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ARTICLE ID 162742

Lemon Law - Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act - Alleged defective steering in ________ Dodge Ram - Failure to correct defect after multiple attempts - Claimed diminished automobile value.

Philadelphia County, PA

This action was brought against the defendant, Chrysler, LLC, under Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to repair steering defects in a new ________ Dodge Ram despite repeated attempts. The defendant maintained that the steering in the plaintiff’s vehicle functioned correctly and his complaints could not be reproduced.

The plaintiff testified that the steering in his Dodge Ram pulled to one side. The plaintiff contended that he returned the vehicle to the dealer three times for repairs, but the steering never functioned properly. The plaintiff’s expert auto mechanic confirmed that the steering of the plaintiff’s vehicle was defective. This expert also opined that the value of the plaintiff’s vehicle had been diminished to approximately $________ as a result of the defect in the steering system. The plaintiff’s expert contended that, without the steering defect, the vehicle would have been worth approximately $________.

Evidence showed that the plaintiff had traded the ________ Dodge Ram in question back to the defendant’s dealer for a trade-in value of $________. The court granted the defendant’s uncontested motion for summary judgment as to the Lemon Law claim based on the fact that the plaintiff no longer owned the vehicle.

The defendant’s expert automobile mechanic testified that he test drove the plaintiff’s vehicle and found that the steering performed satisfactorily. The defendant’s expert introduced a videotape of the test drive which depicted the driver taking his hands off the steering wheel and the vehicle continuing to move forward in a straight line.

The case was tried as a bench trial with a finding for the defendant. The court ruled that, because the plaintiff received a trade-in value higher than the value estimated by his expert, the plaintiff was unable to prove damages under the Magnuson-Moss Act.

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