Volvo Tries to Stop Defect Lawsuit

Volvo Cars of North America LLC and Volvo Car Corporation (collectively Volvo) fought back in Federal Court against a renewed motion for class certification in its ongoing legal battle centered on alleged defective sunroofs for select models that has gone on for more than a decade, according to court documents.

The class action suit was filed on behalf of a number of Plaintiffs, against the defendant Volvo.

Volvo’s attorneys note that the New Jersey Federal Court and the Third Circuit have repeatedly rejected the Plaintiffs’ certification efforts for “failure to satisfy predominance, ascertainability, and (most recently) numerosity requirements over the past decade.” Volvo says the Plaintiffs have yet to prove they have all of the requirements to continue the lawsuit.

The Plaintiffs’ fifth renewed motion seeks to certify two subclasses in California, Florida, Massachusetts and New Jersey. One consists of those who purchased certain model and model year vehicles from a Volvo dealership and who still own the vehicles as of an unspecified future date tied to a class certification order.

“But because membership is determined at some future point in time, Plaintiffs cannot establish numerosity [a numerous amount]. The only evidence Plaintiffs have offered stops at June 20, 2020, and is now old. Who knows how stale that evidence will be six months or a year from now? The vehicles in the proposed subclasses, which range from nine to 17 years old, are being sold or scrapped with each passing day,” a portion of Volvo’s opposition memorandum reads.

“After more than a decade of failed attempts, the Court should deny Plaintiffs’ renewed motion with prejudice because Plaintiffs have not met their burden of providing all requirements,” Volvo said in its opposition memorandum.

Case Background

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2010 by Joanne Neale, alleged Volvo was responsible for defective sunroofs that caused water leaks in certain models. A new deposition was then added to the class action suit in 2018 by Kelly McGary, who claimed she has not experienced any issues with its sunroof even after leaving her vehicle parked outside, exposing it to various weather conditions.

When questioned about ever noticing any leaks herself, by her mechanic or by her staff members who also drive the vehicle, she answered no.

Plaintiffs want a federal judge to certify their proposed class in a new motion. They claim Volvo sold the defective sunroofs that led to interior damage to its vehicles. According to court documents, some Volvo owners noticed excess water inside of their vehicles after their limited warranty period was up.

In April 2020, Volvo defense attorneys filed a letter to the presiding judge urging the court to dismiss subpoenas, filed by the plaintiffs, requesting additional information from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in an ongoing leaking sunroof class action lawsuit. In mid-June the Court directed the plaintiffs to serve (but not file) their renewed motion for class certification by July 15, 2020. After the renewed motion was served both parties were to meet and confer.

Look to a future edition of glassBYTEs for continued coverage of the suit.

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3 Responses to Volvo Tries to Stop Defect Lawsuit

  1. Wally & Gretchen Dunning says:

    Original owners……

    Our 2016 Volvo XC90 less than 50,000 miles – in excess of $5K in electrical repair damages due to plugged sunroof drains as reported by Volvo Service Technicians. NHTSA Complaint 11417805 filed 5/19/2021. I have a detailed event log with pictures and retained replaced parts. Numerous Driver Safety Issues have been reported including an engine that could not be shut down. The car actually had to be towed running to the Volvo Dealership.

  2. Wally & Gretchen Dunning says:

    Here is a link to our full NHTSA complaint…with pictures.

    Wally and Gretchen Dunning

  3. Shiqiang Wei says:

    I am a Canadian owner. My car is 2019 Volvo XC60 is still new, only 3 years old, 24k KM odometer.

    On Oct 11, 2021, I suffered the similar issue with Wally & Gretchen Dunning: There is a piece of insolation-like debris in sunroof drain tube caused a lot of water leak and flooded the car. Errors such as front camera dead, parking brake is temporarily un available, can’t speed up, transmission service required, gear not in p, check engine light on, can’t turn off|on engine, etc., came out.

    I wrote a email to Volvo Canada, 5 days passed, no answer yet!

    The car was towed to Newmarket Volvo, and the service manager quoted me 25 hours(or $5000+) labor to repair it. And all cost will be paid by me although the car is still under warranty! What a shame!

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