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Audi A6 Sedan

New car’s chronic oil leaks couldn’t be fixed, lessee alleged

Settlement:   Award: Full refund of lease payments to consumer
Case Type:   Lemon Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration
Case:   Anthony Emanuel v. Audi of America, No. NC-794363
Venue:   Office of the Attorney General
Judge:   Gerald Love (Arbitrator)
Date:   Thursday, September 10, 2009
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato: Massapequa, NY
Plaintiff Expert(s):   Robert A. Lasky, automotive maintenance & repairs, East Patchogue, NY
Defendant Attorney(s):   Harry Steinberger, after-sales manager
Defendant Expert(s):   Paul Marcello, automotive maintenance & repairs, Oceanside, NY
Facts:   In September 2008, claimant Anthony Emanuel leased a new 2008 Audi A6 sedan. The lease included a standard manufacturer's warranty. Emanuel claimed that, within three months, the vehicle began to experience malfunctions of its engine, including chronic oil leaks that caused continual illumination of the dashboard’s warning lights. He contended that, during the ensuing nine months, the dealership attempted more than nine separate adjustments and/or repairs of the vehicle, leaving it out of service for more than 35 days while it was still in its first year of the lease. He claimed that the problems were never resolved. He attempted to return the vehicle, but it was refused by the manufacturer, Audi of America. Emanuel sought recovery via application of the New Car Lemon Law, General Business Law article 11-A, § 198-a. An arbitration hearing was scheduled. Emanuel's counsel contended that the vehicle's chronic leaks and need for repairs 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 being out of service. Audi of America contended that the dealership adequately addressed the vehicle's alleged problems and that this did not substantially impair the vehicle's value.
Injury:   Emanuel claimed that the vehicle chronically leaked more than one quart of oil per 1,000 miles. He contended that the problems compromised the vehicle's use and performance. He also contended that the problems caused a material impairment of the vehicle's value. Emanuel sought recovery of the vehicle's full replacement value, which included the lease deposit and lease payments that had already been rendered.
Verdict:   Arbitrator Gerald Love found that the vehicle's first 24 months and 18,000 miles included more than four unsuccessful attempts to repair the continuing problems. Love determined that Emanuel’s damages totaled $10, 582.50, which included $10,200 for the full refund of the lease payments made to date, the arbitration's $250 filing fee, and the vehicle's $132.50 registration, title, document and inspection fees. Love deducted $367.02 for interest and service fees, $4,861.70 for mileage depreciation and $1, 400 for damage beyond the normal wear and tear. Thus, Emanuel’s final recovery totaled $3,953.78.

Lemon Law Cases