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General Motors

New car’s shaking and engine noise not fixed, owners claimed

Settlement:   $25,445
Case Type:   John R. Mahoney III and John R. Mahoney Jr. v. General Motors Corporation, No 628077
Venue:   Education & Assistance Corp., Smithtown
Judge:   Steven Dely
Date:   Friday, July 13, 2007
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato, Anthony T. Ballato, Esq., Massapequa, NY
Defendant Attorney(s):   Peter M. Damin, Rose Law Firm, PLLC, Albany, NY
Facts:   In September 2006, claimants John Mahoney III and John Mahoney Jr. purchased a new 2006 GMC Canyon. The $22,828 purchase included a standard manufacturer's warranty. The Mahoney's contended that the vehicle subsequently experienced functional problems that began in November 2006. They contended that the vehicle had repeated problems with shaking and noise from the engine and defective brakes. They claimed that they took the car to the dealership on more than nine separate occasions within seven months to have adjustments and/or repairs completed. They contended that the vehicle accumulated more than 39 days of repair~shop time. The Mahoney's claimed that the problems were not resolved. They attempted to rerun the vehicle, but it was refused by the manufacturer, Detroit~based General Motors Corp. The Mahoney's sought recovery via application of the New Car Lemon Law, General Business Law article I I~A, § 198~b et seq. They noted that the vehicle had 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. The Mahoney's claimed that the vehicle's engine vibration and other problems fell within the provisions of warranting.
Injury:   The Mahoney's claimed that the vehicle subsequently experienced malfunctions, such as shaking and noise from the engine, as well as problems with the brakes. They contended that these problems compromised the vehicle's safety and performance. They sought recovery of$22,828.11, which represented the vehicle's full replacement value. They also sought recovery of the arbitration's costs, which included the $250 filing fee.
Verdict:   Arbitrator Steven Dely found that the vehicle's first 24 months and 18,000 miles included more than four unsuccessful attempts to repair the continuing problems. General Motors had to pay $23,108.69. This represented the vehicle's full replacement cost, less $250.42 for mileage beyond 12,000, plus the arbitration's $250 filing fee and the vehicle's registration, title, document, and inspection fees. The Mahoney's also recovered state and local taxes in the amount of $2,055.17. Thus, their recovery totaled $25,163.86. JOHN MAHONEY JR., JOHN MAHONEY III $23,109 replacement cost $281 fees and costs $2,055 taxes Total: $25,445 DEMAND: Full replacement value OFFER: $4,000 plus extended warranty PLAINTIFF EXPERT(S): Robert Mintz, automotive, Selden. NY DEFENSE EXPERT(S): Frank Stallone, automotive maintenance & repairs, Garden City Park, NY

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