July 6, 2007

Auto Leasing Class Action Settlement with Wells Fargo Bank - Gutierrez v AutoWest, et al.

In an auto lease class action, the San Francisco Superior Court recently granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement that plaintiffs reached with Wells Fargo Bank. The case is entitled Gutierrez v AutoWest et al.

The Settlement Class Notice was mailed on or about June 20, 2007. A copy of the notice appears here.

This notice reflects settlement of only part of the case, involving the failure to disclose itemization of gross capitalized cost in auto leases. The remaining lawsuit, which concerns false advertising as well as deceptive lease documentation, is scheduled to go to trial on August 13, 2007, against the non-settling defendants. These include AutoWest Dodge in Freemont, California, and its parent AutoNation, Inc. with headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. After Wells Fargo settled, the San Franciso court granted plaintiffs class certification as to the non-settling defendants. There are approximately 750 members of the class.