Friday, March 31, 2006

Powershifting VS. Manufacturers: Another State Victory over Common Sense

Don't spend the money, boys:

In what is believed to be the largest damages award concerning a defective car in the history of the state's lemon law, a judge has ordered DaimlerChrysler Corp. to pay two business partners and their attorneys more than $385,000.

How did THAT happen?

On Aug. 1, 2003, according to court records, 71 miles after the 500-mile break-in period, the differential broke for the first time. It was repaired, but just 13 days later, with the odometer reading 686 miles, the differential broke again, court records say.

Over the next six months, the differential broke four more times, each time while being shifted from first to second gear at around 50 mph.

When the Viper was running like it was designed to, Mortle reached 122 mph in a quarter mile on a drag strip, he said. But after the differential broke for the sixth time, the manufacturer refused to cover any more repairs, records show.

Hmmmmmmm.....first-to-second, 'drag strip,' differential breakage, 6 times?

Mortle asked for a replacement Viper under the state's lemon law, according to the lawsuit, but the manufacturer refused, contending that he and Kiriaki abused the car.

Abuse? No problem. Wisconsin state law says that Daimler must pay!!

In a similar case, Mazda was forced to shell out beaucoup bucks because the car's owner violated the express provisions of the warranty--she was towing a trailer with the car. She claimed otherwise, of course...


Anonymous said...

Hi Dad,
How many gears does a Viper have? I don't know anything about cars...I don't even know how to put gas in one, (I have others do it for me).

Isn't a Viper supposed to be built for speed? Shouldn't the owner expect to not have the thing break when he reaches excessive speeds?

What's a differential?

Have a nice day

Dad29 said...

Yeah, you have a lot to learn.

The owner(s) were about $40K short of being "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, so they just abused the stock parts instead of paying up to get REAL racing parts.

The award defies common sense. Statistically, 5 rearends cannot ALL be defective.

The State's law is poorly written; Chrysler got screwed.

Anonymous said...

Vince is one hell of an attorney. Our law screwed Chrysler, and Vince did a helluvah job exploiting the law.

Yeah, that Mazda babe was towing a trailer in excess of 1000 lbs. on a vehicle only equipped to tow 1000 lbs. or less. She only one on her third appeal. Hmmm...