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Kimberly Adams v. American Suzuki Motor Corporation

April 7, 2011

KIMBERLY ADAMS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
AMERICAN SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Docket No. L-1305-09.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued January 25, 2011

Before Judges Carchman, Graves, and Waugh.

Plaintiff Kimberly Adams appeals the dismissal on summary judgment of her complaint against defendant American Suzuki Motor Company (Suzuki). We affirm.

I.

We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.

Adams purchased a 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara from the Matt Blatt Atlantic City dealership on January 16, 2007. As part of the purchase, she was issued a three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty. The warranty provided that Suzuki would repair or replace parts defective in material or workmanship at no cost to the customer.

Adams alleges the vehicle underwent multiple repairs after she detected leaking oil, and that the vehicle was recalled twice for safety reasons.

On May 14, 2007, Adams brought the car to the dealership for an oil change at 4,121 miles. She reported no complaints. She brought the car in for another oil change and a tire rotation on August 11, at 7,747 miles. She reported that the subwoofer produced "hums and cracks." The dealer replaced the subwoofer under the Suzuki warranty.

On October 27, at 10,517 miles, Adams brought the vehicle in for another oil change and repair of a front tire damaged by a nail. She reported that the "engine makes a ticking sound," however, the dealer was unable to duplicate the sound, so no repairs were performed. She did not complain about the sound again.

On March 12, 2008, at 13,274 miles, Adams returned for an oil change and tire rotation. No problems were reported. On June 20, at 17,792 miles, Adams received another oil change. On that visit, she reported that the rear wiper was not dispensing fluid. The dealer reconnected a hose that had become detached. Adams also reported that the front door window button fell in its hole. The dealer reset the button. It appears Adams was charged $1.79 for "shop supplies" related to the repair of the front door window button.

On November 15, when the car had reached 22,670 miles, Adams returned to the dealership for another oil change and tire rotation. She reported no problems. On December 3, with 23,384 miles, Adams reported that the car was emitting a burning smell and the check engine light was on. There was also a nail in the rear passenger-side tire. The dealer turned the engine light off and replaced the purge valve, which was not functioning properly. It also replaced the rear main seal, which was leaking oil, and replaced the rear tire. Because these repairs were under warranty, Adams was charged only $1.79 for miscellaneous "shop supplies."

On January 10, 2009, at 25,515 miles, Adams again reported a burning odor. She also reported that her right headlamp was not operational and that the right front door speaker was distorted. The dealership was unable to duplicate the odor, but found that the cabin air filter was in need of replacement. It also replaced the right headlamp and the engine air filter. The dealer special ordered the part to repair the speaker. Adams was charged a total of $63.41 for the cabin and engine air filter replacement parts, and $27.83 in labor costs.

Adams returned on February 7, at 26,149 miles, for a tire rotation, oil change, and installation of the replacement speaker. She again reported a burning odor. The mechanic noted that oil was seeping and scheduled a second repair date. On February 19, Adams returned for repair of the oil leak. The dealer determined that the cause was a leaking pinion seal, which was replaced at no cost to Adams. She was loaned a vehicle while the repairs were being completed.

Adams filed a complaint against Suzuki on April 3, alleging violations of the New Jersey Lemon Law, N.J.S.A. 56:12-29 to -49; Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code, N.J.S.A. 12A:2-101 to -725 (UCC); and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement ...


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