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A customer went to Beverly Hills BMW with his grandmother to purchase a 2004 BMW 525i for her 90th birthday. The salesperson explained that the 525i was a BMW certified vehicle in “great condition, ” but after the sale the customer discovered significant issues with the BMW 525i, including failures with the electrical system and transmission, an interior leak, and faults with the engine. Over the next two years, the customer would send the 525i for repairs, while one issue appeared after the other.
At one point, the customer was told by Beverly Hills BMW that the leaks that had appeared on the floorboards of the BMW 525i were due to her "clogging" the sunroof drains and that he would need to open an insurance claim to repair the drains. The customer opened a $2,500.00 insurance claim with 21st Century for the water damage, but the next month, the customer was notified by Beverly Hills BMW that the leak issue was actually caused by a defective sunroof. They further stated that they would repair it at no cost to the customer, but they would still require the $2,500.00 check from the insurance company. When the customer asked why they needed an insurance check if it was a manufacturing problem, the representative avoided the question and insisted that he bring the check. The customer informed Beverly Hills BMW that they were going to call BMW to dispute the claim.
The customer learned from BMW of North America that the 2004 BMW 525i was part of a set of vehicles with a known sunroof defect, and that the repair is covered "under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty." But BMW stated that they could not help with the insurance issue. The customer then requested that a BMW engineer evaluate the leak as Beverly Hills BMW had already made three unsuccessful attempts to repair the vehicle. Still, BMW was unable to help the customer and suggested that they resolve the issue with Beverly Hills BMW.
Thereafter, the customer reluctantly gave Beverly Hills BMW the $2,500.00 insurance check to repair the leak. On the day the dealership returned the 525i , the customer discovered a large scratch on the left side of the vehicle and three inches of standing water on the floorboards and returned to Beverly Hills BMW. The dealership denied responsibility for the scratch and stated that the flooding was the customer’s fault for "leaving the car here so long." The next day, Beverly Hills BMW notified the customer that they had put in a claim with his grandmother’s insurance company, even though the customer never gave his permission to do so. Beverly Hills BMW informed him that without the claim, he and his grandmother would be responsible for the cost of the repair. They further explained that the dealership would not clean the water or repair the seal unless the customer drafted a letter stating that Beverly Hills BMW was doing so "In Good Faith". The customer wrote the letter, although he was not aware that it was illegal for Beverly Hills BMW to insist that he do so.
Shortly after receiving the 2004 BMW 525i, several service warnings and alerts activated and the electrical system began shorting out. The customer immediately contacted Beverly Hills BMW expressing his disappointment over their business practices and failure to honor promises. The 525i had been subject to repair more than a reasonable number of times for the same issue and eventually developed into bigger problems. The customers were forced to seek legal assistance and called our offices. Through our experience in California warranty law and the endurance of our attorneys, the customer was able reach a favorable settlement agreement with Beverly Hills BMW, where the dealership repurchased the BMW 525I, paid monetary compensation and covered all attorney’s fees and costs.
A customer purchased a used 2006 Scion TC from Frontier Auto Sales upon the representation that it was certified by Toyota Motor Company and that it was “like brand new.” Frontier Auto Sales also stated that the Scion TC was “in great condition” and had never been in an accident, but within thirty days of buying the vehicle, the SRS warning light turned on, indicating that there was a problem with the airbag.
The customer returned to Frontier Auto Sales, who contacted Sierra Toyota in Lancaster to repair the 2006 Scion TC, but the issue was never fixed. Over the next year and a half, the customer would return to Frontier Auto Sales and Sierra Toyota at least six times due to the SRS warning light and would eventually discover that they had never even attempted to repair the problem.
Two years after the purchase of the Scion TC, the customer was involved in a severe accident with the vehicle. Upon collision, the SRS warning light turned on, but the airbag failed to deploy. Luckily, the customer was not injured, and the Scion TC was taken to Sierra Toyota for repairs. But a few months later, the airbag warning light activated again. When the customer brought up the issue with Sierra Toyota, she was told that they had not fixed the airbag light after the accident, but had “only reset it.” She was also told that she would need to contact her insurance company to have it repaired. Before she left, Sierra Toyota reset the SRS warning light once again, but did not provide a receipt for it.
The customer called her insurance company the same day and learned that the 2006 Scion TC had a history of prior airbag issues and that the Frontier Auto Sales and Sierra Toyota had to document all repairs by law. The insurance company suggested that the customer call Toyota Motor Sales for assistance.
