Porsche Cars North America Inc. has prevailed in a lemon-law dispute in which a Florida consumer decided to settle the case for the legal fees he owed.
Christopher Mason bought a 1991 Porsche Carrera II in 1990 and returned the car to the dealership five times complaining of transmission shudder and rear-end shimmy problems. He filed a lemon-law claim, alleging that the car's Tiptronic transmission was defective.
In 1992, the three-member Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board ordered Porsche to refund Mason $33,192 - the cost of the financed car minus Mason's usage.
Porsche appealed to the 9th Judicial Circuit Court, claiming the board lacked the expertise to decide the car was defective.
Tampa, Fla., attorney Scott Borders filed a counterclaim on behalf of Mason that the car was a lemon and that Porsche had breached its limited warranty and violated the Mag-nuson-Moss Warranty Act.
In the first trial, the judge ruled that there was not enough evidence for the case to go to trial, Borders said.
The case was tried again, and last November a jury decided the Carrera II did not have a defect or condition in the transmission that substantially impaired the use or value of the vehicle. The jury also decided the manufacturer did not breach the limited warranty as charged. The verdicts made it possible for Porsche to recover legal fees.
Mason appealed, but shortly thereafter paid Porsche $18,258 to settle the case.