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A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit that may affect your rights.
The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit against Mitsubishi-Fuso Truck of America, Inc. (“MFTA”) alleging that it sold certain Canter trucks with defects causing emissions-related engine and after-treatment system issues, as well as transmission issues.
The Court has not decided whether to finally approve the settlement. Relief will be made available only after the Court approves the settlement and any appeals are resolved.
Plaintiffs allege MFTA distributed certain Canter trucks that experienced emissions-related engine and after-treatment system issues, as well as transmission issues. The Amended Complaint asserts fraud- and warranty-based claims, including claims for violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, F.S. §§501.201 et seq., the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. § 56:8-1, et seq., the California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §17200 et seq.; and negligent design / engineering / manufacturing under Ohio Law.
The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or MFTA. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement that they believe is a fair, reasonable, and adequate compromise of their respective positions. The parties reached this agreement only after long negotiations, many exchanges of information, and independent consideration of the risks and benefits of settlement through the assistance of an experienced Mediator.
Class Counsel have considered the substantial benefits from the settlement that will be given to the Participating Class Members and balanced these benefits with the risk that a trial could end in a verdict for MFTA. They also considered the value of the immediate benefit to Participating Class Members versus the costs and delay of litigation through trial and appeals and the risk that a class would not be certified. Even if Plaintiffs were successful in these efforts, Participating Class Members would not receive any benefits for years.
The settlement Class includes all current and former owners or lessees of model year 2012-2016 model year Mitsubishi Fuso Canter trucks.
Eligible Class Members who submit a timely and valid claim are entitled to receive a share of the net settlement fund according to the following guidelines:
1. No Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive (but not guaranteed) $250 for that vehicle.
2. 1-3 Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive (but not guaranteed) $2,000 for that vehicle.
3. 4-6 Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive (but not guaranteed) $4,000 for that vehicle.
4. 7 or more Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive (but not guaranteed) $6,000 for that vehicle.
“Instead of seeking a payment as set forth above, each eligible Settlement Class Member whose Subject Vehicle experienced at least one Qualifying Repair shall have the option, but not the obligation, to submit proof to the Settlement Administrator documenting consequential losses up to a maximum of $10,000 experienced by the Settlement Class Member as a consequence of Qualifying Repairs.”
According to the proposed settlement, such losses shall include only the following out-of-pocket expenses, to the extent not previously reimbursed:
- Cost of the Qualifying Repair itself
- Costs of towing
- Replacement truck rental
- Vehicle retrieval
- Storage for a disabled vehicle
- Travel and hotels
In the event the settlement Class Member seeks payment pursuant to this optional prove-up process, the settlement Class Member cannot seek payment under 1-4 above.
Payments to eligible claimants, whether for 1-4 above or for proving up to $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, may be adjusted pro rata (up or down) depending on the number of eligible claims filed and the total amount of the settlement fund available to pay claims.
Additionally, MFTA has agreed to a fair market value Buyback Option and Trade-in Credit for vehicles with nine or more Qualifying Repairs (regardless of who owned the vehicle when it occurred), has a mileage of at least 110,000 miles on or before the date that the preliminary approval order is entered, and has not had emissions recall C1008400 performed.
Fair market value of the cab and chassis will be determined based on the average wholesale Black Book value on the effective date of the settlement. Upfitted body components will be compensated at a flat rate of $1,500 per truck.
Alternatively, the settlement Class Member may elect to not turn in the upfitted body components and will be compensated actual costs of up to $1,500 for the costs and labor associated with the removal or transfer of such upfitted body components from the subject vehicle to a different truck. Buyback amounts and payments related to upfitted components are paid from the settlement fund.
If the buyback amount offered is accepted by the settlement Class Member, he/she can also claim a purchase credit for the purchase of a new Mitsubishi Fuso Canter truck.
The purchase credit varies, depending on the Class of vehicle purchased:
- Class 3 truck: $2,000 purchase credit
- Class 4 truck: $3,000 purchase credit
- Class 5 truck: $5,000 purchase credit
In contrast to all other consideration paid to the settlement Class Members, this purchase credit is being financed by MFTA, and is not being paid out of the settlement fund. Full details and requirements for the buyback option and trade-in credit are in Section 4 of the Settlement Agreement.
“Qualifying Repair” means a repair or replacement outside of the regular service intervals, performed on or before Oct. 26, 2016, relating to emissions-related engine and after-treatment system issues, as well as transmission issues in the affected Canter trucker. Repairs or replacements made due to a recall or service campaign are not considered a Qualifying Repair.
“Multiple repairs or replacements relating to emissions-related engine and after-treatment system issues, as well as transmission issues in the subject vehicles during a single service visit count as a single Qualifying Repair.”
Note: The Court has not decided whether to finally approve the settlement. Relief will be made available only after the Court approves the settlement and any appeals are resolved.
Proof of Purchase
Along with your Claim Form, you must attach copies of repair orders (or similar itemized invoices) and proof of payment by June 25, 2017. (Please do not send originals).
Acceptable proof of payment includes a receipt showing payment, cancelled checks, credit card statements, credit receipts, or other documents showing payment.
Claim Form Deadline
You may file a Claim for each subject vehicle you owned or leased. If you have questions about how to file your claim, contact the settlement administrator at 877-336-5241.
Q+ Food LLC, et al. v. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc., Case No. 3:14-cv-06046-DEA, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
James C. Shah
Natalie Finkelman Bennett
SHEPHERD FINKELMAN MILLER & SHAH LLP
Robert W. Murphy
MURPHY LAW FIRM
Michael D. Donovan
DONOVAN LITIGATION GROUP LLC
Marc A. Goldich
AXLER GOLDICH LLC
Alexander P. Imberg
SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS US LLP
William M. McSwain
Michael P. Daly
Jennifer B. Dempsey
DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP