A five-year class action suit concerning Volvo sunroofs has been given new life by a judge in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. The judge greenlighted a renewed class certification motion by the plaintiffs. The vehicle owners say Volvo’s sunroofs harbor a defect, allowing water to flood the vehicles.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals had vacated a previous class certification earlier this year and remanded the case back to the lower court.
“Based on the court’s careful consideration of the parties’ positions; and for good cause shown, it is ordered that, on or before December 22, 2015, plaintiffs shall serve their renewed motion for class certification,” the judge writes in court documents.
Volvo’s attorneys have until January 22, 2016 to serve their opposition to the class certification motion, according to the court.
“This case is now over five years old and it is time for this case to move forward,” says attorneys for the plaintiffs in a letter to the court. “Accordingly, we respectfully request that Volvo’s request to re-open fact and expert discovery be denied and the parties proceed to class certification briefing immediately.”
Volvo’s attorneys point out that two of the named plaintiffs have sold their vehicles since the appeals court overturned the class certification of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.
“These two plaintiffs, like the other named plaintiffs, claim they experienced water leaks caused by a sunroof drain allegedly clogged by debris,” write the attorneys in a letter to the court. “They seek damages for their out-of-pocket costs for the hypothetical cost of repair that purportedly will eliminate any possibility of water leak from a clogged sunroof drain. Yet, since they no longer own a vehicle, they have no need for this repair, just like the thousands of vehicles in the proposed class that have been retired to the junkyard.”
The six states the District Court judge had originally granted as subclasses for class action were Massachusetts, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, California and Maryland.
The plaintiffs contend the alleged “defect” sunroofs are on Volvo’s S40, S60, S80, V50 (model years 2004 to present), XC90 (model years 2003 to present) and V50 (model years 2005 to present).
The suit was filed in 2010 in U.S. District Court by Joanne Neale of Needham, Mass., and seven other owners.
To read the court’s order, click here.
To read the plaintiffs’ letter, click here.
To read Volvo’s letter, click here.