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Luxury car company sues Oahu golf cart seller

  • COURTESY PHOTO
    An Oahu man and his golf cart company, Luxury Carts of Hawaii, are in hot water over allegedly selling golf carts modeled after Rolls-Royce automobiles.
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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is suing an Oahu man and his company for selling electric golf carts modified to resemble their iconic luxury cars.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court last week names as defendants Michael Hruby and his company, Luxury Carts of Hawaii.

According to state business records, the company lists an Aiea address. However, its business registration expired last Decem- ber.

The company continues as luxurycarts.com and, according to its website, sells replicas of other well-known automobiles using the car’s exact name or variations.

One model is called the 2009 Cadillac Escalade. A Mercedez-Benz replica is called LaBenz. And a Hummer H2 replica is called the H2 Cart. Prices are in the $15,000-to-$18,000 range.

The website does not list for sale a Rolls-Royce replica.

However, according to the lawsuit, Hruby continued to sell Rolls-Royce replica golf carts even after he promised to stop.

The carts have the interlocking "RR" badge, "Flying Lady" hood ornament and distinctive radiator grill, all Rolls-Royce trademarks, and are called "Rolls Royce" and "Rolls Phantom," the lawsuit says.

Phantom, a name Roll-Royce has been using on car models since 1925, is another company trademark.

A lawyer for BMW of North America, whose parent company BMW Group owns Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, sent Hruby a letter dated May 17 asking him to stop manufacturing, selling and making any commercial use of any products bearing Rolls-Royce trademarks.

Hruby signed a letter dated May 24 promising to stop.

Both letters are included as exhibits in the lawsuit.

However, Rolls-Royce claims Hruby continues to sell the golf carts while admitting to customers he does not have a licensing agreement with the car company.

Hruby said, "We don’t sell Rolls-Royce golf carts," and declined further comment.

 

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