Fluidmaster Inc. named in class action lawsuit over latent defect in “No Burst” Toilet Connectors

This action seeks to redress the latent defects in Fluidmaster’s “No Burst” Toilet Connectors with acetal coupling nuts (“Toilet Connector”). Fluidmaster claims to be a world leader in toilet repair and plumbing products. During the relevant period, Fluidmaster designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold flexible Toilet Connectors. To permit water flow into the toilet tank, a Toilet Connector connects the water fixture shut-off valve to the base of the toilet using a plastic coupling nut. These plastic coupling nuts are uniformly defective in their design and labeling. As a result, the Toilet Connector poses a substantial risk of failure by permitting the unrestricted flow of water into the home causing damage to property.

As alleged in the complaint, Fluidmaster knew about the defects with its Toilet Connectors and that they were prone to failure following routine installation. Fluidmaster also knew that as early as 2003, a mechanically and financially feasible, safer alternative design for the Toilet Connector that presented no adverse consequences to the product or to the consumer was available in the marketplace. Rather than replace these defective Toilet Connectors, the complaint alleges that Fluidmaster concealed and suppressed its knowledge of these defects, exposing Plaintiffs and the putative Classes to a substantial risk of significant property damage.

Fluidmaster remediated many of the design defects with its Toilet Connectors, including a wholesale change of the plastic material. Fluidmaster, however, never notified Plaintiffs and the members of the putative Classes that a remediated product was available. Instead, Fluidmaster left Plaintiffs and the putative Classes exposed to the risk of catastrophic water damage by the defective product, while it slipped its remediated Toilet Connectors into the market undetected.

This action seeks to both compensate those who have already suffered damages caused by the Toilet Connector and minimize any future damages by publicly disclosing the existence of the defects and establishing a protocol to remove them from properties.

 

Ford sued over latent defects in vehicles equipped with the 5.4L engine

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The complaint alleges that between 2004 and 2008, Ford manufactured, assembled and marketed a host of products containing latent defects.

Since calendar year 2005 and up until 2012, the Defendant has been aware of consumer complaints regarding a Class of Vehicles (equipped with the 5.4L engine) identified and described more fully below. These complaints have been made directly to Defendant and/or submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), Office of Defect Investigation.

This Class of Vehicles suffered from defects in design and/or manufacture, which has led to the following performance and safety issues: acceleration hesitation, loss of revolutions per minute (“RPM”), stalling, loss of power (including loss of power at high rates of speed), sudden and intermittent deceleration and other similar and potentially life-threatening malfunctions (hereinafter referred to as “Engine Problems”).

The Engine Problems are the result of defects in the following vehicle systems and components: the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), the Transmission Control Module (TCM), the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) and/or the Throttle Body Assembly.

In August 2008, as proof of knowledge of the Engine Problems, Defendant issued a Technical Service Bulletin (“TSB”) to notify its dealership network (and others in the service and repair industry) of the procedures necessary to rectify the defects.

Although Defendant recognized in 2008 that many of its vehicles contained Engine Problems, it actively concealed from the public, and the owners of this Class of Vehicles, the need to perform certain services and/or repairs to remedy these defective and potentially life threatening conditions.

Defendant chose not to inform its dealership network, or others who received the TSB, that the aforementioned Engine Problems were under Express Warranty, which the defendant was under a contractual duty to service and/or repair. Concealment of these Engine Problems was orchestrated to minimize and/or avoid the defendant’s contractual responsibility to the Plaintiff class of owners.

The applicable express warranty related to the Class of Vehicles and Engine Problems at issue is 8-years or 80,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The Engine Problems in this case did not arise in the named Plaintiffs’ vehicles until 2012, at which time the breach of warranty was discovered and realized.

Class: “Current owners of all 2004 through 2008 Ford passenger car and light truck vehicles sold in the United States and equipped with a 5.4 L engine and which include the original Powertrain Control Module (PC’M), the Transmission Control Module (TCM), the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) and/or the Throttle Body Assembly. The class of vehicles is limited to those delivered within 8 years and having less than 80, 000 miles.”