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FERRARI BUYER INVOKES LEMON LAW TO THE BITTER END AND WINS A REFUND

Ernie Haire III thought he had the dream car every bachelor desires when he bought his 1990 Ferrari 348-TS for $106,000, but after almost two years he and a state panel both decided it was a lemon.

Haire filed a statement under the state's lemon law complaining of faulty air conditioning and automatic seat belts and that rain leaked onto his head.A state lemon law arbitration panel ruled that Ferrari must buy the car back from him for almost $133,000. It was the second highest award made under the 3-year-old law and the first for a Ferrari.

The highest award was for $134,000 for a Rolls-Royce in January.

Ferrari can appeal and has not commented on the case.

During the hearing, Attorney William Bromagen of Miami argued for Ferrari that Haire was in the automotive business and planned to resell the car at a profit. The attorney said that made Haire ineligible to reply for lemon law relief, which protects only consumers.

But the 29-year-old Tampa man explained he wanted the car for himself, not for his family's Ford dealership.