Appeal from the Judgment entered January 27, 1997 In the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Civil Division, No. 89-2139. Before BIESTER, J.
Before: Beck, J., Popovich, J. And Montemuro, J. Opinion BY Montemuro, J.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Montemuro
Appellants, Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) and McCafferty Hyundai Sales, Inc. (McCafferty) appeal from the judgment entered in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas following the denial of their post-trial motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and/or a new trial. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm. The facts giving rise to the underlying action are as follows. On June 1, 1988, Appellees, Steven and DeLee Johnson, bought a 1988 Hyundai GLS sedan from McCafferty, an authorized Hyundai dealer and repair facility. The car was manufactured by Hyundai and was equipped with an anti-theft device installed by McCafferty. At the time of the purchase, Appellees were given a handbook that contained various warranty and consumer information including the following:
Keeping with its "can do" attitude, Hyundai is focusing its abilities and resources towards maintaining a strong sales, parts and service network throughout the U.S., with special emphasis placed on satisfying the needs of their customers. Hyundai realizes that success in the American marketplace can only be achieved by an unswerving commitment to customer satisfaction. Consistent with this understanding Hyundai is endeavoring to insure its products receive the best public acceptance of any product in automotive history.
Your satisfaction is our concern. Hyundai is a customer oriented company, dedicated to having the best customer acceptance of any product with quality design and workmanship. Hyundai dealerships are in the best position to assist you in sales, service or part needs.
(Trial Ct. Op. at 1-2) (emphasis added).
When Appellees purchased their vehicle, they obtained a warranty from Hyundai for twelve months or 12,500 miles. In addition to the manufacturer's warranty, they also separately purchased a warranty from McCafferty for five years or 50,000 miles.
Shortly after purchasing their new Hyundai, Appellees began to experience serious difficulty with its performance. The ensuing difficulties are aptly summarized by the trial court as follows:
[Approximately one month after the purchase of the Hyundai,] on July 10, 1988, the car would not start when the key was placed in the ignition. The car was towed to McCafferty. The mileage on the car at that time was 2,497 miles. McCafferty advised plaintiffs that it had fixed the car, replaced the anti-theft device, and issued a work order indicating the work done on the car. The repair order indicated that a fuse had been replaced.
Five days later, on July 15, 1988, [Appellees] experienced the no start condition again. Once again, the car was towed to McCafferty, and McCafferty purportedly fixed the car. This time, McCafferty did not provide a repair receipt, despite the fact that [Appellees] specifically asked for one. Also at this time, the anti-theft device was removed from the car.
Seven days later, on July 22, 1988, [Appellees] experienced the no start condition for the third time. At this point, the car had been driven 2,582 miles. Again the car was towed to McCafferty. McCafferty purportedly repaired the car and issued a repair order. The repair order indicated a fuse had been replaced.
Finally, on August 13, 1988, [Appellees] experienced the no start condition for the fourth time. Now, the vehicle had 2,896 miles on it. The service order again indicated that fuses had been replaced. Moreover, the service records indicate that the time spent attempting to repair the car on the third and ...