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Sunday, September 15, 2013

GENE FEDOR VS. NISSAN OF NORTH AMERICA, INC./ JINGESH GHANDI VS. NISSAN OF NORTH AMERICA, INC. A-6034-11T3/ A-0116-12T1


GENE FEDOR VS. NISSAN OF NORTH AMERICA, INC./ 
JINGESH GHANDI VS. NISSAN OF NORTH AMERICA, INC. 
A-6034-11T3/ A-0116-12T1(CONSOLIDATED) 
We determine whether plaintiff-consumers, who were granted a repurchase of their respective vehicles through defendant- manufacturer's informal dispute settlement mechanism, Auto Line, specifically established pursuant to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty - Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act (MMA), 15 U.S.C.A. §§ 2301 to 2312, retain the right to file a separate action solely to recover attorney's fees under the MMA or the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Warranty Act (Lemon Law), N.J.S.A. 56:12-29 to -49, notwithstanding that Auto Line's procedures expressly excluded attorney fee awards. 
We conclude a warrantor's informal dispute resolution mechanism adopted under the MMA is not required to include a fee-shifting component for successful consumers, and may properly exclude an award of attorney's fees. Further, we discern no support for the suggestion a consumer who successfully elects relief through a manufacturer's informal dispute resolution mechanism created pursuant to the MMA has a right to attorney's fees under the Lemon Law. 08-23-13