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

Netgear named in class action lawsuit over a defect in CM700 cable modem

This is a class action brought on behalf of purchasers of the NETGEAR CM700 cable modem (the “Modem”) sold by Defendant NETGEAR, Inc. (“Netgear”). A cable modem is a device that allows cable subscribers to connect to broadband Internet service.

As alleged in the complaint, since its launch in 2016, Netgear marketed the Modem as a reliable high-end modem that is “ideal for the fastest Internet speed service plans.” However, Netgear failed to disclose that the Modem contains a serious defect that prevents it from operating properly. News reports and customer complaints since the release of the Modem indicate that it suffers from high spikes in network latency—delays in data communication over the network—that degrades users’ Internet connectivity.

Plaintiff purchased a Modem for personal use and suffered network latency, an experience shared by many purchasers of the Modem. Despite this widespread defect, Netgear has not announced a recall of the affected model, or otherwise offered to repair or replace it.

By shipping Modems with this defect, Netgear sold consumer goods that were substantially below the quality generally available in the market, were not fit for the for the Internet connectivity for which they were generally used, and were not adequately packaged and labeled.

Complaint

Honda named in class action lawsuit alleging defect in the HandsFreeLink™ system

Honda introduced the Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink™ system in its 2004 model year Acura vehicles. Honda promotes Acura as its luxury brand, offering advanced technology and high performance. The HandsFreeLink™ system was initially offered as a luxury add-on but soon became a standard feature of Acura models. The hands-free interface of the HandsFreeLink™ allows drivers to use their phones without using their hands. Drivers “pair” a smartphone with the car, allowing calls to be made using a microphone and the speakers in the car, and enabling the phone to receive voice commands such as “call home” or “call my office” through the car’s system to dial certain numbers or places.

As alleged, the HandsFreeLink™ system is defective. It becomes locked into the “on” position even if not in use and remains “on” even after the car’s ignition switch is turned off. Once locked “on,” the HandsFreeLink™ unit exerts a continuous, substantial, and (in Honda’s words) “parasitic” electric drain on the vehicle’s electric system. This drain depletes and consumes batteries, and leads to premature failure of other essential electric components—such as alternators, which are forced to compensate for the failing batteries. Acura owners are left with cars that will not reliably start, electrical systems prone to fail even while the car is being driven, and essential electrical parts such as batteries and alternators that must be serviced and replaced.

The complaint contends that Honda has known about this defect in the HandsFreeLink™ system since at least June 2005 but has not warned its customers. As a result, Plaintiff and class members have had to pay out of pocket to replace drained batteries and other electrical components, unaware that the real problem is the HandsFreeLink™ system. By the time customers discover the defect resides in the HandsFreeLink™ system (if they ever do), the warranty period is typically expired. Thus, Plaintiff and class members are left to choose between replacing the costly HandsFreeLink™ unit—with no guarantee that the replacement HandsFreeLink™ unit will not also be defective— or paying to disconnect their HandsFreeLink™ system and losing the use of this feature entirely.

Honda continues to sell and lease vehicles with HandsFreeLink™ without disclosing the defect to consumers. 5. Plaintiff seeks relief for himself and a class of all other consumers who purchased or leased Acura vehicles equipped with a HandsFreeLink™ system under California law or, in the alternative, a class of Acura owners in Washington, to redress the harm they have suffered as a result of this defective technology. Plaintiff requests an award of damages and appropriate equitable relief, including an order enjoining Honda from continuing to sell vehicles with the defective HandsFreeLink™ system and requiring Honda to disclose the defect to current Acura owners and repair their vehicles.

Hyundai named in class action over defect in 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Elantra vehicles

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Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of all persons in the United States who purchased or leased any Hyundai Veloster, Hyundai Sonata (Eco) and Hyundai Elantra (Eco) vehicles equipped with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) (collectively, “Hyundai Vehicles” or “Class Vehicles”)1 designed, manufactured, marketed, distributed, sold, warranted, and serviced by Hyundai Motor America, a California corporation.

