Ford named in class action over defect in driveshaft flexible coupling in 2015-2017 Ford Transit vans

The class action lawsuit against Ford is for damages caused by Ford Transit vans equipped with uniform and uniformly defective driveshaft flexible couplings manufactured, distributed, warranted, and sold/leased by Ford Motor Company and/or its related subsidiaries or affiliates (collectively, “Ford”).

The complaint claims that 2015-2017 Ford Transit vans suffer from a serious defect (the “Defect”) that results in the driveshaft flexible coupling (“flex disc”) cracking and ultimately failing, resulting in damage to the Class Vehicles and presenting a significant safety risk to Vehicle occupants.

The flex disc is a type of “universal joint” positioned between the engine (in specific, the transmission) and the driveshaft, and is used to transmit the rotational torque generated by the engine to the driveshaft, which in turn transmits it to the axles and finally the wheels, propelling the Vehicle.

The flex disc is made of flexible rubber material and is designed to allow some angular misalignment while reducing driveline vibration.  A triangular flange connecting the flex disc to the transmission is bolted on to one side of the flex disc using three of the holes; a similar triangular flange connecting the flex disc to the driveshaft is bolted on to the other side of the flex disc using the other three holes.

When the flex disc fails, it fails catastrophically. The failure causes the driveshaft violently to tear away from the transmission, which can result in severe damage surrounding Vehicle components, including brake and fuel lines, the transmission, rear end differential, torque converter, evaporation container, and other parts, mangling the driveshaft in the process. The damage to these components contributes to a dangerous loss of Vehicle control, including the loss of brakes and engine power. Further, the forward end of the driveshaft disconnecting from the transmission creates the risk that the driveshaft will “catch” on the ground beneath the Vehicle, violently forcing the driveshaft upwards which can pierce into the passenger cabin and cause the Vehicle to “pole vault,” i.e. catapult the entire Vehicle into the air.

While a Safety Recall was issued June 28, 2017, the complaint alleges that Ford does not have a permanent fix, but rather requires Class Vehicle owners to replace the flex disc “every 30,000 miles” until a permanent remedy becomes available.

As a result of Ford’s alleged misconduct, Plaintiff and Class Members were harmed and suffered actual damages, including that the Class Vehicles contain defective parts, have manifested and continue to manifest the Defect, and Ford has not provided a permanent remedy for this Defect. Furthermore, Plaintiff and Class Members have incurred, and will continue to incur, out-of-pocket unreimbursed costs and expenses relating to the Defect, including replacement parts, repair of other Vehicle systems damaged by the failure of the flex disc, and lost time and business opportunities caused by the time the Vehicles are waiting to be serviced.

Complaint

Ford named in class action lawsuit over Ford trucks equipped with a lift kit and larger-than-stock tires installed at the time of purchase or lease

This class action lawsuit is brought by Plaintiff on behalf of those who purchased or leased one or more new Ford trucks equipped with a lift kit and larger-than-stock tires that had been installed/fitted at the time of purchase or lease (the “Lifted Trucks”). As alleged, the frames of the Lifted Trucks sit higher off the ground than “stock” vehicles of the same make and model (“Stock Trucks”). However, the jacks that come equipped with the Lifted Trucks are the same as those that come equipped with the Stock Trucks—i.e., designed to temporarily raise the comparatively lower frames of the Stock Trucks off the ground to allow drivers to change tires and perform routine maintenance. These jacks cannot safely be used on, and are not compatible with, the relatively higher frames of the Lifted Trucks.

The tires (e.g., metal rims and rubber tires) installed on the Lifted Trucks are larger in diameter than those installed on the Stock Trucks. However, the spare tires that come equipped with the Lifted Trucks are the same as those that come equipped with the Stock Trucks—i.e., relatively smaller in diameter than those on the Lifted Trucks—and thus do not match the size of, and cannot be used with, the relatively larger tires installed on the Lifted Trucks.

Upon information and belief, each Lifted Truck was sold with a manufacturer’s window sticker (“Monroney Sticker”) that represented that such vehicle came equipped with a jack and spare tire. The Monroney Sticker does not disclose that the jack and spare tire are only compatible with the Stock Trucks, but not with the Lifted Trucks.

Upon information and belief, each Lifted Truck comes equipped with a jack and spare tire. The jack is stored in a compartment inside the vehicle, and the spare tire is housed under the vehicle, below the frame. As described above, the jack and spare tire are only compatible with the Stock Trucks, but not with the Lifted Trucks. Thus, Lifted Trucks include a jack and spare tire that consumers reasonably assume will work with their vehicle – but the components do not.

