Tulare County Jury Awards $64,582.53, including 2x Civil Penalty against FCA for Defective 2013 Dodge Durango under California Lemon Law
Our client Dominic T. purchased a 2013 Dodge Durango to be his family’s primary vehicle. Their family, including Dominic, his wife, and five kids, planned to use the Durango for everyday errands as well as driving around the state for the kids’ sporting events. Within six months, the Durango developed serious issues, including dangerous and unsafe stalling without warning which was due to the vehicle’s defective Totally Integrated Power Module (“TIPM”) and mildew smells from the air conditioning system (“HVAC”). After bringing the Durango to FCA’s dealerships six times in just over two years complaining of these issues, Dominic T. and his family lost confidence in the Durango and FCA’s ability to fix any of the issues. Dominic T. telephoned FCA and asked for a repurchase, but FCA denied his request.
After FCA’s refusal, Dominic T. hired counsel. The case went to trial in Tulare County Superior Court, where Dominic T. was represented by California Lemon Law trial attorneys Richard Wirtz and Amy Rotman from Wirtz Law APC. After a two-week trial, the jury awarded Dominic T. with the maximum damages awardable under the Song-Beverly Act (California Lemon Law): repurchase and a two-time civil penalty for a total of $64,582.53, 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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