A class action, known as Q+ Food, LLC, et al. v. MFTA, No. 14-CV-6046-DEA, is pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. If you currently own or lease, or have owned or leased, a 2012-2016 model year Mitsubishi-Fuso Canter truck (the “Subject Vehicles”), you may be a Settlement Class Member and the proposed settlement that has been reached may affect your legal rights.
Plaintiffs allege MFTA distributed certain Canter trucks that experienced emissions-related engine and after-treatment system issues, as well as transmission issues. The Amended Complaint asserts fraud- and warranty-based claims, including claims for violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, F.S. §§501.201 et seq., the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. § 56:8-1, et seq., the California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §17200 et seq.; and negligent design / engineering / manufacturing under Ohio Law.
The Honorable Judge Douglas E. Arpert of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey is overseeing this class action and settlement.Top
MFTA denies all of the material allegations made by Plaintiffs and denies any wrongdoing or liability of any kind. Among other things, MFTA contends that there is no defect in the Subject Vehicles and that it has not violated any law.Top
The settlement establishes a $17.5 million Settlement Fund for the benefit of the Settlement Class. All Settlement Class Members who submit an approved claim (one deemed by the Settlement Administrator to be on time, accurate and complete) will be eligible to receive a share of the Net Settlement Fund according to the following guidelines:
Settlement Class Members whose Subject Vehicle experienced no Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive but not guaranteed $250 for that vehicle.
Settlement Class Members whose Subject Vehicle experienced 1-3 Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive but not guaranteed $2,000 for that vehicle.
Settlement Class Members whose Subject Vehicle experienced 4-6 Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive but not guaranteed $4,000 for that vehicle.
Settlement Class Members whose Subject Vehicle experienced 7 or more Qualifying Repairs during their ownership or lease are eligible to receive but not guaranteed $6,000 for that vehicle.
Instead of seeking a payment as set forth in i-iv above, each eligible Settlement Class Member whose Subject Vehicle experienced at least one (1) Qualifying Repair shall have the option, but not the obligation, to submit proof to the Settlement Administrator documenting consequential losses up to a maximum of $10,000 experienced by the Settlement Class Member as a consequence of Qualifying Repairs.
Such losses shall include only the following out-of-pocket expenses, to the extent not previously reimbursed: The cost of the Qualifying Repair itself, costs of towing, replacement truck rental, vehicle retrieval, storage for a disabled vehicle, travel and hotels.
In the event the Settlement Class Member seeks payment pursuant to this optional prove-up process, the Settlement Class Member cannot seek payment under i-iv above.
Payments to eligible claimants, whether for i-iv above or for proving up to $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, may be adjusted pro rata (up or down) depending on the number of eligible claims filed and the total amount of the Settlement Fund available to pay claims.
Buyback Option and Trade-in Credit
In addition to seeking payment above, a Settlement Class Member who currently owns or leases a Subject Vehicle, which has had 9 or more Qualifying Repairs (regardless of who owned the vehicle when it occurred), has mileage of at least 110,000 miles on or before October 26, 2016, and has not had emissions recall C1008400 performed, can request that it be bought back for fair market value. Fair market value of the cab and chassis will be determined based on the average wholesale Black Book value on the Effective Date of the Settlement. Upfitted body components will be compensated at a flat rate of $1,500 per truck. Alternatively, the Settlement Class Member may elect to not turn in the upfitted body components and will be compensated actual costs of up to $1,500 for the costs and labor associated with the removal or transfer of such upfitted body components from the Subject Vehicle to a different truck. Buyback amounts and payments related to upfitted components are paid from the Settlement Fund.
If the buyback amount offered is accepted by the Settlement Class Member, he/she can also claim a purchase credit for the purchase of a new Mitsubishi-Fuso Canter truck. The purchase credit varies, depending on the class of vehicle purchased:
Class 3 truck: $2,000 purchase credit;
Class 4 truck: $3,000 purchase credit or
Class 5 truck: $5,000 purchase credit.
In contrast to all other consideration paid to the Settlement Class Members, this purchase credit is being financed by MFTA, and is not being paid out of the Settlement Fund. Full details and requirements for the buyback option and trade-in credit are in Section 4 of the Settlement Agreement (available at the Case Documents link above).
Payments to Settlement Class Members will exhaust the Net Settlement Fund. No money will be returned to MFTA.Top
“Qualifying Repair” means a repair or replacement outside of the regular service intervals, performed on or before October 26, 2016, relating to emissions-related engine and after-treatment system issues, as well as transmission issues in the Subject Vehicles. Repairs or replacements made due to a recall or service campaign shall not be considered a Qualifying Repair. Multiple repairs or replacements relating to emissions-related engine and after-treatment system issues, as well as transmission issues in the Subject Vehicles during a single service visit count as a single Qualifying Repair.
Qualifying Repairs include all such repairs as described above, regardless whether the repair was covered by warranty or paid for out-of-pocket.
Settlement Class Members can contact the Settlement Administrator through the information below in Question 7, or via the Contact Us link above for a list of Qualifying Repairs from MFTA’s records by date for a specific Subject Vehicle. The list of Qualifying Repairs identified by the Settlement Administrator is sufficient to submit with the Claim Form since they have already been validated. Settlement Class Members are entitled to prove-up additional Qualifying Repairs beyond those identified by the Settlement Administrator, but this requires submission of itemized repair orders (or similar itemized invoices) establishing that the Qualifying Repair was performed and/or that a qualifying expense was incurred.
