Plaintiff files this class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and all similarly situated persons who purchased “Trader Joe’s T’s & J’s Sour Gummies.” At all times, Plaintiff believed that she was purchasing Product with only natural ingredients and/or flavors. On information and belief, Plaintiff has the understanding that the Product contains non-natural ingredients.
As alleged in the Complaint, the Defendants make false, deceptive and misleading claims regarding ingredients used in and characteristics of the Product. Defendants created and/or authorized the false, misleading, and deceptive advertisements and/or packaging and labeling for the Product that falsely claim they consist of only natural ingredients, “no artificial flavors” and conceals the fact that the Product contains DL-malic acid, a harmful artificial and synthetic flavor additive.
This is a class action on behalf of owners of 2009-2014 Impreza WRX vehicles (“class vehivcles.” Subaru introduced the class engines in the United States market in late 2007 for the 2008 model year. Class engines are predisposed to premature engine failure. Class vehicles are defective with respect to improperly designed and manufactured pistons and an engine management system and PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system that subjects class engines engine to premature catastrophic engine piston ringlands failure (the “Piston Ringlands Defect”).
WRX and WRX STi engines are high performance versions of the 2.5 liter displacement EJ series engines used in other model Subaru vehicles including but not limited to the Forrester, Legacy and Outback. These performance modifications nearly doubled the horsepower for WRX and WRX STi engines over the standard base 2.5 liter engine. These performance modifications that created substantially increased power output did not include necessary internal engine modifications to prevent damage to the piston ringlands.
Inadequate class engine piston ringland durability was caused by casting the class engine pistons from hypereutectic aluminum silicon (Al-Si) alloy. While this alloy has some strength attributes over conventional cast aluminum pistons, Al-Si pistons and in particular piston ringland are more brittle. This Al-Si materials selection and cast construction method resulted in insufficient strength pistons in class engines.
Another contributing cause to class engine failure was an inadequate PCV system that allowed excessive engine crankcase oil vapors to be introduced into the engine combustion chambers thereby lowering the overall fuel/air octane mixture. This causes increased combustion forces acting on the piston through a phenomenon know as detonation. Detonation is a well-known cause of internal engine component damage particularly including piston and piston ringland failure.
Failure of class engines due to the Piston Ringland Defect results in sudden power loss and/or stalling that severely compromises the owner’s ability to maintain vehicle control. The defective class engine components and engine management system also causes sudden an catastrophic engine self-destruction as overheated internal parts seize.
The failures in the class engines due to the Piston Ringland Defect pose a serious safety issue while the vehicle is being operated since there is loss of engine power without warning and the loss of power-assisted steering and reduced braking caused by lack of engine vacuum if the engine stalls. In class vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, the drive wheels will lock and cause loss of directional stability and steering if the engine stalls and the clutch is not immediately disengaged.
A class action complaint was filed on behalf of owners of Model Year 2013–2014 Nissan Altima vehicles (“Subject Vehicles”) which allegedly contain defective continuously variable automatic transmissions (“CVT”) that cause shuddering, hesitation, stalling, unusual noises, and ultimately, premature transmission failure. The CVTs pose a significant safety risk. When the shuddering occurs, momentum of the Subject Vehicle is suddenly lost, the rate of speed drops or the vehicle stalls, and the brake lights do not illuminate. The defect is especially dangerous because it manifests when the driver presses the accelerator. Just when the driver attempts to accelerate, nothing occurs. This is sometimes followed by an unexpected surge of power. The CVTs increase the risk that the driver will lose control and cause a collision.
When owners of Subject Vehicles seek repair of their defective transmissions, they are routinely informed that the transmission requires replacement, at a cost upwards of $3,000. With the replacement, the vehicles are then equipped with another defective CVT, and the cycle repeats.
According to the complaint, Nissan knew the CVTs were defective in this way, were prone to shuddering, hesitation, stalling, unusual noises, and eventual premature failure yet failed to disclose these material facts to Plaintiff and other Class members. Nissan misrepresented the safety risk the Subject Vehicles pose to occupants and the public. Nissan knowingly engaged in omissions of material facts and false and misleading representations regarding the performance of CVTs in the Subject Vehicles.
As a result of Nissan’s unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent conduct, Plaintiff and the other Class members received a car worth less than as represented and less than what they paid for when purchasing their Subject Vehicles.
Plaintiff brings this action individually and on behalf of all similarly situated persons in the United States who purchased or leased 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles that were designed, manufactured, distributed, marketed, sold and leased by Defendant Hyundai Motor America.
According to the complaint, beginning in 2016, if not before, Defendant knew that the Class Vehicles contain one or more defects that cause, among other problems, significantly delayed acceleration, loss of power, or rough shifting (“Powertrain Defect”). The Powertrain Defect has been documented to occur without warning during vehicle operation and poses an extreme and unreasonable safety hazard to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Numerous Class Vehicle owners have reported a significant delay in the Class Vehicle’s response while attempting to accelerate from a stop and/or while cruising in situations that require the ability to accelerate rapidly (e.g., merging on to the highway, changing lanes, etc.). Other Class Vehicle owners have reported jerking, lurching, and/or engine revving associated with the delayed acceleration.
California’s Fair Packaging and Labeling Act provides: “No food containers shall be made, formed, or filled as to be misleading.” (California Business & Professions Code § 12606.2(b).) “A container that does not allow the consumer to fully view its contents shall be considered to be filled as to be misleading if it contains nonfunctional slack fill.” (California Business & Professions Code § 12606.2(c).) Section 12606.2(c) defines “slack fill” as “the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the volume of product contained therein.” According to the complaint, Boulder Brands USA, Inc., maker of Glutino Gluten Free Pretzels, markets and sells its pretzel products in packaging that is 40% empty space.