The next day, the customer called Toyota Motor Sales and left a message. She never received a response, and, eventually, she was forced to contact the dealer investigations unit at the DMV, who recommended that she seek legal assistance.
The customer hired our offices and learned that the issues with the 2006 Scion TC were obvious indications that the car was a “lemon” and that Frontier Auto Sales and Sierra Toyota had engaged in fraud by failing to properly disclose the conditions of the vehicle. Through our experience handling auto fraud cases and the endurance of our attorneys, the customer was able to reach a favorable settlement agreement with Frontier Auto Sales, Sierra Toyota, and Toyota Motor Sales, where the dealership and its associates would repurchase the Scion TC, pay monetary compensation, and cover all attorney’s fees and costs.
Buyer, who was located in Hawthorne, purchased a 2011 BMW 535Xi along with a service contract for repairs. Penn Warranty Corp and Wesco Insurance Company were the providers on the service contract. The type of service contract Buyer purchased was the "Highline" Fully Insured Vehicle version, which was the most expensive and inclusive. Coverage specifically included "transfer case on 4-wheel drive vehicles and all internal parts" and "all sensors used to control engine and powertrain functions." The cost of the service contract alone was $1,718.00 and it provided 2 years of coverage.
A few months after purchase, the vehicle began leaking oil out of what is known as a "transfer case." The BMW 535Xi model is a 4-wheel drive vehicle, and a transfer case is a sealed unit of gears which regulates power between the front and rear wheels.
The vehicle also developed electrical faults in the steering column. Specifically, the "steering angle sensor", which provides data to the traction-control and speed-control functions of the engine and transmission, was malfunctioning. These malfunctions were determined when Buyer took the 535Xi to Long Beach BMW and received an estimate for repairs.
Buyer then submitted the repairs to Penn Warranty Corp and Wesco Insurance Company. To Buyer’s surprise, the Providers denied both repairs despite both explicitly being covered. In an attempt to get out of paying for the repairs, Penn Warranty Company wrongfully stated the diagnosis by Long Beach BMW was incorrect and that other, purportedly not covered items, were the cause of Buyer’s issues. Relying on those statements, Buyer did not pursue coverage for those repairs anymore.
A few months later, more components on the vehicle started to malfunction. This time, Buyer took the 535Xi to German Auto Parts & Service in Long Beach, where he received an estimate stating the vehicle had, among other issues, "cracked control arm bushings". The “Highline” service contract Buyer purchased explicitly covered "control arm bushings". Buyer again submitted the repairs to Penn Warranty Corp and Wesco Insurance Company, but again was denied coverage.
Shortly thereafter, Buyer retained LemonLawAutoFraud.com’s attorneys to take legal action. With the help of our experienced and aggressive attorneys specializing in Auto Fraud and Lemon Law, Buyer took Penn Warranty Corp and Wesco Insurance Company to trial for breaching their service contract under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. The court ruled in favor of Buyer and ordered the providers to pay Buyer monetary compensation for damages, a statutory penalty for willful conduct, and Buyer’s attorney fees and costs.
Buyer entered into an agreement with dealership Tustin Buick GMC to restore Buyer’s 2001 Hummer H1 because the dealership advertised that it specializes in restoring Hummers. When Buyer was in talks with the dealership, an employee named Mike Sabbarese repeatedly claimed to be an expert in the field. In a written proposal, Sabbrese initially promised the restoration would not cost at more than $54,000 and would be completed within 3 months. A few weeks later, Buyer was notified by another dealer employee, named Tim Golden, that the price now had to be over $57,000 and that Buyer would have to pay an initial deposit of $40,000 just for the dealer “to pre-order parts”. Buyer begrudgingly agreed.
The project ultimately took about 9 months to “complete,” yet in the end the Hummer was not properly restored and contained unapproved and improperly-installed accessories such as a “lift kit” which damaged the H1 in several respects. Further, when Buyer went to pick up the Hummer, Tustin Buick GMC now demanded $75,000 for the restoration, claiming that additional work had to be done. Yet, Buyer never approved the alleged “additional work” and the dealership was not even able to provide evidence of the work being done. Nothing explained the 35% price increase except perhaps the dealership’s realization that they needed to make more money off of this deal. Under protest, Plaintiff paid the full amount demanded because Tustin Buick GMC refused to release his vehicle without payment.
