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Volkswagen Touareg

New car needed 11 repairs in first two years, owner claimed

Settlement:   $45,735.26
Case Type:   Lemon Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution - Arbitration
Case:   Christopher Muller v. Volkswagen of America
Venue:   Office of the Attorney General, NY
Judge:   Gerald Love
Date:   Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Plaintiff Attorney(s):   Anthony T. Ballato; Anthony T. Ballato, Esq.; Massapequa, NY, for Christopher Muller
Defendant Attorney(s):   None reported ; null, null, for Volkswagen of America
Facts:   In December 2003, claimant Christopher Muller purchased a new 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8 automobile. Muller claimed that the vehicle almost immediately exhibited defects that included seat problems, compass and navigation faults, and dangerous steering faults. Muller claimed that he brought the vehicle to be repaired on four different occasions. He contended that upon retrieving the vehicle from the repair shop, it broke down and had to be towed to a second repair shop. He contended that, during the first two years of its life, the vehicle underwent 11 separate adjustments and/or repair attempts. He claimed that, as a result of that work, the vehicle accumulated more than 30 days of repair-shop time. He attempted to return the vehicle, but the manufacturer would not comply. Muller initiated a proceeding against the vehicle's manufacturer, Volkswagen of America. He alleged that the dealership violated the general business law. The matter proceeded to an arbitration hearing. Muller's counsel claimed that the vehicle's poor condition permitted recovery via application of General Business Law article 11-A, § 198-a, which is commonly known as the Lemon Law. The law 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 repair-shop time.
Injury:   Muller sought recovery of $48,315, which represented the vehicle's purchase price. He also sought recovery of the arbitration's costs, which included the $250 filing fee, and $105 for costs that comprised the vehicle's registration, title, document and inspection fees. His counsel presented repair orders that were authorized by the manufacturer's dealers. He also presented evidence of admissions made by the same dealers.
Verdict:   Arbitrator Gerald Love rendered a claimant's decision. Muller was awarded $45,735.26, which represented the vehicle's purchase price, less taxes and mileage charges, plus the arbitration fee. Christopher Muller $48,315 Commercial : vehicle's purchase price $105 Commercial: registration, title, document and inspection fees $250 Commercial: arbitration fees

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