The lawsuit claims that each person who has purchased or leased a Lifted Truck during the time period relevant to this action was injured by overpaying for a vehicle that did not come equipped with a functioning jack and spare tire, as Ford represented, and as each purchaser would have reasonably expected.

Complaint

Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. and Nutripack named in class action lawsuit over harmful ingredients in pet food

Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. and Nutripack, LLC produce high-end pet foods that are specifically marketed to label-conscious consumers but that, contrary to their labels, contain harmful ingredients. The pet foods were advertised as premium, “100% beef,” and “human grade, USDA inspected meat,” but instead were composed of low quality, non-human grade ingredients and were produced at an unsanitary, non-USDA facility. Many of the Pet Foods were unsafe, adulterated meats, not from animals that were identified on the labels, and contained pentobarbital, a barbiturate used in the euthanizing of animals, the execution of humans and in physician-assisted deaths Plaintiffs’ use of these products led to the sickness of several of Plaintiffs’ pets, and the death of one.

Complaint

Rexall Sundown named in class action lawsuit for falsely advertising that Osteo Bi-Flex is beneficial for joints

 

This is a consumer protection class action arising out of Defedant Rexall Sundown, Inc false and misleading advertising of its glucosamine products. Defendant markets, sells and distributes a line of joint health dietary supplements under the “Osteo Bi-Flex” brand name, and Defendant represents that these products are beneficial to the joints of the consumers who use them.

Each of the Osteo Bi-Flex products at issue in Defendant’s joint health product line, through their labeling and packaging, and through Defendant’s other advertising and marketing materials, communicate the same substantive message to consumers: that Osteo Bi-Flex provides meaningful joint health benefits.

As alleged, these representations are designed to induce consumers to believe that Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex joint health products are capable of actually providing meaningful joint benefits, and consumers purchase Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex joint health products solely for the purpose of enjoying these purported joint health benefits.

Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex products, however, are incapable of supporting or benefiting the health of human joints because the main ingredients in each of Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex products at issue, either alone or in combination with other ingredients, cannot support or benefit joint health. Accordingly, Defendant’s joint health representations are false, misleading and deceptive, and its Osteo Bi-Flex joint health products are worthless.

Complaint

Henkel named in class action lawsuit over 30% slack fill in Purex Crystals packaging

Henkel named in class action lawsuit over 30% slack fill in Purex Crystals packaging

This is a class action based on alleged deceptive actions of Henkel Corporation with respect to the packaging of its Purex Crystals product.

Defendant sells the Purex Crystals product as “an in-wash fragrance booster, which provides freshness that lasts for weeks. Use a little or a lot, directly in the laundry! Safe for all loads including towels, activewear, and children’s sleepwear.”

On its website, Defendant states: “Purex® Crystals infuses your clothes with an extraordinary freshness that puts the finishing touch on your laundry and makes everyday a little more rewarding. With the exciting variety of fragrances Purex® Crystals offers, it’s easy to find a fragrance to match every laundry occasion. Whether it’s a relaxing freshness for your sheets or a more stimulating scent for you and your family’s activewear, Purex® Crystals has you covered. Have fun and try them all!”3

Plaintiff expected to receive a full container of the Purex Crystals product, which is packaged in non-transparent containers, as depicted below. Plaintiff was surprised and disappointed when he opened the Purex Crystals product to discover that the container had more than 30% empty space, or slack-fill. Had Plaintiff known about the slack-fill at the time of purchase, he would not have bought Defendant’s product.

Complaint

Hyundai named in class action lawsuit over defect in steering mechanism in Accent and Elantra vehicles

Plaintiffs filed this class action on behalf of a class of Hyundai Accent and Elantra owners alleging the vehicles were sold with a faulty steering mechanism.  According to the complaint, a defect in Hyundai’s steering mechanism causes the power steering to stop working suddenly, causing the wheel to lock or become difficult or impossible to turn at all.

The faulty steering mechanism is found on at least the following models: Hyundai Accent (model years 2013-2016) and Hyundai Elantra (model years 2013-2016), collectively defined as the “Vehicles.” Hyundai’s defective steering mechanism severely inhibits drivers’ ability to react to and/or avoid other cars, pedestrians, or obstacles. The Vehicles’ steering defects have been the subject of a large number of consumer complaints.

The complaint contends that Hyundai has long known about the problem but has not notified consumers. Previous Hyundai models had the same or a similar defect, which Hyundai was slow to acknowledge. Indeed, in 2016, Hyundai issued a recall concerning a similar defect in 2011 Sonata vehicles. The steering problem was caused by conflicting steering wheel input data which caused the power steering to turn off.

