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Cadillac STS Sedan

Engine fire diminished value of new vehicle, owner claimed

Settlement:   $56,403.00
Case Type:   Lemon Law , Motor Vehicle
Case:   Louis Ruggiero v. General Motors Corporation
Date:   Monday, February 02, 2009
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato: Massapequa, NY
Defendant Attorney(s):   General Motors Corporation, Detroit, MI
Facts:   In February 2008, claimant Louis Ruggiero purchased a new 2008 Cadillac STS sedan. The purchase included a standard manufacturer's warranty. Ruggiero claimed that, two months after he purchased the vehicle, it began to experience problems including an engine fire. He contended that, during the ensuing eight months, the dealership attempted more than four separate adjustments and/or repairs of the vehicle, leaving it out of service for more than 41 days during its first year. Ruggiero claimed that the problems were never resolved and that he attempted to return the vehicle, but that it was refused by the manufacturer, General Motors Corp. Ruggiero sought recovery via application of the New Car Lemon Law, General Business Law article 11-A, § 198-a. An arbitration hearing was scheduled. Ruggiero's counsel contended that vehicle's engine fire, poor condition and continual 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. General Motors contended that the dealership adequately addressed the vehicle's alleged problems and that those problems did not substantially impair the vehicle's value.
Injury:   Ruggiero claimed that the vehicle experienced an engine fire and other malfunctions that compromised its performance and caused a material impairment of its value. Ruggiero sought recovery of the vehicle's full replacement value plus attorney’s fees.
Verdict:   Prior to the scheduled start of the arbitration, the parties negotiated a settlement. General Motors agreed to pay $56,402.73, which included $46,703.22 for the lien payoff, $8,250 for finance payments to date, $2,542.50 for the down payment of the vehicle, and $1,500 for attorney fees--less $2,592.99 for usage and rebates.

Lemon Law Cases