Latest news

« »

Friday, 9 September 2011

US dealer awarded damages for negative publicity

Not something we are likely to see here. The story is in Automotive News and involves a Suzuki dealer in Missouri. The manufacturer was ordered to pay $18.5 million, not a trifling sum by any standards. The case arose from a "no payments for life" promotion run by a neighbouring Suzuki dealer (both in Kansas City), which, perhaps on the well-known principle that if something looks too good to be true it probably is, collapsed. Unfortunately, the dealerships belonged to brothers so the family name featured in both, and the fallout from the one stuck to the other.

So why should the manufacturer be liable? Because it had approved and funded some of the ads through co-op programmes. Mind, this is one of those jury awards that you get in the States - an English judge, even if liability were shown, might make a much more modest award. And of course jury verdicts can be challenged - as the AN report says,
American Suzuki spokesman Jeff Holland said the company is "disappointed" by the verdict and intends to appeal.
"Disappointed" might be in the running for an award for understatement of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment