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Mercedes Panoramic Sunroofs Abrupt Shattering Class Action

In recent years, automobile manufacturers have been increasing the area of sunroofs. Consumers like them and are willing to pay more for these “panoramic” sunroofs, but some are not robust enough for the purpose. This class action brings suit against Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Daimler AG for using sunroofs that can shatter.

The National Damages Class is all persons in the US who bought or leased a Class Vehicle, up to the date of class certification in this case. A similar National Injuctive Class, a California Subclass, and a Song-Beverly Subclass have also been defined. The class vehicles are the following:

  • 2003-present C Class
  • 2007-present CL-Class
  • 2013-present CLA-Class
  • 2003-present E-Class
  • 2008-present G Class
  • 2007-present GL-Class
  • 2012-present CLK
  • 2012-present GLC-Class
  • 2012-present ML-Class
  • 2010-present M-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes Maybach S-600
  • 2007-present R-Class
  • 2013-present S-Class
  • 2013-present SL-Class
  • 2013-present SLK Class

The complaint for this class action says that auto makers have enlarged sunroofs to the point where “now on some vehicles a sunroof (i.e., sheet[s] of glass) accounts for nearly the entire roof of a vehicle. Such large expanses of glass “pose new and significant engineering challenges. Replacing metal portions of automobile roofs with large sections of glass requires precision in the strengthening, attachment, and stabilization of the glass.”

It seems that many manufacturers have not met these challenges. The complaint alleges, “Mercedes vehicles suffer from an inherent design, manufacturing and/or materials defect whereby their panoramic sunroofs spontaneously shatter without outside influence.”

Why does the glass shatter? To begin with, the complaint surmises, the glass for the sunroof is tempered. That is, it is shaped and cut to fit, then it is toughened by being heated then rapidly cooled. The complaint claims that this “tempering process creates an outer layer of compression shrink-wrapped around the middle of the glass that is constantly pressing outwards, otherwise known as causing tension or tensile force.” This supposedly makes the glass stronger, but “[i]f the compressive layer is compromised … the entire piece of glass fails catastrophically, and often explosively.”

In addition, the complaint alleges that Mercedes uses thinner glass, in order “to save weight and thus improve fuel efficiency…” The complaint says, “Thinner glass, however, is very difficult to temper properly … as the compressive layers are thinner, increasing the probability for the glass to be compromised and result in catastrophic failure.”

Finally, the glass used by Mercedes “features a ceramic paint applied prior to tempering” which the complaint says “significantly weaken” the glass. This may be because the paint and the glass expand at different rates or because he paint and glass substrate exchange ions in a way that compromises the compressive layer.

According to the complaint, Mercedes has known about the sunroofs from its pre-release testing, early consumers complaints, and replacement parts sales and warranty claims.

The counts include consumer fraud, common law fraud, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Mercedes Panoramic Sunroofs Abrupt Shattering Complaint

January 29, 2021

In recent years, automobile manufacturers have been increasing the area of sunroofs. Consumers like them and are willing to pay more for these “panoramic” sunroofs, but some are not robust enough for the purpose. This class action brings suit against Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Daimler AG for using sunroofs that can shatter.

Mercedes Panoramic Sunroofs Abrupt Shattering Complaint

Case Event History

Mercedes Panoramic Sunroofs Abrupt Shattering Complaint

January 29, 2021

In recent years, automobile manufacturers have been increasing the area of sunroofs. Consumers like them and are willing to pay more for these “panoramic” sunroofs, but some are not robust enough for the purpose. This class action brings suit against Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Daimler AG for using sunroofs that can shatter.

Mercedes Panoramic Sunroofs Abrupt Shattering Complaint
Tags: Breaking or Shattering Glass, Defective Automobile, Sunroof