San Diego Court Grants Preliminary Approval to Class Action Settlement
On September 30, 2011, the San Diego County Superior Court granted preliminary approval to the class action settlement in Kinney v. Vince Dixon Ford, Inc., et al. (San Diego County Superior Court Case No. 37-2010-00059153). In the class-action lawsuit, the lead plaintiff alleges that the defendant, Vince Dixon Ford, Inc. (which does business under the name Ken Grody Ford Carlsbad), has a practice of inserting charges for option items into vehicle lease contracts without itemizing them for the consumer lessees. The lawsuit’s complaint asserts that this practice amounts to unlawful payment packing.
The Court granted preliminary approval to a proposed class that includes all persons who: (1) leased vehicles from Ken Grody Ford Carlsbad for personal use; (2) were charged for one or more optional Items (e.g., GAP Insurance, service contracts, extended warranties, surface protection products, theft deterrent devices, etc.) ; (3) signed lease contracts that do not separately itemize the amount charged for each optional item; and (4) have lease contracts that are either ongoing or were terminated no earlier than September 7, 2009.
Under the proposed settlement, no party will admit liability, but Ken Grody Ford Carlsbad will pay each class member $200.
The Court appointed Michael Vachon, LL.M. of the Vachon Law Firm as class counsel. And Kurtzman Carson Consultants, 75 Rowland Way, Suite 250, Novato, California 94945 (Tel. 415.798.5900) was appointed as the settlement administrator.