Medrazo's attorneys presented evidence that there was no hangtag on the bike in the showroom; that more than $2,000 in dealer charges were added to the purchase price of the bike; the dealership also did not put hangtags on the Suzuki and Yamaha vehicles because those OEMs did not provide tags; the dealership failed to ensure the tags that Honda provided were attached to Honda motorcycles, or failed to complete information on tags that were attached; and that in the four years before Medrazo’s lawsuit, the dealership had sold more than 3,000 motorcycles.
Medrazo claimed that the salesman did not disclose $2,284 in dealer charges that would be added to the $8,700 price of the motorcycle until he produced the sales contract.
Honda North Hollywood sales manager David Denman testified that, from 2002 until the lawsuit was filed, hangtags would only be placed on Suzuki or Yamaha motorcycles if they were on a special sale price -- for example, selling for less than MSRP.
Denman also confirmed that while Suzuki and Yamaha did not provide hangtags for their bikes, Honda did. He said a lot porter at the dealership was supposed to put the tags on the motorcycles and salesmen were supposed to write in the dealer charges, but at the time the dealership had no specific procedure to ensure completion of those tasks. Sales reps were instructed to tell the customer only the MSRP prior to negotiating terms of the sale.
It also emerged at trial that Honda North Hollywood still had the hangtag with the VIN corresponding to the motorcycle bought by Medrazo. The tag showed the MSRP but not the list of dealer charges.
Denman testified that after the lawsuit was filed, the dealership instituted procedures to make sure all units in the showroom had hangtags and that they were laminated to keep them from being destroyed or blown off vehicles. Since that time, the dealership has designated a salesperson to ensure tags are affixed and properly filled out.
What’s the harm? Trial judge Shook found that Medrazo failed to show that she or any other class members had suffered any harm due to the absent tags, since the charges were disclosed on a worksheet when sales were negotiated. He also found that Medrazo failed to establish how much restitution each class member would be entitled to receive. But on appeal, the three-judge appellate panel ruled Medrazo did establish economic injury and that the trial judge’s decision on the amount owed was premature, because the dealership never turned over documents showing dealer charges made to the class members when they bought their vehicles. The dealership held the list from the court, citing customer privacy.