CarSense settlement: $30 for class members, $280K for lawyers

By Dawn Geske | Oct 30, 2018

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PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge has approved a class action settlement that provides funds to customers of CarSense, as well as $280,000 for plaintiffs lawyers.

Plaintiffs Alison and Timothy Leary filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against McGowen Enterprises. McGowen owned the car dealership CarSense at the time the Learys purchased a vehicle that allegedly came with a warranty that required the use of a high-grade motor oil.

The Learys purchased a 2015 Volvo V60 Premier from Car Sense for $30,545.91 on June 16, 2016. The car came with a Lifetime Engine Guarantee that covered the engine from “mechanical failure or abnormal wear” for as long as the couple owned the vehicle, according to the order of Judge Berle Schiller.

The warranty required that the Learys use only premium Castrol motor oils or the warranty on the engine would become void. The price of the high-grade oil was $40 more than a standard oil change, costing the Learys more to maintain their vehicle in order to keep the warranty valid.

The Learys filed a complaint against McGowen claiming the warranty was tying and violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The suit was filed as a class action with the Learys named as the plaintiffs.

Schiller allowed the class action to move forward, allowing affected class members that bought a vehicle from CarSense from May 5, 2013 to Jan. 8, 2017 to receive a settlement award. The settlement award was ordered at $30 per class member with McGowen also removing the warranty requirement to use Castrol oil.

The Learys also sought an additional $5,000 incentive award for themselves base on the work they did in bringing the case together. Schiller agreed to the request.

In addition, the Learys sought to recover $280,000 in attorneys' fees as well as $10,000 in litigation costs, which Schiller also ordered McGowen to pay.

The plaintiffs' lawyers were Mark Johnson of Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP.

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