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DEFENDANT’S Lemon Law – Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claim – Alleged soft top defects in Jeep Wrangler.

Volusia County, FL

This was a claim brought under Florida’s Lemon Law and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act against the defendant Chrysler Group, LLC. The plaintiff claimed that a Jeep Wrangler manufactured by the defendant contained a defect in the soft top which made it impossible to drive more than 20 to 25 mph. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff’s complaints were all addressed under the warranty and that the vehicle was functioning as designed.

The plaintiff purchased a new ________ Jeep Wrangler Unlimited from the defendant’s authorized dealership. The plaintiff alleged that the soft top of the vehicle was defective and caused water leaks, sagging and loud wind noises. The plaintiff testified that the problems with the top were so severe that his driving was limited to 25 mph and below.

The plaintiff testified that he returned the vehicle at least seven or eight times to the dealership; but the dealership told him there was nothing else they could do to resolve the problems. The plaintiff alleged that the vehicle was diminished in value by some 50% as a result of the defects in the soft top.

The defendant argued that any issues with the plaintiff’s vehicle had been addressed by the dealership each time the plaintiff brought the vehicle in. The defense contended that convertibles are simply noisier than hard tops. The defendant’s in-house mechanic testified that he inspected the plaintiff’s Jeep and compared it to similar vehicles to determine that it was operating as designed and no further repairs were necessary. The defendant also called the representative of another dealership which accepted the plaintiff’s Jeep as a trade-in. This witness testified that his company performed a ________-point check on the plaintiff’s vehicle and found no excessive wind noise, water problems, or issues with the soft top.The jury found for the defendant on both counts of the complaint. The defendant’s motion for costs and attorney fees is pending based on a proposal for settlement.

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