This consumer class action arises from defective Theta II engines found in hundreds of thousands of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the United States.
As alleged, the Theta II engine’s fuel injection system causes contaminants to enter the engine’s oil supply. Initial symptoms of the Defect include a knocking noise from the engine, a reduction in engine power, and engine stalling events (the “Defect”). When the level of contaminants in the oil supply sufficiently thicken the Theta II engine’s oil supply, the engine fails, leading to an immediate loss of engine power and power steering. The Defect thus creates a safety hazard for not only the vehicle’s occupants but the occupants of nearby vehicles. Countless consumer complaints to Hyundai, Kia and traffic safety authorities detail the safety risks and economic burdens of vehicles prone to total and unexpected engine failure.
The only remedy for the Defect is replacing the engine with another defective Theta II engine. Though the Defect is covered by Defendants’ written 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranties, Defendants routinely deny warranty coverage to engines consumed by the Defect by blaming the engine-killing oil sludge on inadequate maintenance or the use of aftermarket oil filters.
Between 2015 and 2017, Defendants recalled 1.5 million vehicles with Theta II engines in North America. Each recall addressed knocking noises, engine stalls, and sudden engine failures. Though the recalls cover Theta II engines manufactured over a five-year period in at least two continents, in each instance, Defendants attributed the recall to the same underlying cause: leftover metal debris in the engine from the manufacturing process.
Reports suggest that in 2016, a Hyundai engineer informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) that Defendants have long been aware that the Theta II engines possess a design flaw affecting all Theta II engines. These reports are consistent with the experience of Plaintiff and countless other owners and lessees of vehicles with defective Theta II engines that have not been recalled (the “Class Vehicles”). Non-recalled Theta II engines are failing because of the Defect in numbers that in some cases exceed the failure rates of recalled vehicles.
This case seeks protection and relief for owners of the Class Vehicles for the harm they have suffered, and the safety risks they face, from Defendants’ unfair, unlawful, and deceptive trade practices.
StarKist is one of the largest producers of seafood products in the United States. As alleged, StarKist’s products contain a mislabeling representations that causes consumers to falsely believe that StarKist products are healthier than products made by other food manufacturers. Specifically, StarKist prominently displays the American Heart Association
“Heart-Check Mark” on products. The complaint contends that reasonable consumers see the Heart-Check Mark and would mistakenly believe that a product with a Heart-Check Mark is healthier than a product without a Heart-Check Mark. In truth, however, the Heart-Check Mark is nothing more than a paid endorsement which Starkist fails to inform the consuming public.
As alleged, the Nestle labels SweeTARTS as if they contain only natural ingredients and are flavored only with natural ingredients when the Product actually contains undisclosed artificial flavors in violation of state and federal law. Defendant’s packaging, labeling, and advertising scheme is intended to give California consumers the impression that they are buying a premium, “all natural” product with natural flavoring ingredients instead of a product that is artificially flavored.
Plaintiff, who was deceived by Defendant’s unlawful conduct and purchased the Products in California, brings this action on her own behalf and on behalf of California consumers to remedy Defendant’s unlawful acts.
The complaint is based upon research funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, and published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, which found a number of Krill Oil manufacturers included less krill oil than the amount represented on the label. With respect to CVS Krill Oil, the study found it only contained 60% of the 300mg of Omega-3 Krill Oil represented
The objective of the underlying study was to assess EPA and DHA label declarations of fish, krill, and algal oil dietary supplements in the USA. The researchers concluded that the quality of fish oil supplements is not being adequately monitored by manufacturers or government agencies.
A number of other krill oil manufacturers were implicated in short changing consumers. Also included as a defendant was the manufacturer of the krill oil for CVS, LANG PHARMA NUTRITION.
Eat Real Foods USA, LLC manufactures and sells snack products made from lentils, chickpeas and quinoa under the brand “EatReal” accompanied by slogans and advertising promoting the healthy and unique aspects of its Products. The complaint pertains to “Quinoa Puffs,” “Quinoa Chips,” “Lentil Chips,” and “Hummus Chips” (the “Products”), sold to consumers in bags of various sizes through third-parties via brick-and-mortar stores and online.
As alleged, though the Quinoa Puffs lists “Quinoa Puffs” as the first and most predominant ingredient, the listing of its sub-ingredients reveals “Corn Meal” present in an amount greater than quinoa. Similarly, the Quinoa Chips list “Quinoa Flour” as the first ingredient, the second ingredient is “Corn Flour” and the fourth ingredient is “Corn Starch,” making it probable that corn is present in the Quinoa Chips in an amount greater than quinoa. The Lentil and Hummus Chips’ lists lentil flour and chickpea flour as their first ingredients. However, because lentil flour (48%) and chickpea flour (45%) are each present in an amount less than half, it is probable that the substantive, non-flavoring ingredients are actually present in an amount which exceeds lentil and chickpea flour.
As alleged, the labeling of these products misleadingly suggest that the Products either consist entirely of quinoa, lentils and chickpeas or at a minimum that those ingredients are present in an amount which greatly exceeds any other non-substantive ingredients. This impression is reinforced by each Product being prominently identified with a large circle denoting the specific flavor – i.e., White Cheddar Flavor – such that they will conclude the flavor is “White Cheddar” when actually the Products are corn, rice and potato snacks that are flavored with quinoa, lentils and chickpeas.