To make matters worse, the “restored” Hummer H1 broke down three separate times, requiring multiple tows back to the dealership, before Buyer was even able to drive the Hummer home.
Shortly thereafter, Buyer retained LemonLawAutoFraud’s attorneys for help. With over 20 years of experience and specializing in Dealer Fraud and Repair Fraud, our office was able to get the vehicle properly repaired and forced the dealership to pay $45,000.
Buyer, who lived in Menifee, visited Riverside Car Store to purchase a vehicle. Upon arrival, Buyer was approached by salesman Matt Kettring and shown around the lot. Buyer eventually decided to purchase a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban.
About a month after sale, Buyer was contacted by Riverside Car Store and was asked to bring the Suburban back for a smog test because it had failed that test on the day of the purchase. When Buyer arrived at the dealership, the vehicle was driven out of the lot and returned about an hour later. Buyer was told that the Suburban had passed the smog test but Buyer never received documentation. LemonLawAutoFraud’s attorneys later discovered that the smog inspection was fraudulent because the Suburban did not have an EPA unit (smog control device) installed. Without the EPA unit, it was not possible for the Suburban to lawfully pass a smog test. However, the Fraudulent Smog Test was only the beginning of Buyer’s problems.
A few weeks later, the car began to shake violently and uncontrollably while Buyer was driving at about 40-45 miles per hour. Buyer was only able to stop the vehicle after having to apply severe pressure on the brakes. Once the Suburban stopped, another vehicle pulled alongside Buyer and informed him it looked like the Suburban’s front wheels were about to fall off.
Shortly thereafter, Buyer took the vehicle to a Pep Boy's in Temecula to have the shaking issue inspected. After the inspection, a technician explained to Buyer that the vehicle had Undisclosed Frame Damage. Specifically, the pivot bracket mount on the frame of the Suburban was extremely worn out and the frame seam was coming apart above the bracket. Left without an operating vehicle, Buyer agreed to have welding work done to fix the problem.
A few months later, the Suburban’s electronic display on the dashboard stated the vehicle's transmission was overheating. Buyer immediately took the Suburban to J&D Auto in Menifee. After paying out of pocket for a transmission flush, Buyer was informed that the vehicle needed a new transmission costing over $3,000.
Frustrated with the Suburban having so many serious and expensive problems so soon after purchase, Buyer called Riverside Car Store and spoke to the salesman that sold Buyer the Suburban, Matt Kettering. When Buyer explained all of the Suburban’s issues, Kettering merely replied, "That’s ridiculous” and refused to be of any help to Buyer.
Shortly thereafter, Buyer retained LemonLawAutoFraud’s attorneys for assistance. Having over 20 years of experience and specializing in Dealer Fraud, our office discovered that Riverside Car Store knew the Suburban had frame damage when they bought it through an auction from Manheim Southern California, but failed to disclose that frame damage to Buyer at purchase, as required by law.
With the help of our attorneys, Buyer took Riverside Car Store to court, where the dealer was forced to cancel the contract and pay over $36,000 for Buyer’s damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.
Buyer went to Future Ford of Sacramento to purchase a 2001 Ford F150. While testing the Ford F150, Buyer discovered that the window was making noise and didn’t work properly. The salesperson assured Buyer that the issue would be fixed if Buyer purchased the vehicle. Believing the issue was minor and would be repaired, Buyer signed purchase documents for the Ford F150 and, at the insistence of the salesperson, agreed to purchase a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty.
Following the purchase, Buyer continued to have issues with the Ford F150’s window making noise, and also discovered that a different window leaked water on the back seat when it rained. When he returned to Future Ford for repairs, Buyer was informed that the warranty Dealer sold him did not cover the window motor or the F150’s window seals. When the buyer confronted the salesman, Future Ford agreed to take back the 2001 Ford F150, and sell them a 2007 Ford F150 instead.
After the buyer agreed, he was sent to the “warranty department” where he explained that he wasn’t interested in buying another warranty since the last one didn’t cover any of the other Ford’s issues, but the representative insisted and guaranteed that the warranty covered a vast majority of the Ford F150 components, adding, “It’s a machine; anything can happen.” When the representative said the warranty would cost about $140 per month, the buyer replied that the payment was too high. The representative continued to discount the warranty, and eventually stated that he would give the buyer his “employee discount” to reduce the payments to $30 per month, assuring Buyer that the warranty would still cover the same components. When the buyer asked why it took so long to reduce the price, and the representative vaguely responded, “You will be happy with this warranty. It’s a certified bumper-to-bumper.”
