Your Car Could be Damaging your Health

By: Paul Fleming

What you may not know about your vehicle's HVAC system may be hazardous to your health. And a previously well-running car may need the help of an auto lemon law.

If you smell a musty fume coming from your car vents, it could mean more than unpleasant driving conditions - it could mean yours and your family's safety.

Bacteria, fungus, mold and spores can all grow from accumulated condensation in your AC system. These unwelcome visitors can trigger serious allergy and asthma attacks, and can dramatically hamper your driving ability. If you think you may have mold growing in your vents, take action immediately. It may be fixable under your car warranty. Or you may need to assert your State and Federal rights under auto lemon law.

To find out the damage, follow these steps:

**Make a service appointment with your dealership, and make sure the service manager understands the severity of the situation.

**Try to track down where the scent is coming from. If you can point your service manager in the right direction, he or she may be able to fix it immediately. Also, let the service manager know when the scent is the strongest (i.e. when starting up the car, when turning on the heater to high, when turning on the rear defroster, when it rains.) The more information you can provide your service manager, the better.

**Make sure you receive a repair invoice outlining your problem(s) and their solution(s). Any auto lemon law layer will tell you not to let them mail the invoice. Have them print out the invoice when you pick up your car.

**If you still smell the fumes after your service, you need to bring the car back to an authorized dealership for another repair attempt. If you feel your dealership is not handling the problem correctly, take your car to another authorized dealership.

**If your car is under manufacturer's warranty, you should not have to pay any extra monies for treatments or ventilation services. This problem should be covered under both the original and extended manufacturer's warranties.

**If your car is under manufacturer's warranty and you have given the manufacturer three or more chances to fix the problem, you may have a more serious issue. Time to assert your rights to cost-free legal representation under a State and Federal auto lemon law. Just because your car was running fine before, doesn't mean it's not applicable to these laws. You could receive a new car, a full refund or a significant settlement from the manufacturer.

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