Attorneys representing two BMW owners have opposed the automaker’s motion for the court to dismiss the class action status in a lawsuit over an alleged sunroof defect in the U.S. Northern District Court of California, San Francisco division. The owners allege their vehicles suffered water damage after the drainage tubes installed to pull water away from the sunroofs did not properly work.
Monita Sharma and Eric Anderson, BMW owners and California residents, claim the class should include California residents who have “owned or leased any BMW X5 series vehicles, X3 series vehicles and 5 series vehicles.”
BMW attorneys claim that the class action status should be dismissed as “unsuitable.”
In opposition, the plaintiffs’ attorneys claim, “Despite well-settled case law disfavoring motions to strike class allegations at the pleading stage and discussing the premature nature of such motions, BMW of North America LLC has nevertheless decided to bring this motion to entice the court into an unnecessary examination of class certification issues. … However, BMW makes this argument by ignoring and contorting the core issues that in fact make this case well-positioned for class treatment. While it would be procedurally inappropriate to consider BMW’s premature challenge to a class certification motion that plaintiffs have yet to bring, plaintiffs’ well-pleaded FAC readily demonstrates the viability of class certification based on claims involving: a uniform safety defect present across all class vehicles, BMW’s uniform written warranties and its wholesale refusal to honor its warranties, the standard written materials that accompany all class vehicles and BMW’s failure to disclose and active concealment of the uniform defect.”
“… Plaintiffs have alleged that class vehicles are equipped with defective sunroof drains that are prone to clogging and rupturing and are routed through the trunk compartment,” attorneys claim. “These defective sunroof drain tubes provide a common source of water ingress to the trunk compartment, where class vehicles’ electronic components are housed. This defect presents a serious safety hazard and makes the vehicles ‘unreasonably dangerous to consumers because of the danger of catastrophic electrical system failure … the vehicles are unsafe to drive.”
“Had plaintiffs and class members known of the defects, they never would have purchased or leased their vehicles and/or would have refused to pay for repairs that BMW was obligated to cover,” attorneys claim. “Plaintiffs and class members have suffered loss of money and loss in the value of their vehicles, while BMW has profited and continues to profit from the marketing and sale of a product known by it to be defective. These allegations and plaintiffs’ claims are readily susceptible to class treatment.”
The plaintiffs also allege that they never received a copy of BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty when they purchased the vehicles. BMW’s attorneys claim the warranty specifies that the automaker will not cover the water damage alleged by the plaintiffs.
“BMW contents that exhibit C is a ‘true and correct copy of BMW North America’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty as issued with plaintiff Sharma and Anderson’s purchases of used BMW vehicles.’ However, as stated in the declarations attached hereto, neither plaintiff Sharma nor plaintiff Anderson received the CPOW attached to BMW’s request with the purchase of their certified pre-owned vehicles,” plaintiffs’ attorneys claim.
The judge had not issued any decisions at press time.