Crossroads Ford Truck Sales, Inc. v. Sterling Truck Corp.
The manufacturer notified franchise dealers that it was discontinuing the Sterling (a subsidiary of Daimler) line of trucks. The letter offered dealers the opportunity to continue as a service dealership under a new agreement. Plaintiff, a dealer, was warned that, following the termination of the existing agreement, if it did not sign the general release and agree to terminate its Sterling franchise, Daimler Trucks would not renew its Detroit Diesel Direct Dealer Agreement. Daimler later terminated that agreement, which plaintiff alleges prevented it from obtaining parts at wholesale and performing warranty work on Detroit Diesel engines. Plaintiff alleged violations of the Motor Vehicle Franchise Act, 815 ILCS 710/1 and claims of breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, and fraud. The circuit court dismissed all but two counts. The appellate court affirmed, holding that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear several counts under the Act, because those counts should have been brought before the Motor Vehicle Review Board. The Supreme Court affirmed.