Falco v. Hyundai Motor America
MISCELLANEOUS PROCEDURAL ISSUES
During the hearing, the Manufacturer sought to assert the following statutory affirmative defense not timely raised in its Manufacturer’s Answer or any Amended Answer: the alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, value or safety of the motor vehicle. Paragraph (8), Hearings Before the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board, requires that any affirmative defenses not raised in the Manufacturer’s Answer or in an amended Answer and filed within the prescribed time periods may not be raised at the hearing, except as otherwise provided in the rules or as permitted by the Board. The Manufacturer’s Answer must be filed with the Board Administrator no later than 20 days after receipt of the Notice of Arbitration. In this case, the Manufacturer’s Answer was filed 30 days after receipt of the Notice of Arbitration. The Manufacturer’s representative stated that he had recently been appointed to this case and had no explanation regarding the late filing of the Answer. The Consumer objected to the Manufacturer’s request. Upon consideration by the Board, the Manufacturer was not permitted to raise the untimely asserted affirmative defenses at the hearing.
2012-0063/STP (Fla. NMVAB May 9, 2012)