Virginia Family's Dream Truck Lands Them in Federal Court: When Life Gave Them a Lemon, They Sued!
Written by: Sam Orlando
Ah, the allure of the American pickup truck. A 2022 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie crew cab 4x4 has everything a truck lover might want: towing capability, a rugged look, and for one Virginia family—according to a new federal lawsuit—a feature-rich medley of technical issues to keep you on your toes. Because who wouldn't want to pay a mere $82,351.82 for a truck with a faulty steering column and an adventurous radio?
Zachary Barrett Martin and Roger Barrett Martin of Salem, Virginia, have taken FCA US LLC, the manufacturer of their Dodge Ram, to court over claims that their "new" vehicle turned out to be a lemon. Filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, the lawsuit raises two key issues: an alleged violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, colloquially known as the "Virginia Lemon Law."
An American Tale:
You see, the Martins thought they had achieved the American dream when they took home a Dodge Ram on May 16, 2023. Except they claim this dream quickly turned into a legal tutorial featuring visits to Berglund Chrysler Jeep of Roanoke for multiple rounds of 'Let's Fix the Truck!'
Oh, the Details:
The lawsuit documents read like a mechanic's horror story. Not one, not two, but multiple attempts were made to repair a steering column that produced whimsical clicking noises, according to the complaint. Then there was the radio that whimsically suggested seeking a repair. Just for fun, the Martins also had to contend with loose wheel bearings and a check engine light so committed to its job, it illuminated multiple times.
Time Off the Road:
The real zinger? The truck has been out of service for 34 days due to repair attempts, forcing the Martins to rent vehicles. Because everyone knows that the best part of buying an $82,000 vehicle is not driving it.
Claims and Damages:
The Martins are asking for a refund of the purchase price, $20,000 for inconvenience and loss of use, as well as attorney fees and court costs. I mean, who wouldn't want some form of compensation for unintentionally buying a six-figure legal headache?
The Bigger Picture:
This lawsuit not only sheds light on the Martins' misfortune but also raises questions about consumer protections and the efficacy of warranties. And let’s not forget, there’s now a battle to see whether the Martins’ Dodge Ram was just a quirky outlier or a glaring example of quality control missing the mark.
As the Martins have opted for a jury trial, the fate of their lawsuit is uncertain. But one thing is clear: the Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie crew cab 4x4 is the gift that keeps on giving—if your definition of "gift" extends to include steering problems, check engine lights, and a grand tour of the American legal system.