Complaint

Monini named in class action lawsuit over misbranding of its Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils

 

This is a class action against Defendant Monini North America, Inc. for its unlawful, misleading, and deceptive misbranding of its Monini White Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (“Monini White Truffle Oil”) and Monini Black Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (“Monini Black Truffle Oil”) (collectively, the “Products” or “Monini Truffle Oil”) sold to consumers. Monini markets its truffle oil as being flavored by actual “White truffle[s]” or “Black Truffle[s],” respectively. But Monini Truffle Oil is nothing of the sort; instead of flavoring its oil with actual “White Truffle[s],” or “Black Truffle[s],” Defendant’s Product is flavored by an industrially produced, chemically-derived perfume known as “2,4-dithiapentane.” Despite the absence of actual “White Truffle” or “Black Truffle,” Monini Truffle Oil is sold at a substantial price premium over olive oil not flavored with real truffles.

The complaint alleges that 2,4-dithiapentane, also known as “formaldehyde dimethyl mercaptal,” is synthetically prepared by the acid-catalyzed addition of methyl mercaptan to formaldehyde. Although it emulates the taste and smell of truffles, it is not truffle.

As further alleged, Monini’s misbranding is intentional. The front label and packaging of Monini White Truffle Oil represents in extra-large lettering that the product is flavored by “White Truffle.” Directly underneath this “White Truffle” representation is an oversized image of a sliced open white truffle. Similarly, the front label and packaging of Monini Black Truffle Oil represents in extra-large lettering that the product is flavored by “Black Truffle.” Directly underneath this “Black Truffle” representation is an oversized image of sliced open black truffles.

The mislabeling of Monini Truffle Oil renders the product completely worthless. By mislabeling its products, Monini dupes consumers into purchasing something that is not truffle oil. Nevertheless, Monini Truffle Oil is labeled and sold as premium truffle oil, and it commands a substantial price premium over other olive oil product.

Complaint

Honda named in class action lawsuit over with defective engine starting systems in Accord and Crosstour vehicles

This is a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of current and former Honda vehicle owners and lessees with defective engine starting systems in model years (“MY”) 2013-15 Honda Accord and 2013-15 Honda Crosstour vehicles (the “Class Vehicles” or “Vehicles”).

The engine starter (or “starter motor”) is an essential component of a vehicle that spins the engine when the start position is engaged by the ignition system. This allows the vehicle’s engine to “start” and begin running. This action arises from Defendants’ failure, despite their longstanding knowledge of this material and manufacturing defect, to disclose to Plaintiff and other consumers that the Class Vehicles are predisposed to a starter system defect (collectively, the “Starter Defect”). This defect – which typically manifests during and shortly after the limited warranty period has expired – will inevitably cause the starter motors and batteries in the Class Vehicles to prematurely fail. Once the starter motors and batteries fail to operate correctly, the engines in the Class Vehicles will not start, leaving operators and passengers stranded.

Vehicles are rendered inoperable when the Starter Defect manifests. As alleged herein, the Class Members’ vehicles completely fail to start due to the Starter Defect since the vehicle’s engine cannot properly turn over in a manner as required to start the vehicle. This causes the operator and passengers to become stranded and often requires the vehicle to be towed to the nearest service provider, all at the consumer’s expense.

The complaint further claims that not only did Honda actively conceal the fact that particular components within the starter system were not assembled and manufactured correctly (and require costly repairs to fix), they did not reveal that the existence of this defect would diminish the intrinsic and resale value of the Class Vehicles.

COMPLAINT

Trader Joe’s named in class action lawsuit for misleading labeling of Joe’s Black Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

This is a class action against Trader Joe’s Company for its false, misleading, and deceptive misbranding of its Trader Joe’s Black Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the “Product” or “Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil”) sold to consumers. Trader Joe’s markets its truffle oil as being flavored by actual “Black Truffle[s].” But Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil is nothing of the sort; instead of flavoring its oil with actual “Black Truffle[s],” Defendant’s Product is flavored by an industrially produced, chemically-derived perfume known as “2,4-dithiapentane.” Despite the absence of actual “Black Truffle,” Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil is sold at a substantial price premium over olive oil not flavored with real truffles.

As alleged, 2,4-Dithiapentane, also known as “formaldehyde dimethyl mercaptal,” is synthetically prepared by the acid-catalyzed addition of methyl mercaptan to formaldehyde. Although it emulates the taste and smell of truffles, it is not truffle.

The mislabeling of Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil renders the product completely worthless. By mislabeling its products, Trader Joe’s dupes consumers into purchasing something that is not truffle oil. Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil is labeled and sold as premium truffle oil, and it commands a significant price premium over other olive oil products.

Complaint