Pinnacle Auto Appraisers' Blog
Keeping the auto appraising industry up to date with important auto industry and appraiser information.
There are two primary cases that address the notion of damages in the diminished value context.
The seminal case is that of Siegle vs. Progressive Consumer’s Insurance Company, 819 So.2d 732 (Florida 2002). The Siegle case, which was heard in front of the Supreme Court, stands for the proposition that although Florida does not recognize first party diminished value claims (meaning claims against ones own insurance company) Florida does recognize third party claims whereby a vehicle owner may seek recovery against an at-fault driver for their negligence in causing the loss of value.
In McHale vs. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. 409 So.2d 238 (1982), the Court determined that the correct measure of damages is the cost of repairplus any reduction in the value of the vehicle. The Court did put the burden of proving the reduction in value on the Plaintiff who is bringing the claim.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for collecting diminished value is three years and is measured from the date of accident. It is important to keep in mind that the statue of limitations is the final date at which a legal proceeding may be brought against the insurance company. What this means is that even if you are beyond the statue of limitations it still may be worth attempting to negotiate a settlement with the at fault party’s insurance company. Although your claim may fall outside of the state of limitations you have nothing to lose because the worst they can do is tell you “no”.
Keep in mind, in Florida (and virtually every other state) diminished value is only recoverable from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, not the vehicle owner’s own insurance company. Having said that, it is possible to recover diminished value from the vehicle owner’s uninsured motorist’s policy if it could be properly recovered from the at fault party had they had insurance.
Despite the insurance companies argument to the contrary, third party diminished value claims are absolutely compensable in the state of Florida. It is important to note that the Florida Supreme Court has adopted the measure of damages for diminished value in their standard jury instructions. Most lawyers will tell you that in the absence of clear case law, jury instructions are extremely helpful in determining how courts rule on various matters. The fact that insurance companies still universally deny diminution in value claims in light of this and other corroborating evidence of its existence is absolutely astounding.
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DETROIT – Electric-car maker Fisker Automotive is recalling the Karma sports sedan to fix cooling fans that can catch fire.
The recall comes after Fisker and a private fire investigation firm finished investigating an Aug. 10 fire in a Karma in Woodside, Calif.
The company said the probe found that the blaze started in front of the Karma's left front wheel where a cooling fan is located. A sealed component within the fan failed and it overheated, causing the slow-burning fire, Fisker said in a statement issued Saturday.
Fisker said the fire had nothing to do with car's lithium-ion battery or other new technology components.
"This incident resulted from a single, faulty component," Executive Chairman and co-founder Henrik Fisker said in the statement.
The recall could hurt the upstart Fisker, which has received government loan money to help develop its new technology. But the company said the fan recall is not expected to have a "material financial impact." The Karma also had to be recalled earlier this summer because coolant could leak and potentially start a fire.
Fisker dealers will contact customers, who also will get letters from the company. The Anaheim, Calif., company says cooling fans will be replaced and another fuse installed for added protection. Fisker said it is working with the company that supplied the fan.
The Karma is a $100,000 car that can go 30 to 40 miles on battery power. It has a backup gas engine if the battery is depleted. Fisker has sold just over 1,000 since last fall.
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Written by: Jason Udy
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By Noah Joseph
When the IRL and Champ Car reunited a few years ago, the fear among drivers from the latter series was that the calendar would remain dominated by oval speedways. But these days the resulting IndyCar Seriesraces on more street circuits and road courses than it does speedways, and soon we'll be able to add one more as the series has announced its return to Houston, Texas.
Dubbed the Grand Prix of Houston, the race – scheduled for the first week of October, 2013 – will be held on the concrete parking lots of Houston's Reliant Park adjacent to the Astrodome (where the Astros played baseball and the Oilers played football) and Reliant Stadium (where the Houston Texans football team currently plays) – the same location where Champ Car raced in 2006 and 2007.
Drivers at the time criticized the track's rough surface for its devastating effect on tire wear, something that race organizers – who've outlined plans to use the same 1.7-mile, 10-turn layout as the previous races – will have to try and fix for next year. The event will be promoted by veteran open-wheel race organizer Mike Lanigan and title sponsored by Shell and Pennzoil, who are undoubtedly as eager as the series organizers to tap into the fourth largest market in the United States.
AMSTERDAM – Spyker Cars NV, the tiny Dutch company that bought Swedish carmaker Saab from General Motors Co. for $74 million in 2010, said Monday it is suing GM for $3 billion in damages.
Spyker, along with its now-bankrupt former Saab subsidiary, alleges that GM unfairly blocked deals that would have seen a Chinese manufacturer take over Saab production and save it from bankruptcy. It says GM feared competing with Saab in China.
"We owe it to our stakeholders and ourselves that justice is done," said Spyker CEO Victer Muller. "We tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile until GM destroyed those efforts and deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy."
He told reporters on a conference call that the suit filed with the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan could drag on for "years."
GM could not immediately be reached for comment. Business law professor Anthony Sabino of John's University said that at first glance, Spyker's suit was a long shot.
"GM is in a very strong position: all they need to do to show they were not the cause of Saab's bankruptcy is say, 'look at the recession, look at their sales figures."
But he didn't rule out that the smaller company could win on some points and GM would eventually agree to some kind of out-of-court settlement.
"It would be way less than $3 billion, and that may be all Spyker is angling for," he said.
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