DEALER FOUND LIABLE
The Texas Court of Appeals has upheld a Dallas dealership's liability for unfair trade practice violations in its sale and inadequate servicing of a used car. By a 3-0 vote, the court affirmed a jury verdict that Ronald Durham won from R.O. Evans Pontiac-GMC Inc. When Durham bought his 1989 Grand Am in 1992, he was promised that problems with engine noises and the check-engine light would be remedied, but they were not, according to the court. As a result, he spent more than $2,200 on repairs elsewhere. The appeals court found enough evidence to hold Evans Pontiac liable under the state deceptive trade practices law and for negligence despite an 'as is' provision in the sales contract.
HIGH MILEAGE NO DEFENSE
High mileage is no defense to a lemon law claim in Ohio, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. As a result, it reinstated a judgment against Ford Motor Co., which had refused to replace a troublesome 1993 Explorer with 120,000 miles. The law does not allow the manufacturer to offset high mileage or to use high mileage as a defense to a lemon claim, the panel said. The only mileage limitation requires the consumer to notify the manufacturer of a nonconformity within one year or 18,000 miles, which Kevin Kapel had done. Kapel first brought his Explorer back to Clark Ford in Hudson, Ohio, within a few weeks of purchase, returned it three more times in the next five months for repairs, and then unsuccessfully tried the Dispute Settlement Board before suing. His lawyer, Michael Warrell of Lakewood, said Kapel is entitled to a substitute vehicle plus attorney fees. Ford is studying whether to ask the Ohio Supreme Court to review the case.