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Volvo Defective Sunroof Class Action Lawsuit

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Volvo Car Corporation marketed and sold vehicles that have defective sunroof drainage systems and did not properly warranty their vehicles.

One plaintiff in this case, Joanne Neale, brought her car to the dealer after noticing that her car’s carpet was wet and hearing strange sounds while braking and turning corners.  Although the mechanics at the authorized Volvo dealership told her that was a common problem with Volvo sunroofs, Neale was still charged $592.  Volvo claimed that “an outside influence” caused the problem which brought the problem outside of warranty coverage.  Another plaintiff, Kari Hay, also noticed that her carpets were soaking wet.  The mechanics of her dealership in Maryland told her that it was a common problem with the sunroof drain system.  She had to pay $775 for the repair.  The mechanics also informed her that she needed to be better about checking her sunroof drain for clogs.  These plaintiffs, other named plaintiffs, and owners around the country have suffered financial losses from Volvo’s negligent behavior.

The Volvo sunroofs are operated by an electronically controlled glass sliding panel on the roof of the vehicle.  Sunroofs in most vehicles contain drainage systems to prevent water from entering the inside of the vehicle.  Volvo’s drainage systems use drain holes and tubes to direct water from the sunroof to the underside of the vehicle, passing through the interior of the passenger’s side along the way.  Unfortunately, defects in the system makes dirt and debris build up in the tubes, which can cause water to enter the passenger’s interior compartment.  These leaks not only damage the interior, but can create a safety hazard by potentially damaging important electrical items and sensors.  One of these electrical components is the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control system which greatly decreases the risk of accidents in hazardous weather or road conditions.

Volvo never required or recommended having the sunroof drainage system cleaned or checked.  In September 2005, they finally addressed the water leakage by issuing a Technical Service Bulletin about the inferior quality of the sunroof drain tubes.  They still required consumers to purchase a new hose on their own.

Volvo failed to adequately design, test, and manufacture a sunroof drainage system before marketing and selling it as safe.  Customers expected to enjoy the use of their vehicle without the worry that the sunroof drainage system would fail.  If it did fail, they expected it would have fallen under warranty.  Instead they suffered economic strain due to costly repairs and decrease in vehicle value for resale.

Based on the facts of the case, the plaintiffs allege that Volvo violated Common Law Fraud and breached Express Warranty, Implied Warranty of Merchantability, and the Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.  

James Hardie Building Products Defective Siding Class Action Lawsuit

This class action lawsuit claims that James Hardie Building Products produces and sells exterior fiber cement siding that fails prematurely.  The plaintiffs seek to represent all homeowners whose home was built with James Hardie fiber cement siding and who seek compensation for repair costs and other damages from the siding.

             One plaintiff in this case, Heidi Picht, purchased a new home in Donnelly, Minnesota in 2006.  The siding of this home was installed during the original construction.  In the spring of 2007, Picht found flaking on the surface of the siding.  Over time, the siding further deteriorated and started to shrink, causing gaps between the boards and causing some boards to pull from their fasteners.  The siding also warped, delaminated, and became severely discolored in places.  Furthermore, the failure of the siding allowed water to penetrate the home, damaging the underlying structure.  Picht, like any responsible home owner, contacted James Hardie’s authorized representatives.  She was unable to assert her rights under warranties for the siding due to the conduct and representations of James Hardie’s representatives.

            Fiber cement exterior siding is a building material used to cover the exterior of building.  Failure in the siding can cause damage to underlying structures and other property by allowing water and moisture to penetrate into the building.  This lawsuit claims that James Hardie fiber cement siding contains at least one defect and does not defend against elements, such as rain and snow.  It claims that the siding cracks, warps, discolors, flakes, and shrinks which often results in it being pulled from its fasteners.  Even worse, it has been reported that some siding can completely break and fall off the structure.

            The plaintiffs claim that James Hardie Building Products knew of the defects at the time of sale and intentionally concealed material information concerning the siding from the plaintiffs and the general public. 

            Based on the facts of the case, the plaintiffs allege that James Hardie Building Products, Inc. has breached and violated Express Warranties, Implied Warranties of Merchantability and Fitness, California’s Consumer’s Legal Remedies Act, Business & Professions Code, Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Virginia’s Consumer Protection Act, Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices, Minnesota’s False Statement in Advertising Act, and Minnesota’s Statue of Unlawful Trade Practices.

