A Florida Lemon Law board ruled this week that Volkswagen would have to pay an 86-year-old man $15,000 for his illegally polluting diesel, WPTV reported.
The man’s Volkswagen — which VW lawyers unsuccessfully argued wasn’t a lemon because it still ran and drove — could prompt others to file similar lemon law claims against the automaker, but may fall short of sparking a grassroots buy-back campaign in other states.
“A Florida Court order isn’t binding on any other state but can be ‘persuasive authority,’” Colorado Lemon Law attorney Rick Wynkoop said. Florida’s Lemon Law process is pretty unique because it requires an arbiter’s ruling first, but can be appealed in court.
“An arbiter’s order has next-to-zero weight. I’m not joking when I tell you that arbiters are not required to follow the law,” Wynkoop added.
Wynkoop said that he hadn’t yet read the Florida order, but that it would be tough to unilaterally apply the ruling to other cases. Even in Florida, a different board turned down another owner’s request to have Volkswagen buy back a car, according to WPTV.
So, the Florida board’s ruling may not have much weight beyond its four walls, but at least progress is progress. Right?
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