By Jim Donovan
PHILADLEPHIA (CBS) — Most new cars on the market these days include high-tech systems that allow you to link devices like cell phones and iPods so that you can talk hands-free and listen to your own music. But what happens when your car and your device just don’t just sync up? Are you just out of luck? 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds not exactly. In fact many times warranty laws and state lemon laws cover more than just vehicle mechanical problems.
After 42 years of hard work, Paul Pino’s gift to himself was a shiny new 2016 Chevy Corvette. There was just one problem. He couldn’t listen to his music while driving. He says, “If you put the iPod or iPad on Bluetooth you lose you connection with the your phone and then you don’t have a hands free connection, so it’s not safe.”
General Motor’s response? Pino says, “What they told me was sooner or later they’ll be an upgrade and when it comes it’ll work.”
The owner’s manual that came with the Corvette shows that the infotainment system was supposed to work with all sorts of Apple devices. But not anymore. According to Pino, “I went online to download the book and they had removed all the supported Apple products.
That’s when he reached out to 3 On Your Side. Pino says, “My wife actually mentioned it. She said ‘Why don’t you call Jim Donovan he gets results.”
3 On Your Side suggested that Pino speak with Bob Silverman, an attorney who specializes in auto cases. Silverman says, “It’s breach of warranty. When you buy a product and it’s not what you expect or were promised, you deserve compensation.”
Even if it’s not a mechanical issue affecting a car. According to Silverman, “GM didn’t have the software right, so he was denied the right to use that product in his car that he was promised.” In the end Silverman was able to get Pino a $3,000 settlement from General Motors.
It it interesting to note that the Apple device that seemed to sync up with the Corvette’s infotainment system without a problem was the iPhone. At first, Pino suggested that GM give him one so that he could just load his music on it and call it a day. When the company refused, he sued, and won. With the $3,000 settlement he can now buy an iPhone himself and still have lots of gas money left over.
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