Lemon Ferrari Buyer Sees Punitive Damages Cut From $5.8 Million To $500,000

Remember the Ferrari F430 owner who was awarded $5.8 million in punitive damages via a court ruling that found the dealership that sold the car guilty of business fraud?

As it turns out, the jury’s decision was too good to stand. U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes lowered the award from $5.8 million to $500,000 on Thursday, after the defendant’s lawyers argued the punitive damages were unlawful and excessive.

The judge agreed in part and reduced the punitive damages award, citing precedent and constitutional law. However, the compensatory and incidental damages ($6,835 and $13,366, respectively) were maintained. Despite the fact that he reduced the punitive damages more than tenfold, the judge issued a harsh condemnation of Silverstar Automotive, the company that sold Hamid Adeli the defective Ferrari F430.

“Making an affirmative misrepresentation about a car’s condition, especially when the condition gives rise to safety concerns, is often considered one of the more reprehensible acts of business fraud,” Holmes wrote in his ruling cited by Autonews. He argued that a substantial punitive award was still necessary because of the potential safety issues the F430’s fuel leak could have had — such as a life-threatening fire.

The buyer paid $90,000 for the F430 without physically visiting the dealership

“The fact that those dangers never materialized into physical harm does not make Silverstar’s conduct any less reprehensible. Though the actual harm here was economic, the potential for physical harm was significant,” the judge added.

While the punitive damages have been reduced significantly, the sum Virginia resident Hamid Adeli will receive is still about four times the market value of a 2007 Ferrari F430. As a reminder, Adeli bought the Ferrari from Silverstar Automotive’s Mercedes-Benz of Northwest Arkansas store in 2016, paying $90,000 for it. Interestingly, he didn’t visit the dealer, instead relying on phone calls, text messages and video chats with dealership employees.

At the time, the seller told Adeli the car had no issues, despite the fact that it was aware of a crack in the exhaust manifold. After taking delivery of the car, the buyer noticed the smell of fuel and had the car taken to a Ferrari specialist in Maryland.

The examination revealed several issues, including a leaky fuel pump, suspension problems, and the aforementioned cracked exhaust manifold. Since Silverstar refused to pay for the issues, Adeli sued the dealer for breach of warranty, fraud, and deceptive trade practices.

more photos...
  • Six_Tymes

    poor car

  • Stephen G

    Caveat Emptor. This is why we don’t buy a car without touching, driving, and having a mechanic look at it first (especially at 100K). Too many scan artists like Silverstar out there.

  • Patrick

    He should of realized because selling price was so low

  • And the poor get poorer.

  • TRB0T0Y

    Bravo to both the judge and they jury! Reducing the amount makes sense. And a most glorious result? Dealers everywhere will think twice before slapping on a ‘We checked 6,000 parts of this car!’

Land Rover Kills Plans For Discovery SVX Hardcore Off-Roader

JLR has already announced that it would reduce its model count, and the Disco SVX project was axed.

GM’s eBike Brand Named ARĪV, Launches In Europe With Two Models

The Meld and Merge eBikes offer ranges of up to 64 km (40 miles) on a single charge.

Je Design Bumps Cupra Ateca To 355 HP For The Price Of A Supermini

The pack for the Cupra Ateca includes an extra 59 HP, sporty exterior upgrades and new wheels.

France Will Invest $790 Million In Battery Industry To Reduce Reliance On China

President Emmanuel Macron is wary of trade wars and wants the French industry to become independent .

Mercedes To Expand Plug-In Hybrid Range To 10 Models By End Of This Year

Models like the A-Class, the GLC, the GLE, and more will get a PHEV powertrain option within 2019.

Vicious Texas Drainage Holes Still Claim SUVs, Trucks And Amazon Vans

These holes have been a hazard for quite some time, but local authorities haven’t gotten around to fixing them.

Should Kahn Build A Pink Lamborghini Urus Or Go For Purple?

Kahn’s founder took to social media to ask whether they should go ahead with the pink Urus project.

Woman Who Can’t Get A Deal On New Car Gets Free Scion From A Total Stranger

The woman could believe this random act of kindness.

2019 Chevy Silverado Is The First-Ever Truck To Pace Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the pack driving a bone-stock Silverado powered by a 420hp V8.

2020 Kia Soul EV Gets 243-Mile Range Rating From EPA

The 2020 Kia Soul EV beats most of its rivals, like the Nissan Leaf E+ and Chevy Bolt.