With discovery plans already on the books for both parties in the case, Jaguar Land Rover North America (JLRNA) is making another effort to dismiss class action claims that its 2020-2022 Defender windshields are defective.
Court documents filed by plaintiffs at the end of June 2022 allege that Land Rover “knew” Defenders “contained one or more defects in the way the vehicles are manufactured and/or made that can cause the windshield to crack, chip and/or fracture.” Plaintiffs also allege Land Rover would have known of the alleged defect through pre-production testing. At the end of December 2022, four additional plaintiffs were added to the suit by an amended complaint.
In February, the parties filed a joint discovery plan with the court. JLRNA then filed its memorandum of law in support of its motion to dismiss a few days later. Since the complaint has already been amended once, Jaguar argues the case should be dismissed. The crux of the vehicle manufacturer’s argument is that the plaintiffs fail to assert their arguments as required by law. According to Jaguar’s interpretation of federal court pleading requirements, defendants must be notified of the “specific wrongdoing” alleged in the case to allow for comprehensive discovery.
“Because windshield cracks are a common experience, to allege that a windshield cracked because of a defect, plaintiffs must do more than make vague claims that there is some problem in ‘the way the vehicles are manufactured and/or made and the use of deficient materials,’” Jaguar writes in its memorandum.
In response to claims of statutory fraud, Jaguar argues that the plaintiffs’ complaint isn’t specific enough with respect to allegations that it failed to disclose the alleged defect.
“Accordingly, assertions that a defendant failed to disclose a defect are not sufficiently particular to put a defendant on notice of what specific fraud it committed,” Jaguar writes. “Similarly, the ‘where’ requirement is not met by unspecified references to a ‘website’ or ‘brochure,’ and the plaintiffs further never say when they reviewed those materials.”
Furthermore, Jaguar refutes the plaintiffs’ claim that it would have known of any defect by way of complaints posted on third-party, consumer-facing sites. The vehicle manufacturer says the plaintiffs allege no facts with respect to the claim, instead using the phrase “on information and belief.”
Jaguar also addresses claims that it experienced “higher than expected” requests for replacement windshields, saying the backorder that started in 2020 coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent delays.
“The first amended complaint does not provide facts showing that backorders were due to large numbers of windshield failures rather than to this equally conceivable possibility,” reads Jaguar’s memorandum.