Ford Explorer Defective Tailgate Class Action Lawsuit

            The plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit allege that certain Ford vehicles suffer from a defect that causes tailgates to crack.  The suit seeks to represent all current and former owners and leases of Ford Explorers or Mercury Mountaineers from 2002-2005 and Lincoln Aviators from 2003-2005. 

            One plaintiff in this case, Nancy Hough, purchased a new 2002 Ford Explorer in 2005.  Two years later in 2007, she discovered that her tailgate was cracked.  She then informed Ford, but they refused to pay for the repairs.  Hough then had to pay out-of-pocket to fix her Explorer’s tailgate.  In June 2008, she discovered another crack.  Like the first time, Ford refused to repair the part.  The cost of repairing a cracked tailgate in Explorers, Mountaineers, and Aviators is between $300 and $800.  This repair does not prevent more cracks from developing.  Hough, as well as 30 other plaintiffs from 25 states and all other owners of these vehicles have suffered some sort of damage, whether that be out-of-pocket expenses, future expenses, or a diminished vehicle value. 

            The tailgate of a vehicle is the door at the back that allows access to the trunk of a wagon, crossover, or SUV.  The tailgates in the Explorers, Mountaineers, and Aviators were made out of flawed materials and were assembled using deficient techniques.  As a result, these tailgates were defective at the moment of sale and likely to exhibit a large, discernible crack to the tailgate panel to the plaintiffs and other owners.  In addition to the defect causing the tailgate to crack, a cracked tailgate poses further safety risks such as the window in the tailgate dropping out, potentially injuring bystanders or shattering.  The lawsuit alleges that Ford knew of the defect as early as 2002.  In July 2003, Ford issued bulletins acknowledging the issue.  Despite this knowledge, in most instances Ford systematically refused to repair tailgates, asserting cracks were caused by an outside force and not an inherent defect.

            Based on the facts of the case, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Ford breached its common law warranty obligations and unjustly enriched itself at the expense of consumers in various states.  Also, Ford violated the Magnuson-Moss Federal Warranty Act, which protects consumers from deceptive warranty practices.

Nationstar Unlawful Credit Report Inquiry Class Action Lawsuit

This class action alleges that Nationstar bank violated federal law by pulling a credit report from a prior customer without a proper purpose.

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that a bank have a “proper purpose” before pulling a consumer’s credit report.  The FCRA spells out specifically what constitutes a proper purpose.

In this case, the plaintiff had at one time a loan with Nationstar.  The plaintiff filed for bankruptcy and the debt was apparently discharged.  After the discharge and after proper notice of the discharge was sent to Natonstar, the bank still pulled the plaintiff’s credit report.  Nationstar listed the purpose of the credit report inquiry as “account review”.

Given that the plaintiff had a fully discharged debt to Nationstar and no ongoing banking relationship and had not applied for any credit from the bank, the plaintiff alleges that Nationstar violated the FCRA by pulling her credit.

CVS TCPA Violations Class Action Lawsuit

This class action alleges that CVS violated the federal law by making unsolicited automatic telephone calls to cell phones without the owners prior express consent.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits companies from using auto dialers to make unsolicited calls to cell phones without prior consent.  (We all get them still though.)  Doing so can cost the company $500 per call (without intent) to $1,500 per call (with requisite intent).

Allegedly CVS sends out millions of automatic reminders to refill prescriptions (which is presumably lawful if CVS has obtained the prior consent to do so).  Here, CVS took over the pharmacies in Target stores.  CVS allegedly began using an auto dial to call former Target customers allegedly without those consumers’ consent.  Apparently, CVS placed all the former Target customers into a preexisting database of people to dial automatically to remind those customers to get their respective prescriptions filled.

This allegedly violates the TCPA.

Mercedes Benz BlueTEC Diesel Emissions Class Action Lawsuit

            The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Mercedes Benz has defective diesel engines that have an illegal “defeat device” that allows for more dirty emission during driving than during emissions testing.  These BlueTEC diesel engines are facing the same issues as Volkswagen, Audi, and many other diesel engine producers have had in the recent past and displays another reason why diesel engines may not be a legitimate substitute for gasoline.

