policy, failing to opt-out may have disqualified owners from joining class actions or collecting refunds if their vehicle was determined to be a lemon. Formerly binding arbitration was administered by the American Arbitration Association with owners paying a part of the cost and decisions not subject to appeal. Owners choosing to opt-out could seek resolution elsewhere, including court. Reportedly, notice directly from the automaker printed in the owner’s manual is unusual, according to consumer advocates. Hyundai previously maintained giving owners 90 days to opt-out of arbitration was fair notice included in the vehicle warranty brochure. Owners could still file lemon law, product liability or personal injury lawsuits. See article here--