Client Name: Ms. Hinchen
Ms. Hinchen leased a new 2003 Ford Explorer from Fritts Ford on January 15, 2003. The gross capitalized cost of the vehicle was $45,292.52. Shortly after leasing the vehicle, she began to experience electrical problems, including an inoperable trip meter, the gas gauge registering incorrectly, illumination of a tire fault lamp, inoperable windows and an inoperable message center. She first returned to Ford’s authorized dealerships for her concerns with the electrical system in July 2003 when the vehicle had 13,416 miles on it. Despite repeated repair attempts by Ford’s dealers, Ms. Hinchen was required to return to the dealers on twelve separate occasions for these electrical problems. The case proceeded to jury trial in January 2005 in San Bernardino County. The Defendant, Ford Motor Company, contended that a non-party Ford Dealership installed the wrong instrument cluster on Ms. Hinchen’s first trip to the dealership in July 2003 which caused her continuing electrical problems. Ford further argued that the electrical problems present in the vehicle were corrected and repaired after the correct instrument cluster was put in the vehicle. The jury awarded Ms. Hinchen $15,312.10 and allowed her to keep the vehicle until the end of the lease.