Hearing Date Set for BMW Sunroof Class Action Case

A California judge has set a schedule for hearings on a class-action lawsuit against BMW that accuses the car maker of manufacturing defective sunroofs.

newgavelU.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney of the Northern District of California set the date for the hearing between BMW and plaintiffs Monita Sharma and Eric Anderson at March 31, 2017. Both sides have until that date to produce and file motions and “expert witnesses,” according to court documents.

Chesney’s ruling is the latest in a case originally brought in 2013. Sharma and Anderson alleged their vehicles suffered water damage after the drainage tubes installed to pull water away from the sunroofs did not work properly.

BMW has repeatedly argued for dismissal of the case, citing, among other things, the suit does not reach the threshold of a class action.

“First, the purported class is not ascertainable because it includes many persons who have no claims against BMW North America,” BMW attorneys argued in 2013. “Those putative class members whose cars have never manifested the alleged defect, those whose sunroofs leaked for reasons other than the alleged defect and those whose cars are covered under warranty—and thus eligible for repair at no cost to them—cannot claim they suffered any cognizable injury and therefore lack standing.”

BMW attorneys also claimed, “The class includes many vehicles purchased more than ten years ago, meaning that the transactions at issue are well outside the statutes of limitation of, for example, plaintiffs’ CLRA (three year), UCL (four year) and breach of express warranty (four year). At a minimum, persons whose claims are outside the statutes of limitation should be excluded from any proposed class.”

A judge ruled against BMW in January 2014, saying the plaintiffs made allegations “sufficient” to represent a class action at the pleading stage of their case against the automaker over an alleged sunroof defect.

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