A judge for the U.S. Northern District Court of California ruled that plaintiffs Monita Sharma and Eric Anderson “have failed to establish their standing to seek injunctive relief,” which would have required BMW to notify owners of the alleged sunroof defect and offer repairs at no cost. The judge also granted the plaintiffs the opportunity to file a second-amended complaint to strengthen their case.
Sharma and Anderson, BMW owners and California residents, allege their vehicles suffered water damage after the drainage tubes installed to pull water away from the sunroofs did not properly work. They successfully argued that their case should include California residents who have “owned or leased any BMW X5 series vehicles, X3 series vehicles and 5 series vehicles.” The judge has ruled their allegations are “sufficient” to represent a class action at the pleading stage of their case. In addition to injunctive relief, the plaintiffs are seeking monetary relief.
“Plaintiffs fail to point to any allegations in the first-amended complaint that could support a finding that either plaintiff faces a ‘real or immediate threat of irreparable injury’ from defendant,” writes Judge Maxine Chesney in her decision. “In the absence of any such allegations, plaintiffs have failed to establish their standing to seek injunctive relief. … Accordingly, plaintiffs’ claim for injunctive relief is hereby dismissed.”
She also pointed out that the plaintiffs made additional factual assertions when arguing their case for injunctive relief that were not included in the first-amended complaint.
“Specifically, [attorneys argued] that the repairs made to plaintiff Monita Sharma’s vehicle ‘have not eliminated the defect.’ And that repairs made to vehicles owned by two persons who are not named plaintiffs likewise did not eliminate the defect in their vehicles,” the judge wrote.
“Because it is not clear that it would be futile to allow plaintiffs to amend to add additional allegations regarding the nature of the repairs made, or not made, to Sharma’s vehicle and/or to vehicles of other persons whom plaintiffs might seek to add as named parties, the court will afford plaintiff leave to amend,” Chesney wrote in her decision.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs soon after filed a second-amended complaint.
“The BMW dealership drained the water out of Sharma’s trunk and replaced the corroded wiring, but did not otherwise move the electronics in her trunk or undertake any attempts to make them watertight. These ineffective repairs provide for a substantial likelihood that Sharma’s vehicle will fail, again, and have not eliminated the defect from her vehicle,” plaintiffs’ attorneys argued.
“Like Sharma, other absent class members have experienced problems related to the defective design of the class vehicles, and will continue to experience problems related to the class vehicles’ defects as BMW has not initiated an effective repair initiative to repair the defects,” they continued.
BMW has not responded to the second-amended complaint.