BMW has asked the U.S. Northern California District Court to dismiss a class action lawsuit in which the plaintiffs, two BMW owners, claim that drainage tubes installed to pull water away from vehicles’ sunroofs do not properly work, leading to water damage.
“Recognizing that there is no warranty coverage for water leaks in their used BMW vehicles, plaintiffs (Monita) Sharma and (Eric) Anderson seek to impose on BMW NA an obligation to fix their cars for free, ad infinitum, by claiming that they—and a large group of owners and lessees of BMW vehicles sold in the United States over more than 10 years—were ‘defrauded’ by BMW NA through an alleged design defect in their sunroofs that may result in water leaks,” BMW’s attorneys claim in court documents.
“Plaintiffs lack standing to sue because they have not suffered a cognizable injury in fact,” the attorneys continue. “Plaintiffs cannot show BMW NA was under any obligation to repair their cars for free for damage not subject to the 4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty or the 6-year/100,000-mile certified pre-owned warranty.”
BMW’s attorneys argue that the time/mileage limitations of the warranties had expired prior to the owner seeking repairs.
“Even if their CPO warranties are in effect, plaintiffs cannot truthfully allege that it covers their alleged water leaks when it expressly excludes them in three different places,” they write in court documents.
Attorneys also argue that BMW “has no duty to recall the class vehicles because it has not been ordered to do so by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”
Attorneys for Sharma and Anderson claim,“BMW designed, manufactured, distributed, sold and leased various makes and models of BMW vehicles that contain a serious design defect that significantly impacts both the safety and value of its vehicles. Specifically, numerous models of BMW vehicles manufactured during the class period were designed so that certain vital electrical components known as SDARS, RDC, and PDC modules, are located in the lowest part of the vehicles’ trunk. … Because BMW decided to place these vital electrical components in what is essentially the lowest part of the vehicle (the spare tire well under the trunk), they are especially prone to water damage that can be caused through the normal and ordinary use of the vehicle.
“When this water damage occurs, the vehicles become inoperable and pose a serious safety risk to those who experience this problem. Although these components are highly susceptible to water damage, BMW provides no warnings or advisories to BMW owners about the location of this vital equipment or the importance of keeping the vehicle’s trunk compartment free of liquids,” they continue.
The attorneys point out that drainage tubes are installed to pull water away from the sunroof.
“Unfortunately, these sunroof drains were designed in such a way that they are prone to become clogged with dirt, debris, leaves, and other naturally-occurring materials. When these tubes become clogged, they come loose or leak into the trunks of the vehicles. These leaks, which eventually flood the trunks of the vehicles, cause the vital electronic components contained at the bottom of the vehicles’ trunks to short-shutting off certain components of the automobile necessary for driving and creating a potential safety risk,” the attorneys allege.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs have asked that the class include California residents who have “owned or leased any BMW X5 series vehicles and 5 series vehicles.”
At press time, the court had not ruled on the motion for dismissal.