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Porsche Cayenne

Porsche told owners ‘no substatute,’sought refund.

Settlement:   $66,199.33
Case Type:   Lemon Law, Motor Vehicle - Lemon Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution - Arbitration
Case:   Anthony T. Ballato and Sarah Ballato v. Porsche Cars North America Inc., No. 34523
Venue:   Education & Assistance Corp., Smithtown, NY
Judge:   Sheldon Lasher
Date:   Monday, December 26, 2005
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato; Massapequa, NY, for Anthony T. Ballato, Sarah Ballato
Plaintiff Expert(s):   Robert Mintz; Automotive; Selden, NY called by: Anthony Ballato
Defendant Attorney(s):   Steven R. Kramer; Harrington Ocko & Monk L.L. P.; White Plains, NY, for Porsche Cars North America Inc.
Defendant Expert(s):   Paul Gagliardi; Automotive; Atlanta, GA cal led by: Steven Kramer.
Facts:   On June 30, 2004, claimants Anthony and Sarah Ballato purchased a new 2004 Porsche Cayenne 5 sport utility vehicle. The $69,532 purchase included a standard manufacturer's warranty. Tile Ballatos claimed that the vehicle subsequently experienced functional problems that began in July 2004. They contended that the problems included improper operation of the vehicle's alarm system, door locks, remote controls, transmission and windows. They also contended that the vehicle's engine did not promptly respond to its accelerator pedal. During the ensuing two years, those problems necessitated 10 separate adjustments and/or repair attempts. As a result of that work, the vehicle accumulated more than 30 days of repair-shop time. The Ballatos contended that the problems were never resolved. They attempted to return the vehicle, but it was refused by the manufacturer, Atlanta-based Porsche Cars North America Inc. The Ballatos sought recovery via application of the New Car Lemon Law, General Business Law article 11-A, ยง 198-a. The matter proceeded to an arbitration hearing. Mr. Ballatos claimed that the vehicle's poor condition constituted a violation of the Lemon Law, which specifies that a vehicle's first 24 months and/or 18,000 miles should not include more than four repair attempts and/or 30 days of repair-shop time. The claimants' master mechanic determined that the vehicle's transmission did not properly operate until several minutes after the engine was started. The mechanic also opined that the vehicle experienced electrical malfunctions that created unnecessary noise. He further contended that the vehicle's air-ride suspension mode did not properly function. Respondent's counsel contended that the manufacturer's technicians were not able to detect the cause of the transmission's malfunctions and the insufficient acceleration.
Injury:   The Ballatos claimed that their vehicle experienced functional problems that included improper operation of the vehicle's alarm system, door locks, remote controls, transmission and windows. They also contended that the vehicle's engine did not promptly respond to its accelerator pedal. They sought recovery of $66,199.33, which represented the vehicle's full purchase price, less $3,332.67 of depreciation, which was based on 4,793 miles of usage. They also sought recovery of the arbitration's $250 filing fee and the vehicle's registration and Inspection fees, which totaled $90.25. Respondent's counsel contended that the claimed defects did not constitute a substantial impairment and, the reform, that the Ballatos were not entitled to a full refund.
Verdict:   Arbitrator Sheldon Lasher rendered a claimants' decision. He found that the vehicle's first 24 months and 18,000 miles included more than four unsuccessful attempts to repair continuing problems. The Ballatos were awarded $66,539.58, which represented the vehicle's full replacement cost. They also recovered the arbitration's $250 filing fee and the vehicle's registration and inspection fees, which totaled $90.25.

Lemon Law Cases