March 2006

Molinaro v. General Motors Corporation, Chevrolet Division, 2006-0063/TPA (Fla. NMVAB March 22, 2006)

The Consumer testified that he purchased the vehicle for the purposes of resale. Title to the vehicle was held as “Louis Molinaro and Auto Marine Wholesale.” Section 681.102(4), Florida Statutes (2005) defines a “Consumer” as: The purchaser, other than for purposes of resale, or the lessee, of a motor vehicle primarily used for personal, family, or household purposes; any person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of the Lemon Law rights period; and any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.” The Board found that Mr. Molinaro was not a “consumer” as defined by the statute; therefore, the case was dismissed.

Forehand v. Ford Motor Company, 2005-1065/JAX (Fla. NMVAB February 28, 2006)

The Consumer purchased a Ford F-550 pick-up truck for the purpose of transporting cars. The truck had a cab and a short, flat bed with a fifth-wheel hitch for the purpose of hitching the transport trailer. According to the Consumer, the truck and trailer together were a “tool” of his occupation. During the Manufacturer’s prehearing inspection, the truck was weighed with an empty fuel tank, no occupants and without the transport trailer, to ascertain its actual weight.

According to the Manufacturer’s witness, who was present at the time, the weight was 8,520 pounds. The Consumer presented a document entitled, “2004 F-350 Super Duty Chassis Cab Base Curb Weights,” on which was indicated a Super Duty F-550, 4×4 Chassis Cab” with a wheel base of “140.8 DRW,” and a total of the front and rear weight in pounds as “6,623.” The Consumer testified that the transport trailer he used weighed approximately 7,000 pounds without cars on it.

The Manufacturer contended that the truck was not a motor vehicle as defined in 681.102(15), because its gross vehicle weight exceeded 10,000 pounds. The Board concluded that the evidence and Consumer’s consideration of the truck and trailer together as a single tool, required the truck and the unloaded transport trailer be considered together to determine the gross vehicle weight, resulting in a gross vehicle weight that exceeded the statutory limit of 10,000 pounds. Accordingly, the Consumer’s truck was not a “motor vehicle” as defined by the statute, and the claim was dismissed.

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