Jennings Strouss Wins Unprecedented Arizona “Lemon Law” Lawsuit
Phoenix commercial trial attorney Christopher D. Lonn won a favorable verdict in a three-year “lemon law” litigation against BMW of North America (BMW N.A.). This is the first known verdict in Arizona (and possibly the United States) where a jury found that excessive brake noise is a defect under a governing “lemon law” statute. Mr. Lonn represented Dr. Jason Nordean and his wife against BMW N.A.
In 2012, while residing in Oregon, Dr. Nordean and his wife took delivery of a custom ordered 2013 BMW M6 coupe, a luxury high performance vehicle that is hand built in Germany. The vehicle was ordered through, and delivered to, a BMW-authorized dealer in Nevada. After approximately 1,500 miles, the Nordeans noticed excessive brake noise and howling, as well as brake vibration when coming to a stop. They reported the problem to an authorized dealer in Oregon. Upon relocating to Arizona in 2013, The Nordeans again reported the problem to an authorized dealer in Scottsdale, where an attempt was made to fix the brake problems by installing updated and re-designed brake pads that would allegedly reduce the brake noise. The re-designed brake pads, also manufactured by BMW N.A., eliminated the brake howling and vibration problem; however, they caused the brake noise to be louder and more frequent. After four failed attempts to correct or repair the excessive brake noise, the Nordeans requested in writing that the manufacturer repurchase the M6 under Arizona’s “lemon law” statute. The manufacturer refused. In response, the Nordeans hired Jennings Strouss attorney Christopher D. Lonn to file a lawsuit against BMW N.A., under the consumer protection-focused Arizona “lemon law” statute. The vast majority of states now have a “lemon law” that applies to either newly purchased vehicles or both newly purchased and leased vehicles. Presently, Arizona’s “lemon law” statute does not apply to leased vehicles. Generally speaking, a potential “lemon law” plaintiff may file suit in the state where the work to correct or repair the vehicle defect is performed.
During a four day jury trial in the Maricopa County Superior Court, Mr. Lonn was able to establish, without calling an expert witness testify, that there was a defect in materials or workmanship regarding the excessively noisy brakes that did not conform to the express warranty from BMW N.A. Another interesting fact in the case was that BMW N.A. had previously repurchased two other 2013 BMW M6s in another state for the same brake noise issues. These buybacks occurred just a few months before the Nordeans requested the repurchase of their vehicle. After deliberating for 2.5 hours, the jury found in favor of the Nordeans and ordered BMW N.A. to repurchase the vehicle, with a modest offset of the purchase price for use of the vehicle. This is the first known “lemon law” verdict issued by a jury against BMW N.A. in Arizona.
Contact Chrisopher D. Lonn at 602-262-5829 to review a potential claim against a vehicle manufacturer.
About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.
For over 75 years, Jennings Strouss has been dedicated to providing clients with strategic legal guidance to help them seize every opportunity. The firm is well-known for its rich heritage, commitment to community, and long-lasting relationships. We have a deep understanding of business and law. When you work with us, you’ll have a team of legal experts who are dedicated to your vision of success.
Through our offices in Phoenix, Peoria, and Tucson, Arizona, and Washington, D.C., we leverage resources both regionally and nationally to serve our expanding client base. Jennings Strouss is deeply rooted in each of our locations’ legal and business communities, and especially instrumental in helping shape the dynamic growth of Arizona and many of its institutions. The firm promotes a pragmatic, results-oriented approach, coupled with a healthy, well-managed, and friendly atmosphere of collaboration.
Our primary areas of practice include advertising and media law; agribusiness; automobile dealership law; bankruptcy, restructuring, and creditors’ rights; construction; corporate and securities; eminent domain and condemnation; employee benefits and pensions; energy; estate planning and probate; family law and domestic relations; finance; healthcare; insurance defense; intellectual property; labor and employment; legal ethics; litigation; medical malpractice; mergers and acquisitions; professional liability defense; real estate; surety and fidelity; and tax.
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