Hyundai Denied Motion to Dismiss Sunroof Suit

A California judge has denied Hyundai’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought against the car company for allegedly defective sunroofs.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter of the Central District of California allows the case to move forward. In a nine-page order filed November 21, Carter ruled on Hyundai’s motion calling for dismissal of the defendant’s “ … claim for breach of implied warranty of merchantability … and unjust enrichment claims of all defendants.”

Citing several precedents, Carter wrote “ … the Court is unpersuaded by Defendant’s argument that there is no independent cause of action for unjust enrichment in California … ”

The latest ruling stems from a case originally filed in December 2015 by Alabama resident Billy Glenn and three other plaintiffs. The case covers New Hampshire, Texas and Washington, as well as Alabama.

Glenn purchased a new 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in September 2014 with a panoramic sunroof. In February 2015, when the vehicle had about 10,000 miles, Glenn was driving with his wife and daughter when the panoramic sunroof shattered, showering everyone inside the vehicle with glass, according to court documents. Neither the dealership nor Hyundai would cover the costs of repair. Glenn filed a claim with his insurance company.

Glenn alleges that less than one month after this incident, on March 4, 2015, the newly replaced panoramic sunroof also spontaneously shattered. Glenn filed another insurance claim, and had to pay another $100 deductible for the repair and replacement of his vehicle’s sunroof, according to court documents.

Hyundai first became aware of the possible defect in March, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Representatives from Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama inspected the incident vehicle. The car company received additional reports in August, and inspection of these vehicles and subsequent analysis confirmed damage to the wind deflector and correlation to damaged sunroof mounting points. Hyundai decided to issue a voluntary recall September 29 – that recall included about 63,000 late-model Sonata vehicles equipped with panoramic sunroofs.

The recall, issued October 11 by the NHTSA, applies to sunroof-equipped model year 2015-16 Sonata hybrid cars manufactured between December 8, 2014, to August 18, 2015, and Sonatas manufactured May 28, 2014, to March 18, 2016.

To read Carter’s order, click here.

To read the complaint, click here.

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