In April 2013, the Vachon Law Firm filed a Complaint in the Los Angeles County Superior Court initiating a lawsuit against Kolbe Honda, the prominent Reseda, California Honda dealership, and Honda Financial Services. The lawsuit alleged a violation of California’s vehicle financing laws. The case is titled Nalbandian v. Kolbe Honda, et al. (L.A. County Case No. 13E02227).
The parties to the lawsuit settled the matter (shortly after its filing) in June 2013.
Allegations Against Kolbe Honda and Honda Financial Services
The Complaint in the Nalbandian v. Kolbe Honda lawsuit alleges that the Plaintiff, a Granada Hills, California consumer, visited Kolbe Honda at its San Fernando Valley location in August 2011. As set forth below, the date of the visit and the Plaintiff’s automobile purchase is a critically-important factor in this lawsuit.
According to the Complaint, while at Kolbe Honda the Plaintiff looked at and eventually purchased a used 2008 Honda Accord. The Complaint goes on to allege that when Kolbe Honda prepared the purchase contract for the Honda Accord’s sale it failed to “accurately state the true amount paid to public officials for vehicle license fees” and that the purchase contrite also “did not accurately state the true amount of registration, transfer, and titling fees.”
Based on these alleged facts, the Complaint asserted a single cause of action for violation of California’s Automobile Sales Finance Act. The Complaint also alleged that Honda Financial Services was liable for Kolbe Honda’s conduct because it was the assignee of the Honda Accord’s purchase contract.
Click below to read the Complaint in the Nalbandian v. Kolbe Honda lawsuit.
The lawsuit was settled by the parties in June 2013 pursuant to a mutually-acceptable settlement agreement in which no party made any admissions about the truth of the allegations in the Complaint. Accordingly, the L.A. County Superior Court never determined whether the Complaint’s allegations are true or whether Kolbe Honda did anything illegal.
Claims in Lawsuit Only Valid for Automobiles Purchased Before January 1, 2012
As stated above, the date on which the Plaintiff purchased his Honda Accord from Kolbe Honda was critical to his ability to assert the claims in this lawsuit. California’s Automobile Sales Finance Act has always required that car dealers disclose and itemize the amounts paid to public officials for vehicle license fees, registration, transfer, and titling fees, and the California tire fee. Moreover, prior to 2012 the statute mandated that a dealership’s failure to do so rendered the contract voidable by a consumer purchaser. As simple as this requirement is, prior to 2012 many car dealers had a practice of illegally lumping all of these amounts into a single disclosure.
The pictures below are examples of the correct and incorrect way to disclose amounts paid to public officials in automobile purchase contracts.
The Automobile Sales Finance Act was recently amended to state that for vehicles purchased after January 1, 2012 a failure to properly disclose these amounts is not a basis for rescinding the contract; however, for automobiles bought prior to 2012 consumers may still seek rescission on this basis.
Want to Talk to a Lemon Law Attorney About Kolbe Honda?
If you bought or leased an automobile and want to talk to a lemon law attorney about your vehicle, the Vachon Law Firm offers free consolations in California lemon law, car dealer fraud, and illegal repossession cases. Call us today at 1-855-4-LEMON-LAW (1-855-453-6665), or you can email us your Kolbe Honda questions.
We’re here to help.