Please request the list of qualifying repairs for your vehicle(s) prior to submitting your claim if you require the information in order to make your compensation selection.Top
The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or MFTA. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement that they believe is a fair, reasonable, and adequate compromise of their respective positions. The parties reached this agreement only after long negotiations, many exchanges of information, and independent consideration of the risks and benefits of settlement through the assistance of an experienced Mediator.
Class Counsel have considered the substantial benefits from the settlement that will be given to the Participating Class Members and balanced these benefits with the risk that a trial could end in a verdict for MFTA. They also considered the value of the immediate benefit to Participating Class Members versus the costs and delay of litigation through trial and appeals and the risk that a class would not be certified. Even if Plaintiffs were successful in these efforts, Participating Class Members would not receive any benefits for years.Top
No. The Court has not ruled in either party’s favor and, now that the parties have proposed a settlement, the Court is instead analyzing whether a fair, reasonable, and adequate compromise is proposed.
The Court has ordered that you should get a copy of this notice so that you can review the settlement and determine whether you want to opt out, object, or file a claim.Top
The Settlement Administrator is a third party appointed by the Court to send notice to you about the settlement. In the present case, the Court has appointed KCC Class Action Services (“KCC”) to act as the Settlement Administrator. You may contact KCC about this case at the following address:
Q+ Food, LLC v. MFTA Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 43034
Providence, RI 02940-3034
In preliminarily approving the settlement, the Court defined the Settlement Class to include all current and former owners or lessees of model year 2012-2016 model year Mitsubishi-Fuso Canter trucks. Excluded from the class are
Persons who validly and timely exclude themselves from the settlement;
persons who have settled with, released, or otherwise had claims adjudicated on the merits against MFTA that are substantially similar to those alleged in this matter; wrongful death or property damage claims to property other than the Subject Vehicles;
insurers or other providers of extended service contracts or warranties, and
Judge Arpert and his family.
If you are a Settlement Class Member, and you have filed or want to file your own lawsuit and not be part of this case, read Question 11 below.Top
The Claims Filing Deadline has passed. It is too late to file a claim to receive a settlement payment.Top
If you are a Settlement Class Member as defined in Question 8 and you did not request exclusion as discussed in Question 11, you have released your claims as set out in Question 18 regardless of whether you submit a claim or not.Top
The exclusion deadline has passed. It is too late to request exclusion from the settlement. If you did not complete and timely mail a valid request to be excluded from the settlement, you have been bound by all terms and conditions of the settlement, including its release of claims.Top
The objection deadline has passed. It is too late to object to the settlement.Top
The Court has determined that James C. Shah and Natalie Finkelman Bennett of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, Michael D. Donovan of Donovan Litigation Group, LLC, Robert W. Murphy of the Murphy Law Firm and Marc Goldich of Axler Goldich LLC are qualified to represent you and the other members of the class. These lawyers are called “Class Counsel.” Their contact information is at the end of this FAQ.Top
You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel are working on your behalf. Nonetheless, you may hire your own lawyer if you wish. If you hire your own lawyer, you will be responsible for paying for that lawyer.Top
You do not have to pay Class Counsel’s fees and costs. The fees and expenses that the Court approved have been paid from the Settlement Fund.Top
The Court has awarded the class representatives a “class representative service award” in recognition of the time, effort, and risks the class representatives took to prosecute the class action, in the amount of $30,000 for Q+ Food LLC and $15,000 each for Lawrence Barton d/b/a Legend Meats, LLC, Encore Piano & Organ Moving, LLC, All American Moving and Storage Delivery, LLC, and West Lumber & Building Supply Corp.Top
You should consult a tax professional for more information about your own specific situation.Top
Upon final approval of this settlement, each Class Member released and discharged MFTA and its current and former parent companies, subsidiaries, suppliers, dealerships and related or affiliated companies, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, partners, agents, representatives, attorneys, insurers, successors and assigns, from any and all claims that were or could have been pled as part of the litigation under the facts alleged therein. Excluded from this release are any claims for personal injury or wrongful death.
For more information about the release, please refer to Section 4 of the Settlement Agreement (available at the Case Documents link above).Top
The Court granted Final Approval to the Settlement on March 27, 2017.Top
The Claims Administrator has completed the initial review of claims. Before distribution can commence, a secondary review of claims for VINs which have been claimed by multiple Class Members with overlapping claimed dates of ownership must be completed by a Special Master, who will be appointed by the Court. This review is currently underway.
It is anticipated that checks will mail before the end of the 3rd quarter of 2018. If you would like to know the status of your claim, please contact the settlement administrator. Neither MFTA nor its authorized deaderships are involved with claims administration or fund distribution.Top
This website provides a summary of the basic terms of the settlement. For the settlement’s complete terms and conditions, please consult the Settlement Agreement. You can access the Settlement Agreement and other documents in the case at the Case Documents link above.
You can also view the entire case file by visiting the clerk of the court located at 402 East State Street, Room 2020, Trenton, NJ 08608, or by contacting the Claims Administrator or Class Counsel at the addresses provided below:
Write to the Settlement Administrator at:
Q+ Food, LLC v. MFTA Settlement Administrator
P. O. Box 43034
Providence, RI 02940-3034
Call the Settlement Administrator at:
James C. Shah
475 White Horse Pike
Michael D. Donovan
1055 Westlakes Drive
Robert W. Murphy
1212 S.E. 2nd Avenue
Marc A. Goldich
1650 Market Street, Suite 3600