Alameda County Jury Awards $130,373.37, including 2x Civil Penalty against FCA for Defective 2011 Dodge Durango under California Lemon Law
Matthew J. and Marisa J. bought a used 2011 Dodge Durango to be their primary family vehicle, to be used to drive to and from work and shuttle their kids to school and activities. Just over one year after purchase, substantial problems began. Over the next three years, Matthew and Marisa had to bring their Durango into FCA dealerships for repairs to dangerous and unsafe defects 18 times. The Durango’s transmission would not shift correctly, the engine overheated, and the engine stalled repeatedly. Overwhelmed by the issues that FCA could not fix, Matthew and Marisa phoned FCA and asked for a repurchase because their vehicle was dangerous and unreliable. Despite the serious issues and the repeat visits to the dealership, FCA refused.
After FCA’s refusal, Matthew and Marisa hired counsel. The case went to trial in Alameda County Superior Court, where Matthew and Marisa were represented by California Lemon Law trial attorneys Richard Wirtz and Amy Rotman from Wirtz Law APC. After a two-week trial, the jury awarded Matthew and Marisa with the maximum damages awardable under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (California Lemon Law): repurchase and a two-time civil penalty for a total of $130.373.37, plus FCA was ordered to pay plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and costs. The jury agreed that FCA had willfully violated the California Lemon Law by refusing to repurchase the vehicle despite the repeated repair visits and serious, unrepaired defects.
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