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Lexus LX570

Settlement:   $118,000.00
Case Type:   Lemon Law New Car Lease
Case:   Joseph Gad v. Lexus
Date:   May 5, 2017
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato, Esq., of Massapequa, NY
Defendant Attorney(s):   Karen Rotola, Toyota Lexus Administrator of Parsippany, NJ
Facts:   On December 9, 2015, consumer Joseph Gad contracted to lease a new 2016 Lexus LX570 from Bay Ridge Lexus. Soon after taking delivery the consumer began to smell a faint odor of gas emanating from the vehicle’s air vents. Since the smell only occurred sporadically, however, Mr. Gad continued to drive the vehicle until he felt the vehicle shake and began hearing sounds which caused the vehicle to break down. The consumer also complained that the dash engine light indicator kept coming on, showing that there were problems with the braking system, engine and transmission. Consumer brought the vehicle in for repair of these problems seven times within a six month period, and being more than 40 days of service. The manufacturer claimed the problems were due to rodent damage, but research indicated this is a wide spread problem due to soy based rubber insulation and a new class action pending against Toyota / Lexus. Numerous repairs were made to the vehicle including replacing the front brake pads, resurfacing the front rotors, replaced the evaporative hose the TAS charcoal canister and related components, and repaired the intake runner control solenoid. None of these repairs, however, seemed to alleviate the issue of the gas smell.
Verdict:   Consumer chose to represent himself at an arbitration hearing conducted by the National Center for Dispute Settlement (NCDS) through the Lexus Dispute Settlement Program. The hearing was held on December 13, 2016. Present for Lexus was Representative Karen Rotola and a field technician. After a full hearing the three panel Arbitrators ruled in favor of Lexus and against the Consumer, holding that the vehicle had not been out of service for an unreasonable amount of time and that the Manufacturer has not yet had a reasonable amount of time to repair the vehicle. In accordance with the arbitration rules set forth by NCDS, the Consumer rejected the Arbitration Decision and retained the services of Anthony T. Ballato, Esq. Mr. Ballato sent Lexus a notice for the revocation and rescission of the lease contract and had the consumer file a Request for Arbitration with the New York State Attorney General’s Office pursuant to the New York State New Car Lemon Law. Claims were also made by attorney’s letter under the manufacturer’s warranties and the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act. The Attorney General’s office scheduled a hearing date for May 10, 2017, however the parties agreed to settle the matter prior thereto for a full refund of all lease payments and to cancel the balance of the lease. Mr. Ballato was successful in getting Lexus to repurchase the vehicle (there had been a remaining balance of $81,951.21 due to the lease company), refund all monies paid by the Consumer, including dealer fees in the sum of $27,375.89 (plus sales tax to be refunded by the state) and procured Consumer an additional $9,000 in rental and legal fees.

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