Definition of “New Vehicle”
A family bought an SUV from a new car dealership. As the vehicle was last year’s model and had only 225 miles on it the family expected to get a good price. The car dealer made sure the vehicle was “brand new” and it had been taken for a few test drives, which accounted for the miles.
The car buyer had to return the “new” vehicle to the dealership for repeated major repairs. Unhappy with this the owner finally took it to an independent mechanic to check a routine problem. The mechanic informed that prior to its purchase the vehicle had been involved in a major rollover accident. Further investigation revealed that not only had the vehicle been involved in an accident, but had also been stolen and was still listed in the crime computer as a stolen vehicle. The Defendant dealership argued the definition of “new vehicle”. The dealership stating that the fact that the vehicle had never been titled constituted the vehicle as “new”.
After the trial the dealership was fined $250,000 Punitive and $27,000 Compensatory.
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