BAKERSFIELD – On May 28, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California announced that a man’s claims concerning the alleged defects in a 2012 Dodge Durango are going to trial this summer.
The jury trial is scheduled for Monday, July 15 at 8:30 a.m. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston will oversee the case at the Bakersfield Federal Courthouse and is the trial planned to last three to four days.
The ruling states Larry Celestine purchased the vehicle in April 2012 and that it had serious defects and nonconformities to warranty. He alleged the vehicle was sold with a defective Totally Integrated Power Module.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
He alleged FCA US LLC is the one responsible for the alleged defects and accuses FCA of violating the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and fraudulent inducement under the state law.
Some of the agreed upon notions include that Celestine’s Durango was protected under the Basic Limited Warranty, which covers all areas of the vehicle as it relates to defects for three years or 36,000 miles, and the Powertrain Limited Warranty, which specifically protected the transmission, drivetrain and engine for five years or 100,000 miles.
The disputed facts between the parties is whether FCA or its authorized repair facilities were allotted a reasonable number of opportunities to fix the issue under the warranties, if the qualified alternative dispute resolution program meets the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations for informal dispute procedures, and whether FCA US was aware the Totally Integrated Power Module was allegedly defective before the sale of the vehicle.
Celestine also objected to aspects such as testimony from FCA’s witness that isn’t founded on personal knowledge, and to any testimony or evidence that could come up as FCA tries to go after charge-off or reduction in damages for money acquired when Celestine traded in the vehicle.
Celestine asked the court for his money back for the cost of the vehicle as well as incidental and consequential damages. He also wants a civil penalty for double the damages, at most, as well as punitive damages.
An exhibit conference was mandated on or prior to June 7.