British car firm Land Rover has been forced to pay an undisclosed sum and is facing a possible recall crisis after losing a seven-year legal battle with a Turkish businessman.
According to local media, Turkish businessman and lawyer Engin Yakut’s new 170,000-EUR (146,400-GBP) Range Rover Vogue broke down while travelling on the motorway at speeds of over 80kph (50mph) with only 450 kilometres (280 miles) on the odometer.
He reportedly noticed a burning smell and saw sparks coming from the engine which then began to leak oil.
Yakut claimed that he narrowly avoided an accident, and he sent the car to be checked by the dealership.
A subsequent report said that the “engine is dead, transmission screws are not tightened due to a breakdown and failure in the production”.
The report concluded that the transmission problem was a production defect and Yakut sent an international notice to Jaguar Land Rover three times demanding that they replace the car, according to local media.
When the British company reportedly failed to reply, the businessman and lawyer appealed to the Istanbul First Consumer Court for the withdrawal of all Range Rover Vogue vehicles from the market.
After the court accepted the lawsuit, another disgruntled Range Rover owner contacted Yakut and his lawyer Candas Gurol about filing the same lawsuit because his two vehicles had reportedly experienced the same fault.
The Turkish court then sent a panel of experts to examine the three cars and they were all deemed to have production failures, and the court concluded that the manufacturer should replace the vehicles with new ones.
Although Jaguar Land Rover reportedly claimed that the Turkish court had no jurisdiction over the company, the court decided to continue the trial in absentia.
According to the 36th Article of Private International and Procedural Law, the Turkish verdict must be acknowledged by the British courts, local media reports.
Yakut has also reportedly appealed to the European Parliament and the European Commission to ask for the withdrawal of all Range Rover Vogue models from the European market.
Lawyer Candas Gurol said that the Range Rover models will be withdrawn from countries signed up to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 if they win their European lawsuit.
It is unclear when a decision will be made with the European courts.
Jaguar Land Rover have reportedly shut down production for a week in a move affecting thousands at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and Halewood on Merseyside, after announcing they were cutting 4,500 jobs in January.