Trumbull man takes lemon law case to high court
COLUMBUS — Ohio’s lemon laws apply only to new cars, representatives of Volkswagen of America Inc. argued Wednesday before the Ohio Supreme Court.
Atty. Robert Kehoe, who represented Volkswagen, told the high court the Volkswagen Beetle purchased by Trumbull County resident David Curl was first bought new by Stadium Lincoln-Mercury in Youngstown.
Curl bought the car from Stadium in June 2002, and about two months later, it began smoking and showed need for repairs.
Reportedly, the car had been used by Stadium as a loaner for customers having repairs done on their cars for 11 months before it was sold to Curl. It had more than 10,435 miles on it at the time of sale to Curl.
During Stadium’s possession of the car, a recall was announced on the car’s electrical system, but the dealership reportedly never performed the repairs.
The car was eventually repaired by Stadium, but Curl decided he just wants his money back.
According to Atty. Mitchel Luxenburg, who represented Curl before the high court, Curl had no case against the dealership and the issue was brought to Volkswagen of America Inc.
Volkswagen reportedly refused to buy the car back from Curl and the matter went to court.
Luxenburg argued before the high court that the troubled car fell within Ohio’s lemon laws and the high court would be reaffirming past decisions if it sided with his client.
Kehoe argued that the lemon laws do not apply in the case because the car was used by Stadium before Curl bought it. He said Volkswagen should not be held responsible for a car after it was bought and then resold.
Luxenburg pointed out that both the trial and appellate courts found in Curl’s favor.
The 11th District Court of Appeals in Warren upheld a common pleas trial court’s ruling: Volkswagen was ordered to take back the Beetle, give Curl a refund for all money he had paid toward the purchase price and to pay off any loan Curl had used to finance the remainder of the purchase.
Volkswagen appealed that appellate court ruling to the state’s top court.
The justices did not say when they would issue their ruling in the case.