A Connecticut resident has gotten rid of her lemon of a car and will be getting a refund after reaching out to NBC Connecticut Responds for help.
Jennifer Salazar, a 23-year-old full-time student who also works full time, needed a reliable car for her commute and thought she was worry-free buying a brand new car from Gengras in East Hartford.
“I bought this car, I was super excited,” she said. “I was over the moon about it.”
She bought the Chrysler 200S in July 2015, but it stopped working two weeks later, she said.
Gengras fixed the issue and gave the car back, only for it to break down three more times while Salazar was driving. At that point, she refused to drive it and told Gengras and Chrysler she didn’t feel safe.
“Jonathan Gengras put me in a loaner Jeep. He made sure I didn’t have to drive that car again knowing I didn’t feel safe. They’ve been very wonderful,” Salazar said.
Chrysler Corporate was only willing to try and fix the car instead of replace it, so Salazar called NBC Connecticut Responds.
“NBC was the first that got back to me,” she said.
Our consumer team looked into her complaint.
“You need to file with the Lemon Law, file with DMV get all your bases covered and see where you go from there,” Salazar said.
After she opened a Lemon Law case with the Department of Consumer Protection, Chrysler made Salazar an offer, but she declined, took them to court and won her case.
Chrysler is paying off the remainder of her car loan, which is a little over $29,000.
The court estimated she got about $17,000 of use out of the car before it was considered a lemon, which she already paid.
“Glad we could help her out during this issue. We wish Chrysler would have acted in a more expedient manner but we’re glad it finally came to a resolution,” Jonathan Gengras said about the decision.
NBC Connecticut reached out to Chrysler for comment.
"FCA US LLC had negotiated a buyback with Ms. Salazar but she objected to our mileage offset and thought she could pay less by going through with the arbitration. However, the arbitrator in fact came back with a decision requiring Ms. Salazar to pay more of an offset than FCA originally offered," the statement says.
Salazar said that final offer came the day before they went to court and Chrysler’s attorney wanted an immediate answer, but because she was at work, she declined.
Salazar did received about $3,100 back for other fees associated with the purchase of the car.
“I was just thrilled that I had won,” she said.
She now has her winnings and a new car that feels just right.
It was months in the making, but Salazar was finally able to move on from this experience with money in hand and a new more reliable car.
“I’m just relieved that it’s over,” Salazar said.