While few motorists seem concerned that India’s Mahindra & Mahindra’s U.S. launch is four years behind schedule – and counting – the delay has enraged plenty of potential dealers who reportedly ponied up millions of dollars in advance fees to reserve the franchise.
A Miami-based law firm has now stepped in and has filed suit against the Indian maker in federal court alleging fraud and misrepresentation. The lawyers at Diaz Reus & Targ claim Mahindra walked away with an estimated $9.5 million cash and additional trade secrets.
“Mahindra told the dealers that its light trucks and SUVs were ready for delivery to the U.S. market,” said attorney Michael Diaz in a press release detailing the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on behalf of would-be dealers in five states including Florida. “However, Mahindra intentionally delayed certification of its vehicles after obtaining the dealership fees and trade secrets, and began pursuing other partners in the U.S. and elsewhere in clear violation of their commitments.”