            One plaintiff in this lawsuit, Anthony Caputo, is from Mt. Arlington, New Jersey.  In November, 2011, Caputo purchased a new 2012 Mercedes ML 350 BlueTEC and still owns it to this day.  Caputo bought this vehicle for many reasons including luxury, utility, and the clean efficiency that was marketed and advertised by Mercedes.  At the time that he bought the vehicle, Caputo did not know that it was equipped with an emissions system that turned off or limited Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions during normal driving conditions and emitted many multiples of the allowed level of pollutants.  Mercedes knew about, or recklessly disregarded, the inadequate emission controls during normal driving conditions, but did not disclose such facts or their effects to Caputo.  Caputo, an informed and conscientious consumer, then purchased the vehicle on the reasonable, but mistaken, belief that his vehicle was an EPA certified “clean diesel” and would maintain that distinction for years to come.  Mercedes’s unfair, unlawful, and deceptive conduct in designing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, and leasing the ML 350 without proper emission controls has caused Caputo and other owners out-of-pocket loss, future repair expenses, and diminished value of his vehicle.

            Diesel engines are attractive to consumers because that have high low-end torque, exceptional fuel efficiency, better drivability, and more low-end power when compared to their gasoline counterparts.  These benefits come at the cost of much dirtier and more harmful emissions that contribute to ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect more than gasoline emissions.  One by-product of diesel combustion is NOx, which describes several compounds of nitrogen and oxygen atoms.  These are produced in the cylinders of diesel engines during the combustion process.  Exposure to this pollutant is linked with serious health dangers, including serious respiratory illnesses and premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects.  The United States’ EPA has enacted many regulations under the Clean Air Act to protect Americans from these dangerous pollutants.

            In order to achieve a trade-off between the benefits and costs of diesels, Mercedes developed and marketed its BlueTEC lineup.  BlueTEC engines have a number of in-cylinder and after-treatment technologies to reduce emissions.  These include a diesel particulate filter and a selective catalytic reduction system.  Mercedes has marketed their system as “the world’s cleanest and most advanced diesel” that emits “up to 30% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline.”  Mercedes recently admitted that a shut-off device in the engine management of BlueTEC diesel cars stops NOx cleaning when ambient temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and under other circumstances.  Low temperature testing at highway speeds produced emissions that were 8.1 to 19.7 times the highway emissions standard.  Testing at low temperatures at variable speeds produced emissions up to 30.8 times the standard.  Further testing has revealed that Mercedes BlueTEC vehicles do not meet emission standards in virtually all real world driving conditions.  Mercedes vehicles that may have a BlueTEC engine include the ML320, ML 350, GL 320, E320, S350, R320, E Class, GL Class, ML Class, R Class, S Class, GLK Class, GLE Class, and Sprinter.

            Based on the facts, plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Mercedes Bens violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, committed Breach of Contract, committed Fraudulent Concealment, and violate many other state and federal laws by marketing, selling, and lying about its BlueTEC diesel engines that had an illegal “defeat device” that allowed it to emit more pollutions than permitted by the EPA.

Iovate Green Coffee False Claim Class Action Lawsuit

This class action alleges that Iovate Health Sciences violated California consumer protection laws by selling a variety of weight loss supplements that claim cause weight loss in a  scientifically proven manner in fact the science does not properly exist.

Iovate sells a variety of weight loss supplement including Gardenia Cambodia Plus. Gardenia Cambodia Plus Gummies, Coconut Oil, Green Coffee Bean, Matcha Green Tea Plus, Probiotics Plus Weight Loss, Raspberry Ketones Plus, Konjac Root Plus, Xendarine Core and Xendarine Ultimate.

The advertised main weight loss ingredient is “Green Coffee” extract .  Green coffee is simply coffee that has not been roasted that are therefore richer in chlorogenic acids. Some suggest that these compounds have antioxidant activities and can help one lose weight. When coffee is roasted, its chlorogenic acid content is greatly reduced.

The scientific evidence does not yet support the idea that green coffee promotes weight loss.

