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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July 30, 2012 / By Evan McCausland
Although the original 1990 Lexus LS was a radical departure from any previous Toyota product, the brand's flagship has evolved in a far less radical fashion over its 23-year lifespan. In fact, the second-generation model, which debuted in 1994, was virtually indistinguishable from previous models despite sharing only 10 percent of its content. The fourth-generation LS, which debuted in 2006, broke considerable new ground in terms of styling and technology, but has been relegated to minor nips and tucks in the years following its debut.
Perhaps it's time for a little more revolution in lieu of evolution. apparently thinks so, as the updated 2013 LS range receives a rather substantial cosmetic makeover that stretches from head to toe.
A FACELIFT IN THE NAME OF THE FAMILY
The LS has always been a little softer and rounder than other Lexus models, but no more: it finally adopts the same spindle-shaped grille used on the CT, GS, 2013 ES, RX, and LX, and subsequently receives sharper lines in the process. Projector headlamps taper angrily towards the spindle grille, whose outer edges rise up and into the edges of the hood before sweeping into the A-pillars. Thin pistol-shaped LED driving lamps in the lower fascia replace the previous LS' chunky composite fog lamps, while a strong rib down the centerline of the hood helps break up the monotony of a large piece of sheetmetal.
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It’s not exactly time for a last laugh, but the team behind the Chevrolet Volt can breathe a small sigh of relief.
Demand for the extended range electric car remained steady in July, as it maintained its position as the best-selling plug-in car in the United States this year.
Chevy sold 1,849 Volts during the month of July, up a tick from 1,760 in June. While still far short from its long-abandoned goal of selling 3,750 Volts a month, the July result is more than that of its top two rivals combined, the Toyota Prius Plug-in and all-electric Nissan Leaf.
Just 688 of the recently introduced Prius Plug-ins were sold in July while the once dominant Leaf continued its slide to 395 units, bringing its total for the year so far to 3,543. According to Nissan, however, supplies of its Japanese-made car can’t keep up with demand in the U.S., and it expects sales to pick up later this year when it begins manufacturing the Leaf in Tennessee.
Chevrolet has sold 10,666 Volts in 2012, compared to 7, 671 for all of 2011.
The $39,995 Volt can go 35 miles on battery per charge before its gasoline engine takes over, while the $32,980 Prius Plug-in has an all-electric range of about 13 miles per charge. Both cars get an EPA combined rating of 94 mpg that takes into account both electric and gasoline-powered operation.
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From our October, 2012 issue / By Joe Lorio
Cadillac has been obsessed with the German luxury carmakers at least since the Bob Lutz era (with the first CTS and the last STS), if not before (with the Catera). And by German luxury carmakers, we really mean BMW. The new ATS could be seen as just another arrow launched in the direction of the industry's most oft-sited target -- the 3-series -- but that underestimates the comprehensive nature of this effort.
You might remember that the CTS was supposed to face down the 3-series. Good as it is, however, the CTS is too big and too heavy to be a direct 3-series competitor. Instead, it's a 'tweener car, priced near the 3-series but closer in size to the 5-series. Odd as it may seem to Supersize America, where bigger is always supposed to be better, this hasn't really been an advantage. According to ATS chief engineer Dave Masch, one of the things Cadillac learned from its time spent with owners of competitive vehicles (the 3-series as well as the Audi A4, the Lexus IS, and the Mercedes-Benz C-class) was that "buyers didn't want a bigger vehicle."
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Audi's Q5 arrived in the United States in 2009, and quickly established itself as the brand's number two volume offering, second only to the A4. So far in 2012, sales continue to be strong (up 22 percent through June), but Audi is looking to keep the momentum going with some mid-cycle updates this fall, mostly concentrated in the engine room.
The big new is that Audi is bringing to the United States the hybrid powertrain that debuted in the Q5 last year in Europe. It pairs the 211-hp 2.0-liter TFSI turbo four-cylinder -- which carries over as the base engine -- with a 40 kW electric motor. Together, the combo is good for as much as 245 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Rather than a CVT for its hybrid, Audi uses the same eight-speed automatic as in the standard car, although here an electric motor replaces the torque converter. Quattro is standard.
This is the brand's first hybrid, but it doesn't drive like a first effort. The powertrain works seamlessly. You really have to listen to catch the gasoline shutting down or restarting, and the regenerative brakes are natural feeling and easy to modulate. With more power and torque on hand than with the 2.0T engine alone, acceleration is lively -- Audi predicts a 0-to-62 mph time of 7.1 seconds. Throttle response is quite good, unless you hit the button for EV mode, which dulls throttle inputs. (The car can drive very short distances -- less than 2 miles -- using battery power only.) Also, the hybrid system's battery is packaged so as not to impinge on cargo room.
Unfortunately, it's too soon to answer the two most important questions about the Q5 hybrid: and price. Regarding the former, EPA estimates are not yet available, although we can say that we got an indicated 29 mpg over a short, 25-mile test route. As to cost, Audi isn't releasing prices yet for the 2013-model Q5, but a spokesman did indicate that the gas-electric version will be billed as a "performance hybrid," and that it will sit at the top of the model hierarchy. Positioned above the 2.0T and the V-6, it will only be offered in the top-spec, Prestige trim. That suggests a starting figure north of the $50,975 Audi currently charges for the Q5 3.2 Prestige.
New V-6 Choices
The hybrid isn't the only powertrain news for 2013. There's also a new six-cylinder, as Audi's 3.0T supercharged V-6 replaces the previous, naturally aspirated 3.2-liter. The supercharged engine, seen also in the S4 and the A7 among others, is somewhat less potent here. It makes 272 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque; still, that's enough to send the Q5 from 0 to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds. As before, the V-6 is paired with an eight-speed automatic and Quattro is standard. To help with fuel economy, the V-6 will get an auto stop-start system for our market (all Q5s get it in Europe). We found that each stop and restart is plainly audible, but if the system grows annoying, you can switch it off.
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