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Cadillac Escalade

New SUV had transmission problems, claimant alleged

Settlement:   $64,099.82
Case Type:   Lemon Law, Motor Vehicle - SUV
Case:   Ira Kitzen v. General Motors Corporation, Cadillac Division
Venue:   Office of the Attorney General, NY
Date:   Friday, October 19, 2007
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato; Anthony T. Ballato, Esq.; Massapequa, NY, for Ira Kitzen
Defendant Attorney(s):   None reported; GM Business Resource Center; Detroit, MI , for General Motors Corp., Cadillac Division
Facts:   In June 2007, claimant Ira Kitzen purchased a new 2007 Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle. The $62,899.82 purchase included a standard manufacturer's warranty. Kitzen contended that the vehicle experienced transmission-related problems that began less than one month after he purchased the vehicle. He claimed that he brought the vehicle back to the dealership on more than six separate occasions within three months to have adjustments and/or repairs attempted. Kitzen claimed that the problems were not resolved. He attempted to return the vehicle. but it was refused by the manufacturer, Detroit-based General Motors Corp. The matter was scheduled to be heard in an arbitration proceeding. Kitzen sought recovery via application of the New Car Lemon Law, General Business Law article 11-A, § 198-bet seq. Kitzen's counsel contended that the repairs' duration exceeded the law's threshold that dictates that a vehicle may not undergo four repair attempts and/or be out of service for 30 days during the first 24 months or 18,000 miles following its purchase. The matter was scheduled to proceed to an arbitration hearing. General Motors disputed Kitzen's allegations and contended that the vehicle's alleged problems were adequately addressed by the dealership.
Injury:   Kitzen claimed that he experienced malfunctions with the vehicle's transmission. He contended that the problems compromised the vehicle's safety and performance. He sought recovery of $62.899.82, which represented the vehicle's full replacement value. He also sought recovery of $1,200 for attorney fees.
Verdict:   Prior to the scheduled start of the arbitration, the parties agreed to a $64,099.82 settlement. The settlement consisted of $62,899.82 for the total cost of the vehicle, including the dealer's accessories, registration and title, and $1,200 for Kitzen 's attorney's fees. The vehicle's sales tax will be refunded by the state. Editor's Comments: This report is based on information that was provided by claimant's counsel. Respondent's counsel did not respond to the reporter's phone calls.

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