The complaint alleges that Iovate claimed that there were two scientific studies to support its weight loss claim.  First the complaint argues that Iovate can only point to a single study to support its weight loss claim.  Second, the scientific process and conclusions of the single study is brought into question in the complaint.  Essentially the complaint argues that there is in fact no real science to support the weight loss claims.

Keyless Ignition Class Action Lawsuit

            The plaintiffs in this case allege that many car manufacturers, including Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, and others, produced and sold a defective keyless ignition system that fails to automatically turn off the vehicle after a certain amount of time in which the key is not present.  This defect has had lethal consequences because individuals have exited the vehicle after parking it in their garage without realizing that it was still running.

            In a separate lawsuit, Kimberlin Nickles filed a wrongful death action against Toyota for the death of her daughter, Chastity Glisson, who died on August 26, 2010 at the age of 29 as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from her 2006 Lexus IS 250, which was equipped with a keyless fob.  Chastity Glisson parked her Lexus in the garage to make room for her boyfriend, Timothy Maddock’s vehicle.  She collapsed on the floor later that night.  Timothy found her body, but then he too lost consciousness.  They were both found the next day.  Chastity had already died and Timothy was in serious condition.  An investigation revealed that the carbon monoxide that killed Ms. Glisson and severely injured Mr. Maddock came from the Lexus in the garage, which had accidentally been left running due to the lack of a physical key.  This separate lawsuit clearly demonstrates the dangers associated with operating a vehicle with a keyless fob.

            One plaintiff in this lawsuit is Richard Draeger of California.  He purchased his 2011 Toyota Prius without prior knowledge of the defect.  Draeger, in part, purchased the vehicle because Toyota’s sales brochure states that “Prius is as concerned with your well-being as it is with the planet’s.”  On two occasions, Draeger inadvertently left the vehicle running even after removing the keyless fob.  On the first occasion, the car was parked outside, but on the second, it was in his garage.  He did not realize that the vehicle was running due to the quite nature of the Prius.  This defect contradicts the statement in Toyota’s brochure because one’s well-being is reduced by carbon monoxide poisoning and the planet’s well-being is diminished by additional carbon input from accidentally idling vehicles.  Draeger is now concerned about the operation of his Prius and would not have purchased it at the same price, if at all, if he was aware of the dangers surrounding keyless ignition systems.

            The car manufacturers involved in this lawsuit are Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, General Motors, Volkswagen, Bentley, Mercedes-Bens, Hyundai, and Kia.  These car manufacturers often touted keyless ignition systems as being luxury and convenience options, therefore charging more for the vehicles equipped with them.  Drivers of cars equipped with this feature have to learn that the physical key is not associated with the operation of the vehicle, unlike conventional ignition systems.  The automakers listed about failed to properly consider the ramifications of eliminating the physical and psychological connection between the vehicle and physical keys.  The vehicles with a keyless ignition system are defective and unsafe because there is no basic safety mechanism that, in a case where the driver left the vehicle without turning it off, would automatically turn off the engine after a certain period of time.

            Based on the facts, the plaintiffs allege that the automakers listed above were negligent in failing to recall the ignition systems, committed unjust enrichment, violated California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, as well as multiple other federal and state laws.

Kia Defective Gas Tank Lawsuit

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Kia Motors has manufactured and sold vehicles with defective gas tanks located beneath the rear seats that are dangerous and potentially deadly.  The gas tanks have the potential to explode and immediately engulf rear occupants in flames, which in one incident in Texas led to the deaths of three passengers.

            One plaintiff in this case, Constance Sims, is a resident of Fort Worth, Texas who owns a 2013 Kia Soul Sport.  She chose the Soul Sport in part because she wanted a safely designed and manufactured vehicle.  She saw many advertisements for Kia vehicles before she purchased the Soul, and, although she does not recall the specifics of the advertisements, she does recall that safety and quality were consistent themes across the board.  These different representations and advertisements from Kia about safety and quality influenced her decision to purchase the Soul.  Sims did not learn about the gas tank defects until June 2013.  Had she known of the defects before purchasing the car, she would have either purchased it at a lower price or not purchased it at all.  At this point, Sims and other owners are plagued with an unsafe car that will cost them money to repair and to cover the diminished value of the vehicle.