Unbeknownst to Buyer, Future Ford of Sacramento could not have actually certified the Ford F150 due to a lift kit and tires that voided Ford’s warranty. Future Ford also did not disclose, as required by law, that the vehicle had previously been repossessed from a prior owner. Additionally, during the negotiation, Future Ford secretly engaged in the unlawful act of payment packing – Buyer did not agree and was not aware that they purchased additional items coupled with the vehicle and warranty, including Express Etch, a theft protection service. Nevertheless, the buyer relied on the statements made by Future Ford and agreed to purchase a warranty for the 2007 Ford F150.
Less than a year later, the Ford F150 buyer began experiencing power steering issues and again returned to Future Ford for repairs. After dropping off the vehicle, a service advisor called Buyer and informed him that the power steering was not covered by the warranty because the vehicle was preowned. The buyer explained that he had been paying monthly for a certified bumper-to-bumper warranty and asked to speak to a supervisor. Once he looked into the matter, the supervisor approved the repairs on the 2007 F150.
Within seven months, the buyer discovered yet another defect: the F150 would not engage into gear and generated a loud noise before stalling. The vehicle’s check engine light activated soon after. When Buyer called Future Ford to discuss the issue, the service advisor told him that the repair was not covered by the warranty. The buyer again asked to speak with the supervisor, who stated, “This warranty should have never been sold with the truck because it was a modified vehicle.” Buyer continued to argue that he was pressed to purchase this warranty by Future Ford and was paying monthly to ensure that repairs of this nature would be covered. Buyer further explained that he would call the news media and publicize the issue if the defect was not fixed. Only then did the supervisor approve the repairs on the Ford F150.
Future Ford held the 2007 F150 for ten days without providing the buyer a loaner car. When Buyer finally picked up the vehicle, he discovered that a component of the Ford F150’s power steering was modified – namely, the front bushing boots appeared thinner. The service technician claimed that the replacement components were standard factory parts, but Buyer knew that the F150 had heavier bushing boots. Regardless, Buyer and his family were left without a vehicle for too long so he kept the Ford F150 while reserving his doubts.
Not too long after, the Ford F150 ABS light turned on and the racket pinion of the power steering failed. When Buyer brought the vehicle into Future Ford, the supervisor again refused to repair the F150 and even wrote Buyer a check to refund the warranty. Buyer rejected the refund, insisting that he had been paying monthly for the bumper-to-bumper warranty and expected it to cover him through these situations. Once the buyer explained that he was questioning the reliability of Ford Motor Company and warned that Future Ford was violating a contract, the supervisor feared legal action and agreed to make the repairs.
About a year later, while Buyer was driving in the carpool lane with his three-year-old son and his friend, the steering wheel of the F150 made a 180 degree turn but the vehicle continued to drive straight. Suddenly, the driver’s side tire flew off and the front bumper began to scrape the ground, igniting sparks. The surrounding traffic immediately took evasive action as the Ford F150 headed toward the center divider. As the buyer began to pull the steering wheel toward the right to avoid colliding with the center divider, he found that the brakes were not operating. Fearing for lives of his child, himself, and his friend, Buyer kept pushing hard on the brake pedal until it reached the floor. Luckily, he was able to pull the F150 to the emergency lane and call Roadside Assistance.
Shortly thereafter, Buyer went back to Future Ford to meet with the service technician who performed the most recent repairs. When presented with the 2007 F150, the technician kept insisting that Buyer “hit something” and refused to repair the vehicle. Buyer kept explaining that the vehicle did not hit anything, but the technician still refused, only adding, “At least you’re still alive.” Realizing that Future Ford did not care at all for the safety and well-being of their customers, Buyer and his family contacted the Law Offices of Robert Mobasseri to take legal action.
With the help of our experienced and aggressive attorneys specializing in Dealer Fraud and Lemon Law, Buyer took Future Ford of Sacramento and Ford Motor Company to trial for breaching their contract under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, engaging in payment packing, and improper product disclosure. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Buyer and the court ordered Future Ford to pay Buyer monetary compensation for damages, a statutory penalty for willful conduct, and Buyer’s attorney fees and costs. In total, the judgement in Buyer’s favor was over $410,000.
