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Song-Beverly Act

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Agreeing with Montemayor v. Ford Motor Co. (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 958 and other recent cases refusing to follow Felisilda v. FCA US LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 486, this decision holds that a standard California car sale contract with an arbitration clause does not require the car buyer to arbitrate his warranty claims or Song Beverly Act claims against the car's… Read More

The Song-Beverly Act (Civ. Code 1790.1) renders any waiver of its provisions contrary to public policy, unenforceable and void.  This decision holds that while the antiwaiver provision does not bar all settlement agreements resolving Song-Beverly Act claims, it did invalidate the waiver of Song-Beverly Act rights in the pre-litigation settlement agreement in this case because there was no evidence that… Read More

Agreeing with Figueroa v. FCA US LLC (2022) 84 Cal.App.5th 708 (though by different reasoning), not with Niedermeier v. FCA US LLC (2020) 56 Cal.App.5th 1052, this decision holds that the manufacturer is not entitled to set off against damages otherwise due the car buyer under the Song-Beverly Act, the amount the car buyer received on trading the defective car… Read More

The economic loss rule does not bar a claim for fraudulent inducement to buy a car.  Plaintiffs here alleged that Nissan fraudulently induced them to buy a Nissan Sentra by intentionally concealing facts about its defective transmission which caused dangerous gaps in power to the wheels.  Under the reasoning of Robinson Helicopter Co. v. Dana Corp. (2004) 34 Cal.4th 979,… Read More

Disagreeing with Niedermeier v. FCA US LLC (2020) 56 Cal.App.5th 1052, this decision holds that a car manufacturer may not offset the consumer's "profits" on resale or trade-in of a lemon car against the restitution amounts otherwise recoverable by a consumer as a result of the manufacturer's violation of the Song-Beverly Act.  To allow an offset would contradict the clear… Read More

The Song-Beverly Act's replace-or-refund remedy applies only to unrepaired defects in new cars, which the Act defines to include dealer owned and demonstrator cars or other motor vehicles sold with a manufacturer’s new car warranty.  (Civ. Code 1793.22(e)(2).)  This decision holds that a car which was previously sold to another consumer is not a "new" car for these purposes even… Read More

Assuming that it is unconstitutional to award statutory penalties for the same wrongful conduct that is also a basis for a punitive damage award, this decision holds that the jury's award of punitive damages for fraud and statutory double damages under the Song-Beverly Act did not offend that rule.  The punitive damages were for misrepresentations that induced purchase of the… Read More

Under the CLRA (Civ. Code 1792(b), no "action for damages" may be brought against a defendant that offers appropriate correction within 30 days of receiving the plaintiff's notice of violation of the statute.  This decision holds that "action for damages" includes--and the subsection therefore bars--any claim for compensatory damages or for restitution under the CLRA.  The decision also holds that… Read More