A class action complaint has filed in Northern Georgia against Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Daimler Aktiengesellschaft (collectively Mercedes) for alleged spontaneous breakage found in the auto manufacturer’s panoramic sunroofs. The plaintiff is seeking a trial by jury, monetary relief, and an order requiring Mercedes to disclose and repair the alleged defective panoramic sunroofs.
Lead plaintiff Hilaret Zaroukian alleges Mercedes is responsible for an alleged design defect in its panoramic sunroofs for select vehicle models. According to the class action complaint, the affected vehicle models are: 2003-present Mercedes-Benz C-Class; 2007-present Mercedes-Benz CL-Class; 2013-present Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class; 2003-present Mercedes-Benz E-Class; 2008-present Mercedes-Benz G-Class; 2007-present Mercedes-Benz GL-Class; 2012-presnet Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class; 2012-present Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class; 2012-present Mercedes-Benz ML-Class; 2010-present Mercedes-Benz M-Class; 2015 Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-600; 2009-present Mercedes-Benz R-Class; 2013-present Mercedes-Benz S-Class; 2013-present Mercedes-Benz SL-Class; and 2013-present Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.
“Mercedes, along with other manufacturers, failed to meet the engineering challenges, with at least three manufacturers issuing safety recalls due to the panoramic sunroofs’ propensity to spontaneously shatter,” a portion of the class action complaint reads. “Mercedes vehicles suffer from an inherent design, manufacturing and/or materials defect whereby their panoramic sunroofs spontaneously shatter without outside influence.”
In her complain, Zaroukian stated that she leased a new 2018 Mercedes-Benz E300 in May 2018 from a California Mercedes dealership. In October 2020, she was driving on the freeway when she “heard a horrible noise that sounded like a gunshot.”
Her sunroof shade was closed, which prevented most of the glass from entering the cabin, but the sound of exploding glass led her to pull over. She saw that her panoramic sunroof glass had shattered and drove home on city streets carefully, according to her complaint.
Zaroukian alleges that the service manager at the dealership said the sunroof wasn’t covered by the warranty and she would have to pay to replace the sunroof. Zaroukian said she picked up her vehicle about 10 days later and the Mercedes worker who escorted her to the vehicle told her that a different owner had visited the dealership with the same problem a few months earlier.
Zaroukian called Mercedes’ headquarters several times and the customer service representative she spoke to at headquarters said that she would investigate it and get back to her. Eventually, Zaroukian was told that “something must have struck the sunroof and Mercedes’ would not cover the cost of repair.”
According to the class action complaint, Zaroukian said the cost to replace the sunroof at Zoom Autobody in Pasadena, Calif., was $12,583.96, she paid $207.50 for a rental car from Enterprise and was required to pay $1,000 out-of-pocket to repair the sunroof.
“Had Mercedes disclosed the panoramic sunroof defect at the point of sale, Zaroukian would have seen and been aware of those disclosures. Furthermore, had she known of the defect, she would not have leased the vehicle, or she would have paid substantially less,” a portion of the class action complaint reads. “In addition, she would not have suffered the economic damages she sustained. Plaintiff did not receive the benefit of the bargain.”
Mercedes has yet to respond Zaroukian’s class action complaint or any defect allegations. Look to a future edition of glassBYTEs for continued coverage of this suit.