Buyer, who was located in Adelanto, visited S&A Cars Wholesale (dba “El Camino Auto Sales”) in Fontana and purchased 2003 Nissan Murano. Included in the purchase was a Service Contract which the dealer repeatedly referred to as a “Warranty”. Buyer’s issues with the Murano started moments after purchase.
Immediately after leaving the dealer’s lot, Buyer attempted to fill the Murano with gasoline, but found that the gas cap was broken, stuck, and could not be removed without prying it off. Buyer also checked the vehicle’s fluids while at the gas station and found that the oil and coolant levels were extremely low. After filling those liquids to their required levels, Buyer headed to Los Angeles on the freeway.
While on the freeway heading to Los Angeles, the Murano’s Service Engine Soon Light came on, the car started smoking, and was emitting a burning smell. Buyer went to a gas station right away, opened the hood of the car, and noticed that there was a small puddle of antifreeze gathered on the ground near passenger side tire, indicating a crack or leak in the coolant reservoir.
While driving back to El Camino Auto Sales the next morning to complain about the problems, the Murano started making “knocking and thumping” noises. Buyer met with Caeser Comonero (finance manager) and Carlos Melendez (salesperson) when he got there and was told by Caeser “do not worry you have purchased a good warranty plan and your car will be like new when it takes effect, the warranty will fix anything that is wrong with your car.” Relying on those statements, Buyer left the vehicle there for repair.
Dealer replaced the radiator and Buyer picked up the vehicle a few days later. However, Buyer noticed the same burning smell immediately after pick up. Additionally, the Air Conditioning stopped working, the Service Engine Soon Light came on again, and the vehicle was still making “knocking and thumping” noises.
Buyer again returned the vehicle to El Camino Auto Sales a few days later for repairs. Dealer kept the Murano for 4 days performing unknown repairs and charging Buyer for half of the costs. Buyer asked for an invoice when he picked up the car but was never provided one.
Over the next few months, the “knocking and thumping” noises returned so Buyer retained LemonLawAutoFraud’s attorneys for help. Shortly thereafter, the Murano began to exhibit no-start symptoms and eventually became completely inoperable. Our highly experienced Lemon Law attorneys discovered that the underlying problem was a defect in the timing-chain system which El Camino Auto Sales never repaired and led to severe engine damage.
As a result of our efforts, El Camino Auto Sales agreed to settle the case by cancelling the contract, paying Buyer’s damages, and paying for Buyer’s attorney fees and costs. In total, the dealership paid over $68,000.
A first-time car buyer working her way through college had always wanted a Dodge Charger. While browsing craigslist for used vehicles, she thought she found her dream car when she saw dealer Southcoast Automotive Liquidators (dba Discount Auto Plaza)’s advertisement for a 2009 black Dodge Charger priced at $9,995.00. Unbeknownst to the buyer, Discount Auto Plaza did not have the car they were advertising, and were unlawfully engaging in bait and switch advertising to trick used car buyers to come into their dealership, where they could more easily take advantage of them.
Buyer lived in Oxnard and Discount Auto Plaza was located in South Gate. Before Buyer and her mother made the long drive to South Gate, Buyer’s mother called the dealership to confirm the vehicle was still available and spoke an employee named Sergio. During that phone call, which was in Spanish, Sergio confirmed that the exact Charger they saw on craigslist was available – reiterating that the car had 42,000 miles and was the only black Charger on the Dealer’s lot. Sergio further stated that although the Charger was priced at $9,995, Discount Auto Plaza’s manager could lower the price to $9,000 if they came in.
A few days later, Buyer’s stepfather called the dealership to again confirm the Discount Auto had the Charger in stock before traveling down to the dealer. A female employee again confirmed the Charger was still available for $9,995.00 with 42,000 miles. After being assured twice by two separate Dealer employees that the Charger had 42,000 miles and was available for the advertised price, Buyer and her mother drove to South Gate to view the Charger.
When the Buyer and her mother arrived at Discount Auto and asked to see Sergio about buying the Charger, a salesman named Ali misrepresented that he was Sergio and showed them a black Charger with 107,000 miles on the odometer. When Buyer asked to see the Charger with 42,000 miles, Ali stated that Discount Auto Plaza did not have a Dodge Charger with 42,000 miles, and instead stated “this will be an excellent replacement”.
