A federal appeals court has ruled a San Francisco area dealership waited too long to file its lawsuit against old General Motors and then Ally Financial. The lawsuit surrounded GM and Ally illegally pressuring dealers to sell its Chevrolet and Cadillac businesses at below-market sums.
The dealer, Crown Chevrolet, had surpassed the amount of time regarding its potential claim. The statute of limitations under federal anti-racketeering law is four years. The court ruled the dealer knew about its case, and failed to begin litigation before the time limit.
Crown Chevrolet accused Old GM and Ally of forming a racketeering process in the 2000s to “strengthen GM’s position in the San Francisco East Bay area” by exercising “unmerited financial pressure on dealerships,” imposing “exorbitant curtailments” as high as $400,000 each and conducting audits, per Automotive News.
Once dealers were put under enough pressure, dealers would “strong armed” into selling to another dealer. Crown Chevrolet sold its Cadillac and Chevy business off in 2008 for a price well under market value, as it was argued in the case. The complaint was filed in 2013, but it had already surpassed the statute.
A GM spokeswoman said the company is “pleased with the court’s decision.”
An Ally spokeswoman said, “These claims were meritless to begin with, and Ally agrees with the court’s decision to dismiss the claims on statute of limitations grounds.”