Investigation of 2013-14 Acura MDX and RDX vehicles equipped with Variable Cylinder Management system over excessive noise and vibration

Acura-Logo

Lawyers have commenced an investigation of 2013-14 Acura MDX and RDX vehicles equipped with  Variable Cylinder Management system that cause excessive noise and vibration when engaged.

In 2013 Acura introduced engines with a Variable Cylinder Management system which was designed to pause a portion of the engine’s cylinders at various times during the vehicles operation which would lead to  improved fuel consumption, exhaust gas reduction, and higher engine performance at high speeds.

Many Acura drivers have complained of excessive noise and vibrations from the undercarriage and engine compartment when the VCM engages.  Honda faced similar VCM problems in its Accord, Odyssey and Pilot vehicles resulting in a class action lawsuit and subsequent settlement that extended the power train warranty on affected vehicles.

If this has happened to you, please share your story with us, and/or contact us privately about your legal rights.

Eli Lilly and Company named in class action over deceptive and unlawful marketing of Cymbalta

The complaint arises out of Defendant Eli Lilly and Company’s (“Lilly”) deceptive and unlawful marketing of the “blockbuster” antidepressant Cymbalta (generically known as duloxetine). Since Cymbalta first entered the antidepressant market in 2004, Lilly has engaged in a calculated campaign to mislead consumers and healthcare professionals about the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms associated with stopping Cymbalta, a condition known as Cymbalta withdrawal.

Lilly’s clinical trials of Cymbalta indicate that Cymbalta withdrawal is a frequent and, at times, painful condition. Users stopping Cymbalta experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, paresthesiam, vomiting, irritability, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, hyperhidrosis, sensory disturbances, suicidal ideation, electrical “brain zaps,” seizures, and vertigo. These symptoms can range from mild to severe—the latter consisting of debilitating and painful symptoms that last several months.

Since Cymbalta’s release in 2004, Lilly has warned consumers and healthcare professionals that Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms occur “at a rate greater than or equal to one (1) percent[.]” This characterization is at best misleading. In truth, Lilly’s own clinical trials indicate that up to fifty-one (51) percent of Cymbalta users experience withdrawal symptoms, and approximately thirty (30) percent of users experience moderate or severe symptoms.

Lilly has carefully crafted a warning label that is designed to mislead consumers and healthcare professionals into believing that Cymbalta withdrawal is rare or mild. The reason why is simple—Lilly knows that once it gets users “hooked” on Cymbalta, Lilly will have a legion of physically-dependant, life-long customers.

In response to Lilly’s deceptive and unlawful marketing practices, a community of former and current Cymbalta users has emerged to provide mutual support and guidance in dealing with Cymbalta withdrawal. Since Lilly has not provided any substantive guidance on how to properly deal with Cymbalta withdrawal, people have developed ad hoc programs for slowly weaning off Cymbalta over several months. Regardless of the approach, however, users attempting to stop Cymbalta, even gradually, experience substantial withdrawal symptoms. Users can even experience Cymbalta withdrawal months after they have fully stopped taking the drug.

The Plaintiff, like many Cymbalta consumers within the United States, used Cymbalta to treat ongoing depression and anxiety. She believed, based on Lilly’s extensive marketing and promotion that Cymbalta would help her manage the symptoms related to her medical condition. She did not know at that time, however, that she was trading marginal relief from depression and anxiety for dependency on a drug. After taking Cymbalta for a period of time, Plaintiff felt that her depression and anxiety had improved and she decided to stop Cymbalta. But, despite her best efforts, she could not. She began to experience substantial and significant withdrawal symptoms including, but not limited to, severe nausea, electrical “brain zaps,” full-body shaking, and debilitating tunnel vision. She was forced to continue Cymbalta just to mitigate the withdrawal. She was, in other words, “hooked.”

Although it took her almost an entire year, Plaintiff was able to slowly wean herself off Cymbalta. However, even after she had finally stopped Cymbalta, she continued to experience withdrawal symptoms for several months. Plaintiff would have never started Cymbalta if she had known the truth.

Lilly knew that disclosing the real risks of Cymbalta withdrawal in its marketing and risk disclosure materials would have been disastrous to its sales. Instead of honestly disclosing the risks associated with Cymbalta withdrawal and letting consumers and prescribing healthcare professionals decide if Cymbalta was worth the risk, Lilly chose to engage in deceptive and unlawful marketing practices designed to hide the truth.

As a result of Lilly’s deceptive and unlawful marketing practices, it is estimated that Lilly has sold approximately $18 billion in Cymbalta between 2004 and 2011.

Plaintiff brings this lawsuit against Lilly in two capacities. First, Plaintiff brings a consumer protection class action, on behalf of herself and those similarly situated, seeking relief for Lilly’s deceptive and unlawful marketing of Cymbalta in the United States. Second, Plaintiff brings suit on behalf of herself for the personal injuries and pain she sustained during her Cymbalta withdrawal.

BMW named in class action over alleged failure of “Shift-by-Wire” gearshift systems

BMW 7-Series automobiles, model years 2002-2008 (the “Vehicles”) have push-buttons (“Start/Stop” button) to control starting and stopping the engine, and “Shift-by-Wire” gearshift systems controlled by a lever behind the steering wheel. Shift-by-Wire gearshift systems replace the traditional mechanical connection (e.g., cable or linkage) between the gearshift and automatic transmission with n electronic connection controlled by a computer module. The computer module is also referred to by BMW as a “serial bus system.”

As alleged in the complaint, the Shift-by-Wire system is a component of the overall electronically controlled transmission system of the Vehicles. The Vehicles’ electronically controlled automatic transmission system is designed to automatically shift the Vehicle into Park under a variety of conditions, including after the driver has pressed the “Start/Stop” button to turn the engine off, and when the “Park” button on the gearshift lever has been engaged.

Additionally, a subset of these Vehicles was equipped with a “Comfort Access System,” (“CAS”), which allows a driver to start the Vehicle without inserting the key device into the ignition; instead the CAS remotely senses the presence of the key device and enables the “Start/Stop” button. The key device can then be inserted into the ignition, or not, at the driver’s option.

Many consumers have reported problems with the Vehicles’ electronically controlled transmission system. For example, after pressing the “Start/Stop” button to turn the engine off, the Vehicle appears to be in Park but, in fact, remains in Neutral and, in some instances, shifts into Reverse and the Vehicle starts to roll away after the driver has exited believing that the Vehicle is in Park.

There are approximately 122,000 BMW 7-Series model year 2002-2008 automobiles equipped with “Start/Stop” buttons and “Shift-by-Wire” gearshift systems which are at risk for the rollaway problem because of BMW’s defective electronically controlled transmission system. An estimated subset of 45,000 of these Vehicles were equipped with CAS. The issue is so significant that the Office of Defect Investigations (“ODI”) of the National Highway Transportation Administration (“NHTSA”) opened a Preliminary Evaluation in August 2011 (NHTSA Action Number PE 11-025), which was recently upgraded to an Engineering Analysis in April 2012 (NHTSA Action Number EA12-002), to further study the problem. According to the NHTSA issued investigation summary (the “NHTSA Report”), the agency has reviewed more than 50 complaints about the problem, including reports of at least sixteen crashes, with at least five crashes resulting in injuries.

CLASS:  All persons or entities who purchased or leased new or used model year 2002-2008 BMW 7-Series vehicles (“the Vehicles”) between the period 2001 through the present that are equipped with push-button ignition and electronically controlled transmission system with a “Shift-by-Wire” gearshift system.