In Hardison v. Kia Motors America, Inc., — S.E.2d —-, 2013 WL 1110674 (N.C.App. 2013), the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order of attorneys’ fees in a lemon law case where the manufacturer had done the right thing once it learned of the lemon law claim.
Defendant also contends the trial court erred in awarding plaintiffs attorney’s fees because there is no evidence that defendant acted unreasonably in resolving the matter. We agree. ¶ *5 A trial court can award attorney’s fees as relief under N.C.G.S. § 20–351.8(3) if “[t]he manufacturer unreasonably failed or refused to fully resolve the matter which constitutes the basis of such action.” N.C. Gen.Stat. § 20–351.8(3)(a) (2011) (emphasis added). “The statute places an award of attorney’s fees within the discretion of the trial court. We will not second-guess a trial court’s exercise of its discretion absent evidence of abuse. An abuse of discretion occurs only when a court makes a patently arbitrary decision, manifestly unsupported by reason.” Buford v. Gen. Motors Corp., 339 N.C. 396, 406, 451 S.E.2d 293, 298 (1994). ¶ While “[w]e agree that there is a distinction between refusing to comply and failing to comply with the Act,” the latter seemingly indicating that attorney’s fees can be awarded for an unintentional failure to resolve the consumer’s issue, we conclude the evidence presents no issue of fact as to the question of whether defendant unreasonably failed to resolve the matter. Taylor v. Volvo N. Am. Corp., 339 N.C. 238, 256, 451 S.E.2d 618, 627 (1994). Beyond the fact that defendant failed to act as quickly as prescribed by statute to fully resolve plaintiffs’ concerns, the record is devoid of evidence that defendant did anything but “[act] altogether reasonably from the time it learned of plaintiffs’ complaints about their vehicle.” Buford, 339 N.C. at 406–07, 451 S.E.2d at 298. Therefore, because defendant “addressed their concerns in a prompt and honest manner,” see id. at 405, 451 S.E.2d at 298, we find that the trial court erred in awarding plaintiffs attorney’s fees and, accordingly, reverse on this issue.