In October 2014, Hyundai premiered its 7-speed DCT, designed to “provide an improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emission compared to a conventional six-gear automated transmission, while acceleration performance increases” and featuring two dry clutches that transfer engine power “independently into the odd and even gear train to always be ready to shift into the next gear.”2 However, Plaintiffs allege on information and belief that Hyundai’s 7-speed DCT contains a design defect in the Transmission Control Module (“TCM”) that causes, among other problems, failure to shift, stalling, delayed acceleration, or loss of power (“TCM Defect”). The TCM is a small electronic component within the powertrain that processes data from various sensors throughout the engine in order to determine the optimal gear for shifting and fuel-economy.

On information and belief, the TCM is defective because it fails to interpret data from the vehicle’s sensors properly, thus miscalculating both the appropriate gear and the correct shift timing, which results in an unresponsive accelerator pedal and stalling. Since 20 4. 15, in an effort to address owner complaints regarding the TCM Defect, Hyundai has issued Technical Service Bulletins (“TSBs”), as detailed below. However, these efforts failed to resolve the TCM Defect.

The TCM Defect causes unsafe conditions, including the transmission failing to shift, stalling, and delayed or unresponsive acceleration, especially from a stop. These conditions are hazardous because they severely affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle during normal driving conditions and prevent drivers from accelerating to maintain safe speeds in traffic. For example, the TCM Defect may make it difficult for drivers to accelerate safely from traffic stops because Class Members’ vehicles hesitate, fail to shift gears, and stall when drivers try to accelerate from stops.

Since at least 2015, through consumer complaints and dealership repair orders, among other internal sources, Defendant knew or should have known that the 7-speed DCT in the Class Vehicles contained a design defect that diminishes the drivability of the Class Vehicles and causes safety hazards, in part because the same concerns were expressed regarding the 2016-2017 Hyundai Tucson that is equipped with the same 7-speed DCT and TCM.

On information and belief, Defendant’s corporate officers, directors, or managers knew about the TCM Defect but failed to disclose it to Plaintiffs and Class Members, at the time of sale, lease, repair, and thereafter. In fact, in or around August 2016, Hyundai issued a Technical Service Bulletin (“TSB”) for Hyundai Tucson vehicles equipped with the 7- speed DCT and a limited recall in September 2016 for certain of the same vehicles informing its dealers that a faulty “transmission clutch application logic can result in a delayed engagement when accelerating from a stop” or fail to accelerate at all “if the accelerator pedal is repeatedly cycled.” Hyundai dealers were instructed to reprogram the TCM in the affected vehicles. However, both the TSB and the recall were limited to the 2016 Tucson, despite owners complaining of similar issues in other Hyundai vehicles equipped with the same 7-speed DCT.

Because Hyundai will not notify Class Members that the 7-speed DCT is defective, Plaintiffs and Class Members (as well as members of the general public) remain subject to dangerous transmission malfunctions that can occur without warning. As alleged, the alleged TCM Defect was inherent in each Hyundai Vehicle and

was present in each Hyundai Vehicle at the time of sale. Hyundai knew about and concealed the TCM Defect present in every Class Vehicle, as well as its attendant hazardous conditions, from Plaintiffs and Class Members, at the time of sale, lease, repair, and thereafter. In fact, instead of repairing the defects in the 7-speed DCT, Hyundai either refused to acknowledge their existence or performed repairs that simply masked them.

If they had known about these defects at the time of sale or lease, Plaintiffs and Class Members would not have purchased or leased the vehicles.

Complaint

Subaru recalls vehicles with turbo-charged engines over defect in secondary air injection pumps

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Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain model year 2007-2009 model year Legacy and Outback vehicles, 2008-2014 Impreza vehicles and 2009-2013 Forester vehicles, all equipped with turbo-charged engines. The relay that controls the secondary air injection pump may fail, causing the pump to continuously operate and overheat.

100,127 vehicles are affected by the recall

If the air injection pump overheats, it may melt and increase the risk of a fire.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will replace the secondary air injection pump relay, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Kia named in class action lawsuit over panoramic sunroofs that shatter

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Historically, automobile sunroofs have been modestly sized, spanning just a small portion of the roof over the driver and front passenger seats. Starting in the mid-2000s, manufacturers introduced a substantially larger style of “panoramic” sunroof, which spans almost the whole roof. These sunroofs are aesthetically pleasing, and thus command a premium price, but also pose new and significant engineering challenges. Replacing metal roofs with large plates of glass requires precision in the strengthening, attachment, and stabilization of the glass.

