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Alan Rwambuya v. BMW of North America, Inc.

Case Type:   Lemon Law New Car Lease
Case:   Alan Rwambuya v. BMW of North America, Inc.
Date:   October 26, 2020 (Virtual Hearing on WebEx per NYSDRA)
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato, Esq., of Massapequa, NY
Defendant Expert(s):   Gino Palacios, Senior Service Manager for BMW and Biedermann | Hoenig Semprevivo, PC, attorneys for BMW of North America, Inc. Arbitrator: | Lewis Bernstein of EAC, Inc.
Facts:   The consumer leased a new 2019 BMW M5 on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Within two months of driving the vehicle, the consumer began to experience multiple electrical problems with the car. In July and October of that year, the consumer brought the car in for a check engine light and the vehicle had been out of service for 57 days with several unsuccessful attempts to repair the issues. The diagnosis was CEL and DME failures. After that diagnosis was made, the consumer was told a DME was being manufactured in Germany and it was installed in August 2019. Once the DME was installed, the technician discovered that a second DME needed to be replaced as well. The dealership informed the consumer that they did not have a replacement date for that part. The consumer was later informed by BMW Customer Relations that the DME would be available in October of 2019. Despite the number of attempts made by the consumer to resolve the issues, the dealership failed to fix the problems and the consumer continued to experience multiple electrical problems. The vehicle was subject to several attempts of repair “out of service” for over 57 days. Despite the repairs having been made, both of which were said to have been “resolved” by the Dealership, the problems continued persisting and the consumer felt it was dangerous due to its inherently unsafe product defects to drive the vehicle. After the consumer’s multiple complaints and numerous attempts to have the unsafe defects repaired, they went unresolved, the consumer retained the Law Office of Anthony T. Ballato to represent him. Mr. Ballato sent a certified demand letter to BMW of North America demanding they repurchase the consumer’s vehicle pursuant to New York Lemon Law and the Federal Magnusson Moss Warranty Act. Thereafter, there were protracted negotiations with the manufacturer and dealer, BMW of Mount Kisco and although offering to repurchase the leased vehicle, they could never seem to get the correct paperwork from the dealer. Mr. Ballato later filed for arbitration pursuant to the New York Lemon Law and on October 26, 2020, an arbitration hearing via WebEx was held after a pre-filing settlement was reached for full value of the lease was not properly concluded by BMW. BMW of North America’s position of offering full reimbursement of the lease was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and unknown other reasons. The consumer suffered further expenses as a result of BMW’s neglect and delaying settlement during this unnecessary extensive waiting period. Thus, the matter was compelled to proceed to lemon law arbitration via the New York Attorney General’s program.
Verdict:   The Arbitrator, after a contested remote video hearing, issued a ruling in the consumer’s favor and directed that BMW of North America buy back the vehicle for an award to consumer of $33,995.50 less a mileage deduction of $12,730,73, resulting in a net award of $21,264.77 to the consumer, an early lease termination, plus pay off of the lease of $91,269.64 for a grand total of $112,534.41 paid by BMW.

Lemon Law Cases