            The vehicles affected by this lawsuit have gas tanks that are located immediately underneath the rear passenger seats and the trunk, and the interior of the cars are not adequately protected.  This location poses a risk to occupants and for this reason the tanks must be shielded or attached to the underside of the vehicle with reinforcing straps.  Kia’s vehicles have gas tanks that are unshielded and instead of being strapped to the car, they are bolted.  The failure to strap gas tanks to vehicles increases the risk that the gas tank will shift or dislodge and ignite in a major collision.  The service cover for the fuel pump increases the risk of harm even more.  It is made out of plastic and is located immediately underneath the rear seat cushion.  It is unreasonably dangerous to locate the fuel pump here and use a plastic service cover, particularly given the other defects mentioned above.  This location and the use of a plastic fuel pump service cover increases the likelihood that fire would penetrate the rear cabin through the plastic service cover like a “blow torch” in a major collision.

            These gas tanks make the affected Kia vehicles unreasonably dangerous.  The defects place passengers in the rear seats above veritable gas bombs that have the capability to explode and immediately engulf rear occupants in flames.  As mentioned above, there has already been at least one accident involving a defective Kia Soul in Texas that resulted in three deaths.

            Based on all the facts, the plaintiffs in this case allege that Kia’s failure to disclose the gas tank defects constitutes a violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, a violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, a violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, a violation of the California False Advertising Law, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, and fraudulent concealment.

Keyless Ignition Class Action Lawsuit

            The plaintiffs in this case allege that many car manufacturers, including Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, and others, produced and sold a defective keyless ignition system that fails to automatically turn off the vehicle after a certain amount of time in which the key is not present.  This defect has had lethal consequences because individuals have exited the vehicle after parking it in their garage without realizing that it was still running.

            In a separate lawsuit, Kimberlin Nickles filed a wrongful death action against Toyota for the death of her daughter, Chastity Glisson, who died on August 26, 2010 at the age of 29 as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from her 2006 Lexus IS 250, which was equipped with a keyless fob.  Chastity Glisson parked her Lexus in the garage to make room for her boyfriend, Timothy Maddock’s vehicle.  She collapsed on the floor later that night.  Timothy found her body, but then he too lost consciousness.  They were both found the next day.  Chastity had already died and Timothy was in serious condition.  An investigation revealed that the carbon monoxide that killed Ms. Glisson and severely injured Mr. Maddock came from the Lexus in the garage, which had accidentally been left running due to the lack of a physical key.  This separate lawsuit clearly demonstrates the dangers associated with operating a vehicle with a keyless fob.

            One plaintiff in this lawsuit is Richard Draeger of California.  He purchased his 2011 Toyota Prius without prior knowledge of the defect.  Draeger, in part, purchased the vehicle because Toyota’s sales brochure states that “Prius is as concerned with your well-being as it is with the planet’s.”  On two occasions, Draeger inadvertently left the vehicle running even after removing the keyless fob.  On the first occasion, the car was parked outside, but on the second, it was in his garage.  He did not realize that the vehicle was running due to the quite nature of the Prius.  This defect contradicts the statement in Toyota’s brochure because one’s well-being is reduced by carbon monoxide poisoning and the planet’s well-being is diminished by additional carbon input from accidentally idling vehicles.  Draeger is now concerned about the operation of his Prius and would not have purchased it at the same price, if at all, if he was aware of the dangers surrounding keyless ignition systems.

            The car manufacturers involved in this lawsuit are Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, General Motors, Volkswagen, Bentley, Mercedes-Bens, Hyundai, and Kia.  These car manufacturers often touted keyless ignition systems as being luxury and convenience options, therefore charging more for the vehicles equipped with them.  Drivers of cars equipped with this feature have to learn that the physical key is not associated with the operation of the vehicle, unlike conventional ignition systems.  The automakers listed about failed to properly consider the ramifications of eliminating the physical and psychological connection between the vehicle and physical keys.  The vehicles with a keyless ignition system are defective and unsafe because there is no basic safety mechanism that, in a case where the driver left the vehicle without turning it off, would automatically turn off the engine after a certain period of time.

            Based on the facts, the plaintiffs allege that the automakers listed above were negligent in failing to recall the ignition systems, committed unjust enrichment, violated California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, as well as multiple other federal and state laws.