"OBNOXIOUS ODOR" A Lemon Makes
A jury, in Orange County, California, has determined that a "smelly" 2001 Bentley Arnage is a "lemon" under California's consumer protection statutes. The verdict, which was delivered on Tuesday, October 10, 2006, obligates Bentley to repurchase the car for over $210,000 and to pay additional damages of $100,000 for breach of warranty. Bentley will also be required to reimburse the plaintiff for his attorney's fees and costs.
Bentley's internal documents showed that every Arnage, from 1999 to 2002, had an "obnoxious odor" problem. The problem resulted from a "wax oil" substance which was applied to the cars as a rust inhibitor. The jury was instructed, by the Judge, that Bentley knew of the odor problem but failed to disclose that problem to the plaintiff when he purchased the car.
Bentley had even created a factory kit which was intended to minimize the obnoxious odor, but it was only installed on Bentley automobiles when the customer made repeated complaints. And even that kit was eventually withdrawn because it was ineffective, according to Colin Ham, a former field representative for Bentley, who testified at the trial.
An interesting factor was Bentley's continuing refusal, even at the time of trial, to produce documents regarding the odor problem. Both the trial judge, and a retired Justice of the California Court of Appeals to whom certain procedural matters had been referred, determined that Bentley had repeatedly failed to comply with specific court orders requiring the production of relevant evidence.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Steven Brower, Attorney Phone: (714) 549-5150 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Steven Brower Attorney at Law Stephan, Oringher, Richman, Theodora & Miller, P.C. 535 Anton Boulevard., Ninth Floor Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1902 Direct: 714.549.5150 Main: 714.549.6200