The Dodge Charger offered had 107,000 miles and the buyer noticed that there was no sticker or sales price on the vehicle. Buyer also noticed some dents and scratches outside, rips and tears inside, and a warning light flashing on the console. Ali promised that Discount Auto would fix all of the problems if Buyer purchased the Charger. When Buyer’s mother questioned Ali about lowering the price to $9,000 as she discussed over the phone, she was told that “the $9,000 price is for cash buyers only.” Needing to purchase a car that night, the buyer agreed to buy the car with considerably higher mileage for $9,995.
Ali then handed Buyer off to another Discount Auto Plaza employee named Lupe, who went over the purchase paperwork. There, Buyer noticed in the stack of sales documents that Discount Auto was selling the vehicle for $16,995, a full $7,000 higher than Ali had stated the Charger was being sold for.
When Buyer and her mom questioned Lupe about why the selling price was $7,000 higher than what they agreed, Lupe replied, “We’re just throwing numbers out there just to get started” and added, “All those numbers will change once your credit is approved. That is not the amount you will end up paying.” Lupe further stated that “In six months, we’ll switch the finance company, and the price will decrease drastically, and in the end, the price will be $11,000.
When Buyer’s mother asked what the numbers in the boxes that list annual percentage rate, finance charge, amount financed, and total payments on the sales contract meant, Lupe told her to “ignore the numbers, they don’t mean anything, all the numbers will be fixed. You are not paying the amounts in the boxes.” Buyer’s mother questioned Lupe if she was sure, and again brought up that the Dodge Charger was advertised for $9,995. Lupe said, “I’m sure, you can trust me!” Buyer relied on all of the representations made by Discount Auto Plaza and signed the documents where Lupe told her to sign without further explanation. Further, the purchase was eventually financed by Veros Credit but the numbers in the sales documents never changed.
While signing the Sale’s contract, Buyer heard a loud commotion outside the room and a woman scream, “oh my god, he hit Sergio!” Ali and Sergio had apparently gotten into a physical fight over who was going to get the commission over Buyer purchasing the Charger while buyer was signing the sales documents. Shortly thereafter, the police arrived, and while Buyer and her mother wanted to leave, they couldn’t because Discount Auto Plaza had taken her driver’s license and wouldn’t return it until after the sales paperwork was finished.
Lupe then presented Buyer with a contract cancellation option agreement, which gives a consumer the opportunity to purchase a right to cancel the contract option, but misled Buyer by stating that by Buyer signing it, Buyer couldn’t cancel the contract. Discount Auto Plaza also added an additional $895 charge for “GAP” insurance, (Guaranteed Asset Protection), without giving the buyer the option to choose not to purchase it. Further, although Buyer and her mother only spoke Spanish with both Sergio and Lupe regarding the sale of the car, none of the sales documents were in Spanish as required by California law.
After signing the purchase documents, Buyer pointed out to Lupe the Dodge Charger’s damage that needed to be fixed as agreed, and Lupe took photographs. Discount Auto’s manager came out shortly thereafter, and told Buyer she needed to take the car home that day, but she could make an appointment to return the Charger for repairs. The manager promised that if anything was wrong with the Charger, the Dealer would fix it, including the dents and scratches outside, rips and tears inside, and a warning light flashing on the console. Although Lupe and Buyer exchanged several text messages in Spanish after the purchase, confirming what the Dealer had agreed to repair, Discount Auto never made the repairs as promised, violating California’s Lemon Law.
About a month after purchase, the Charger began overheating and had problems with the air conditioning. Buyer was forced to take the Charger to an independent repair shop, Auto Tech in Oxnard, to have it inspected and get an estimate for repairs because Dealer refused to accept the vehicle for repairs as promised. Auto Tech’s technician informed the Buyer that the Charger needed numerous repairs including: new spark plugs, new air filter, new cabin filter, that the air condition was not working, that there was coolant leaking from the upper coolant outlet, the front and rear brakes were only at 30% and the front and rear tires were only at 40%.
Shortly thereafter, buyer retained our firm against Discount Auto Plaza regarding their acts of fraud, misrepresentations, false advertising, bait and switch advertising, selling a vehicle over its advertised price, forced placement of GAP insurance, and failure to repair the subject vehicle under California’s Lemon Law.
