Suzuki Settles Lawsuit with Jeremy Franklin

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Japanese carmaker’s U.S. operation pays for dealership’s reputation damage

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"Suzuki betrayed my own and our staff’s commitment to provide excellence to Kansas City car buyers,” Franklin said. “The jury verdict and subsequent financial settlement vindicated that."

American Suzuki Motor Corp. has paid an undisclosed sum to settle a lawsuit filed by Jeremy Franklin three years ago for reputation damage suffered by the Kansas City auto dealer’s business, Franklin said today.

“This settlement helps me and our employees continue our passion for customer satisfaction by compensating us for the damage our business suffered when Suzuki supported misleading vehicle advertising in Kansas City,” Franklin said.

Franklin said his dealership is now known as Jeremy Franklin Pre-Owned Superstore. The business also is a Meineke Car Care Center and continues to offer a full range of vehicle sales, maintenance and repair services for individuals and corporate fleets.

“We are committed to serving buyers who want high-quality, pre-owned vehicles that deliver a great ride on the most desirable purchase terms,” Franklin said. “With our respectful and courteous sales staff, our industry-leading vehicle finance department and an expert, trained service crew, we remain dedicated to working hard every day to be Kansas City’s best car dealership.”

Franklin sued Suzuki in 2010 after Suzuki had supported a fraudulent advertising campaign of a competing dealership. According to the lawsuit, consumers and attorneys general in Kansas and Missouri filed complaints and lawsuits against the other dealership, creating widespread negative publicity and causing consumer confusion that severely damaged Jeremy Franklin’s business. A Jackson County jury agreed in 2011 and ordered American Suzuki to pay $18 million to Jeremy Franklin Suzuki.

American Suzuki agreed to settle the lawsuit on Feb. 18 on terms that were not disclosed. American Suzuki filed for financial reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last year and announced it was abandoning the U.S. motor vehicle market.

“Suzuki betrayed my own and our staff’s commitment to provide excellence to Kansas City car buyers,” Franklin said. “The jury verdict and subsequent financial settlement vindicated that betrayal. We’re grateful to turn the page and move ahead.”

Located on 87th Street near I-435 in south Kansas City, Jeremy Franklin Pre-Owned Superstore is a late-model vehicle dealer dedicated to customer satisfaction and a complete automotive experience at competitive prices. The dealership also is a Meineke Car Care Center, a franchised operation offering a full range of personal and corporate fleet vehicle maintenance and repair services for all American and foreign vehicles.

Jackson County, Mo., Circuit Court
Division 7
Case No. 0916-CV34354

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Michael Grimaldi
Jeremy Franklin Suzuki
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