Several manufacturers have failed to meet these demands, with at least three manufacturers issuing safety recalls because their panoramic sunroofs were spontaneously shattering.

Several Kia models have the same problem. More than two hundred Kia drivers have complained that their panoramic sunroofs shattered suddenly and without warning. The shattering occurs so powerfully that some startled drivers have compared the sound to a gunshot followed by shards of glass raining down on vehicle occupants.

Kia admits in a submission to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) that its vehicles are “a leader in such incidents, but even though its competitors and the federal government have acknowledged a seemingly obvious truth—that shattering sunroofs are dangerous—Kia not only refuses to warn drivers of the danger, but also continues to sell and lease the vehicles without disclosing the defect to consumers.

As alleged, Kia’s conduct violates well-established consumer protection laws of numerous states, including but not limited to New York. On behalf of the classes he proposes to represent, Plaintiff seek awards of damages and appropriate equitable relief, including an order enjoining Kia from continuing to sell vehicles with defective sunroofs and requiring Kia to disclose the defect to current owners and leasees of the Class Vehicles (2011-2015 model year Sorento, Optima, and Sportage, and the 2014-2015 model year Soul and Cadenza models)

COMPLAINT

Porsche named in class action lawsuit over faulty alternator cable in 2005-2008 Porsche 911 vehicles

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Plaintiff, a California resident and owner of a 2007 Porsche 911 vehicle, brings this action on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated owners and lessees within California of 2005-2008 Porsche 911 Vehicles.  As alleged, the Class Vehicles are equipped with a defective alternator cable that, due to its defective nature, malfunctions and thereby prevents the alternator from properly charging the battery. As a result of the defective alternator cable, the vehicle battery is left insufficiently charged, potentially rendering the vehicle inoperable as there is insufficient electric charge to power the car.

Vehicles driven at the time the charge dissipates can be rendered disabled in the middle of a road or highway. If the failure occurs in the evening, or during rain, the insufficient battery charge may also render the vehicle’s headlights and other electrical equipment inoperable even before the vehicle is disabled. Either situation poses a real and significant safety risk.

Defendant Porsche Cars North America, Inc. has known about this defect but has failed to make any disclosure of it and has failed to take any corrective action. Plaintiff, whose vehicle suffered the fate of a depleted battery due to a defective alternator cable, therefore, brings this action to seek redress for Porsche’s violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) and Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”).

Ferrari named in class action lawsuit over defect that causes cause sudden engine failure

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The class action is brought on behalf of a nationwide class of all persons who are current or former owners and/or lessees of model year 2004 through 2009 Ferrari F430 automobiles

 

The complaint alleges that Defendant designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold vehicles that contained one or more design flaws and/or defects that cause foreign matter including, but not limited to, pieces of the exhaust manifold and other parts which are downstream of the engine, to be sucked back into the engine resulting in damage to the engine’s component parts and, ultimately, complete engine failure (the “Defect”).

The Defect can at any time cause sudden engine failure resulting in total loss of power to the vehicle including while operating at highway speeds. The Defect exists regardless of driving conditions and compliance with workmanship, and prematurely fail under ordinary driving conditions and far in advance of their recommended maintenance schedule.

As alleged, Ferrari has purposefully concealed, and continue to conceal, their knowledge of the Defect so as to be able to take the position with their customers that the written warranty period “expired” before the Defect manifests. Despite the safety risk to Class Vehicle occupants, Defendants failed to disclose material information regarding the Defect in an attempt to avoid the cost of repair and, instead, unfairly shift the cost of repair to Class Members.

The Defect presents a substantial safety risk because it can cause sudden engine failure and complete loss of vehicle power at any time and without warning.

 

Mercedes named in class action lawsuit over defect in the 722.9 7G-Tronic automatic transmission

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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”).

MBUSA Complaint

Ford investigated over possible defect in torque converters in Windstar and Taurus models.

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Lawyers are investigating possible defects in the torque converters in Ford Taurus and Windstar vehicles. The vehicles experience sheering or stripping of the torque converter which are the result of pressure from the pump shaft, particularly in model years, 2006-2010. The result is replacement of these units and possibly damage to other related equipment.

If you have experienced this problem or want more information about this potential class action lawsuit, please contact us using the Contact A Lawyer Privately box below. Alternatively, you we welcome to share your experiences publicly by submitting a response below.