Discount Auto Plaza refused to cooperate, and forced the matter to trial, where the court awarded our client full rescission (cancellation) of the sales contract, plus an additional award of $15,409.95, as well as another $23,114.93 in civil penalties due to their willful dishonesty, and further ordered the dealership to pay the buyer’s attorney’s fees. Discount Auto Plaza decided to appeal the judgment, but lost again, and was ordered to pay the additional attorney’s fees arising out of the buyer having to defend the appeal.
Buyer purchased a “certified pre-owned” 2009 BMW x5 from Center Automotive (dba Center BMW) in Van Nuys. The sale came with BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty, but Buyer wanted additional protection, so he bought a BMW Extended Service Contract.
A few months after purchase, Buyer noticed that the vehicle’s check-engine light was activating and deactivating, and when activated, the x5 would “shake.” Center BMW confirmed the symptoms and claimed to have fixed the problems by replacing the engine’s ignition coils. Yet, the vehicle’s problems persisted.
A few weeks later, the vehicle would unexpectedly “lurch” and “kick.” Again, Center BMW confirmed the symptoms and claimed to have fixed the problem by doing some work on the vehicle’s transmission. Yet, the vehicle’s problems persisted.
About a month later, Buyer noticed the engine would make odd noises at start-up. Again, Center BMW confirmed the symptoms and claimed to have fixed the problems by replacing the engine’s valve-cover assembly. Yet, the vehicle’s problems persisted.
A few months after that, Buyer again returned the vehicle to dealer due to a “burning odor” from the vehicle. Center BMW diagnosed the odors as harmless and from the air-conditioning system. However, it turned out that something was burning after all because, shortly thereafter, the vehicle began shutting off while at a stop or when slowing. Buyer would also hear a “rattle” from the front of the vehicle upon acceleration and also a “pinging” under heavy load. The dealer again investigated the issue, this time discovering that the vehicle had low fuel pressure, and that some of the wiring of the fuel pump had melted.
The dealer replaced the fuel pump and wiring and told Plaintiff the problems were fixed. Yet, even these fuel-pump repairs did not fix the vehicle’s engine problems.
The vehicle continued to randomly hesitate or shut-off while driving and the check-engine lights would sporadically activate then quickly deactivate. Since a check engine lights would not stay on long enough, Buyer was unable to capture an “error code”.
Ultimately, the BMW x5 suddenly shut off while Buyer was driving on the freeway. Although fearing for his life, he was able to pull over, and this time, the vehicle’s check-engine light stayed on long enough for Buyer to bring it to a service shop and capture an error code on the vehicle’s computer. The service shop recorded the check engine light error code “2A82” which indicated an internal engine fault with the vehicle’s “VANOS” valve-timing system. The main symptoms of this defect are hesitation, loss of power and check-engine lights. In other words, the symptoms were consistent with what Plaintiff had been reporting to since purchasing the BMW x5.
Shortly thereafter, Buyer retained our firm against Center BMW for selling a defective vehicle and failing to repair the vehicle under California’s Lemon Law. Center BMW refused to cooperate and forced the matter to trial. At the close of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Buyer and the court ordered Center BMW to pay Buyer monetary compensation for damages and pay for Buyer’s attorney fees and costs. In total, the judgement in Buyer’s favor was over $155,000.
The car owner began experiencing problems with her vehicle after the presumption period, which in California is within the 18 month or 18,000 miles from when the vehicle was first purchased. The owner contacted the Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Center and was erroneously told by a representative of the manufacturer that her vehicle would not qualify to be repurchased or replaced under the California lemon law because it was outside the presumption period.
Several times the owner took her Mercedes SL550 in to the dealership for transmission and electrical issues only to be told that no fault could be found. On one occasion, the owner brought her vehicle to a dealership because the vehicle intermittently would not start. After keeping the SL550 for several days, a service writer told the owner that the service department could not duplicate her issues and asked her to pick up her vehicle. When she went in to pick up the SL550, the vehicle did not start in the service drive. Still, the owner was told that her vehicle did not qualify under the California Lemon Law.
The owner was worried for her safety and decided to retain a California lemon law lawyer for help in returning her defective Mercedes SL550. While the vehicle's defects and nonconformities continued, her case was again rejected for being outside the presumption period.
Finally, the SL550 owner contacted the Law Offices of Robert B. Mobasseri and within 30 days of the manufacturer receiving a demand, and without any admission of liability or conceding the merit of any of the consumer's claims, the manufacturer offered to repurchase the owner's vehicle and waive any mileage offset that the manufacturer was entitled to by law.