Veyron Customer Sues Bugatti for Non-Delivery

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Barry Zekelman is not short of a bob or two. reports that the Windsor industrialist recently sold his steel tube-making business to Russia’s OAO Novolipetsk Steel for a cool $1.5b billion. Baz worked hard for the money; he helped build-up the family biz from its $2 million dollar roots. So it’s no surprise, really, that Zekelman isn’t a patient man when it comes to plunking down $1,553,354.47 for a Veyron-shaped plaything and getting bupkis in return. Earlier this month, Mr. Zekelman filed a lawsuit against VW’s luxury brand in Michigan court [ pdf here]. After pointing out that “although it conducts business in Troy, Michigan, it has not registered with the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth as required,” Zekelman’s briefs accuse Bugatti salesman Ross Dressel of ye olde bait and switch routine . . . .

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“On December 23 [Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence], 2008, at 9:22 a.m., Mr. Dressel informed Mr. Zekelman via email that Bugatti Troy would not be delivering Mr. Zekelman an Italian Red 2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Coupe. Instead, Mr. Dessel offered to deliver a 2008 Bugatti.”

And for good reason; according to the lawsuit, Bugatti isn’t building any 2009 Veyrons. Anyway, Zekelman declined Dressel’s kind offer of last year’s model—for the same money as an ’09—and asked for a full refund. Dressel agreed.

By August, Zekelman gave up, accusing Bugatti et al. of “unjust enrichment” (a charge of note for New GM’s shareholders). He’s now demanding treble damages, costs, interest on the payment and attorneys’ fees. That’s $4,660,063.41, and the rest.

We’re a little late to this story, but we’ll keep an eye on it, so our Best and Brightest don’t fall into the same trap. [thanks to polishdon for the link]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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2 of 27 comments
  • Afabbro Afabbro on Aug 31, 2009

    I, for one, will not be buying a Veryon until this sorted out. (Sure, I probably won't be buying one afterwards either, but...)

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Sep 03, 2009
    # Justin Berkowitz : August 30th, 2009 at 12:35 am Treble damages? HUH? How about “full refund”. Or if we want to get really nasty, full refund plus reasonable interest — about 1-2%. Michigan law permits asking for treble damages in certain torts. Nothing wrong with Zekelman asking for what the law permits him to ask for. # Kman : August 30th, 2009 at 2:25 am Evidently, Baz has billions but no Brains. He doesn’t seem to even understand what he is getting, and what it’s all about. Enough brains to make those billions. He knows exactly what he was buying and before he put down his deposit for a 2009, he was offered a 2008 and declined. This is a car produced at a rate of 1 1/2 cars per decade (or so!), it ain’t no Ford Fusion or some mass-market car to which “model year” is relevant, applies or even means anything. They've built 215 Veyron coupes and about 20 Veyron Grand Sport targas since production started in 2006. Baz is a Bozo. Should James Glickenhaus have sued Pininfarina because his one-off, Enzo-derived P4/5 took so long to develop that it became a “year-old model”? Glickenhaus wasn't promised a specific model year in the purchase agreement. Zekelman was. Baz is a Boob. His salesperson immediately accepted to refund him his full 1.6Mil and he’s somehow still upset? Cause it’s a “2008″? Does this have any meaning to him? See earlier paragraphs. While the dealer and their attorney have offered to refund the purchase price and have told Zekelman that the refund was in process, it's already been 8 months and not a penny has been refunded. It's not the dealer's fault and they aren't party to the suit. Baz is a Buffoon. Know how Ferrari and even Porsche have cars that you have to be invited to purchase (respectively, e.g.: 599FXX and ‘97 911 Turbo S)? Which mainstream Camcordtima is sold like that? The Veryon is several notches above those models in exclusivity. So, because Ferrari is run by a bunch of haughty douchebags who deign to sell you a car, VW gets to break contracts? Zekelman is no automotive novice, nor is he unfamiliar with bespoke, high ticket items. He already owns an Enzo, Lambos and high zoot Porsches. He's got a 163 foot yacht that cost many times more than a Veyron, Murcielago, and Enzo put together, that was built to custom specs. He's got a 200 mph twin-turbine catamaran. He made his money, he's entitled to spend it and get what he paid for. Baz is a Blockhead. Baz should get a Buick. We’ll call it a “2011″, so Baz can feel he’s Best. He ordered a 2009. The dealer and Bugatti took his money under those conditions. Less than week after getting paid in full they told him they wouldn't title the car as a 2009. The car has since been sold to another buyer. So VW has gotten paid twice for the same car. And you have bad stuff to say about Zekelman just because he's rich? shaker : August 30th, 2009 at 8:30 am I’ll bet the employees of Atlas Tube welcome their new Russian Overlords. I have no sympathy for billionaires, apparently. The deal fell through during the financial meltdown last year.
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