Richmond owner of Bond-style car files lawsuit over $135,000 repair bill

Jessica Liu alleges dealership and autoshop over-charged, colluded; while defendants slap Liu with defamation action

The owner of a $200,000, James Bond-style sports car has filed a lawsuit against the dealership who sold her the limited edition vehicle and the autoshop who handed her a $135,000 repair bill.

The Richmond News revealed almost a year ago how Richmond resident Jessica Liu crashed her silver, Aston Martin DB9 into a rock in December 2015, while driving near her home close to Blundell and No. 2 roads.

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Liu, who only had basic insurance, has refused to pay the bill and, thus, hasn’t seen her prized possession since the single-vehicle accident, due to a long-running dispute with the Vancouver-based dealership (MCL Motor Cars) and autoshop (Burrard Autostrasse) amid claims of overcharging and collusion. However, near the end of 2017, Liu lodged a civil claim at B.C. Supreme Court against both the dealership and autoshop.

Liu alleges, amongst other things, that she was taken advantage of due to her lack of English skills and perception of wealth, breach of contract and collusion between the two defendants.

As a result of the alleged actions of the defendants, Liu is claiming a long list of personal injuries, including: depression and anxiety; panic disorders; flashbacks; suicidal periods; weight loss; sleeping disorders; low self-esteem; emotional expression issues; humiliation; trust issues and impaired ability to form intimate relationships.

Liu is asking for general damages for “pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and physical and psychological disability.”

She is also seeking special damages for transportation between China and from Canada, although the suit doesn’t detail why. As compensation, Liu is suing for damages for breach of contract and is asking for $300,000 plus costs from the defendants.

She further claimed that, after a U.K.-based Aston Martin manager intervened in September last year, she was offered and accepted a 30 per cent reduction of the repair bill. Liu claims the defendants later backed out of the aforementioned agreement.

In separate responses to the lawsuit, both MCL and Burrard denied all the allegations made.

In its response, MCL said that it did not, at any time, collude with Burrard to inflate the repair bill, as alleged by Liu.

It also denied taking advantage of Liu’s lack of English and apparent wealth and had no knowledge of any agreement between Aston Martin and Liu to reduce the repair bill.

Burrard, meanwhile, in its response to the suit, cited that Liu still owes more than $85,000 of the original repair bill, after she initially paid a $50,000 deposit.

It further stated that Liu’s lawsuit is “scandalous, frivolous” and an “abuse of process of this court.”

Neither defendant is accepting any responsibility for the personal injuries Liu claims to have suffered as a result of the dispute.

And in separate counter claims filed by MCL and Burrard against Liu, she is accused, amongst other things, of making defamatory statements.

In MCL’s counter suit, it’s alleged Liu published a series of defamatory statements in a post to an online WeChat group, where she accused MCL of “selling horse meat as beefsteak,” lying, cheating and being “shady.”

The statements in question were also allegedly posted on two other Vancouver-based, social media websites.

As a result of the statements, MCL claims its reputation has suffered and claims it can provide details of such damage prior to any trial.

MCL is seeking an interim and permanent injunction on further, similar statements being made, general and punitive damages and unspecified special costs.

Burrard, in its counter suit, is seeking damages for breach of contract and special costs, including payment of the outstanding bill for $85,545.

In the counterclaim, Burrard’s lawyer describes Liu’s suit as a “mere sham” which is “without foundation.”

The lawyers representing the three parties involved were contacted by the News. Only MCL’s lawyer, Kristina Davies, of Vancouver-based Koffman Kalef, responded to requests for comment.

However, after being asked to get permission from her client to comment, Davies didn’t call back.

The News told last January how, after driving the lightly-used Aston Martin for only a few kilometres, Liu inexplicably veered off the road and hit a large stone near Blundell and Garden City roads in December 2015.

To put things into perspective, a pot of the car’s silver paint, which is named after Bond movie Skyfall, chimes in at $900 and a single headlight registers at $7,000.

To compound her misery, Liu is being dinged $200 a day by Burrard for storage of the car. As of last January, that fee was $18,000.

An Aston Martin sports car from Spectre, the latest episode of James Bond film, sold at auction for £2,434,500 (approx. $3.6 million).

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