I bought a brand new International Terrastar flatbed tow truck from a truck dealer in November 2012. Since that time, the truck was brought back to the dealer for steering problems. In the past 2 years the truck remained at the dealer for weeks at a time. All together, the truck was down for more than 100 days. The issue was never fixed. I spent nearly $2,000 out of pocket to repair tires and have an alignment. I have lost close to $25,000 in revenue because I could not use the truck while it was at the dealer. This truck was and still is under warranty. I have proof of lost revenue. The dealer and manufacture has denied my request for compensation due to down time.
You have possible recourse under both State and federal laws. The Maryland Lemon Law covers vehicles that have a significant defects that can't be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts. or a serious steering problem which can't be fixed after the first try. The defect must arise in the first two years of ownership or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. TheLemon Law also covers vehicles that have been out of service 30 or more days within the first 24 months. On the federal level, there is a statute governing breaches of warranty.
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It's a tough claim to make, for the lost revenue damages. generally, you can only get contract damages covering cost of repairs; however, if the contract was made in knowing contemplation of a particular use it can sometimes be argued that the damages for loss of use were a foreseeable loss at the time of contract. My guess, though, is you would be required to mitigate your losses during the down times, by leasing another truck or subcontracting the job out to another truck driver/company, and then suing for the difference you would have made had you been able to just use your truck. BTW, is the $25,000 net lost profit, or total revenues without deduction of the expenses needed to earn that amount (fuel, tolls, driver fees, other expenditures)? You can only claim actual lost profit, not the full dollar amount of what you would have charged without deduction of the costs involved to earn those revenues. Suing for this amount may be a long shot and not worth incurring the attorney's fees--which you can't claim as part of your damage claim. If they cannot fix the vehicle, you may be able to force them to give you a new one as a replacement, but they will fight that. Have you tried contacting the manufacturer and complaining about the dealership's response to your issues with their truck? That can sometimes get a better response.
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