Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated owners and lessees in California of Mercedes Benz automobiles equipped with the 722.9 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. As detailed in the complaint, the subject transmission is defective, having a defect in the transmission’s valve body and conductor plate that causes the transmission to fail prematurely and need replacement well before the useful life of the transmission or the vehicle in which it is housed.
As alleged, Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (“MBUSA” or “Defendant”) has known about this defect for years, circulating internal Technical Service Bulletins to its factory-authorized dealerships that detail the nature of the transmission problem. Indeed, the defective 722.9 transmission has failed to such a widespread extent that, at one point, MBUSA was unable to supply sufficient replacement transmission components to have the defective transmissions repaired and, as a result, for a long time, MBUSA prevented independent service stations from purchasing such replacement parts. Worse yet, when the transmission valve body or conductor plate fails in the Mercedes-Benz 722.9 transmission, a real safety hazard ensues. As a result of the defect, the transmission will have a difficult time shifting from first to second gear, and will not shift to higher gears, causing the vehicle to be unable to be driven at any speed. The fault will then cause the transmission to enter what is referred to as “Limp Mode,” leaving the car to “limp” along the roadway in a very restricted and limited fashion. Despite this and despite the clear defect and Defendant’s knowledge of it, MBUSA has failed to take any action. Because the defective transmission typically manifests itself outside the 4 year/50,000 mile durations limit of MBUSA’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty, MBUSA washes its hands of any liability, fails to disclose this defect, and leave consumers of the affected vehicles, like Plaintiffs, to pay for the costly repair of the transmission to the tune of several thousands of dollars.
Plaintiffs, who own a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-550 originally equipped with the defective 722.9 transmission suffered this fate, had their vehicle’s transmission fail repeatedly on the roadway when the car had just 57,000 miles or so, and were denied any consideration by MBUSA. Given MBUSA’s failure to stand behind its product, Plaintiffs were forced to and did pay over $2,000 to have the transmission valve body replaced. Needless to say, transmissions in cars having only 57,000 miles should not fail—much less should they fail by the thousands in Mercedes-Benz cars across the country. Plaintiffs file this lawsuit to seek redress for MBUSA’s violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) and California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”).