Plaintiffs in Honda Window Regulator Case File Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
August 15, 2012

by Casey Neeley,

Yesterday, plaintiffs in Grodzitsky v. American Honda filed an opposition in response to Honda's motion to dismiss plaintiff's master class action complaint. The original complaint, filed on July 24, claims that the window regulator in certain Honda vehicles is defective and results in the sidelite falling into the door frame or becoming stuck in the fully-open position.

Honda claims in its motion to dismiss that "all named Plaintiffs alleged window regulator failures occurred after-and in most cases, well after-their limited warranties expired."

"Plaintiffs assert that Honda made certain representations, wholly unrelated to window regulators…which [they] claim were false. However, none of them recall or identify any specific advertisements they allegedly read, saw, or heard," read Honda's court documents.

The plaintiffs reply to this argument in their opposition by saying that, "Honda devotes the bulk of its motion to arguing that the window regulator defect, which causes the side windows in class vehicles to unexpectedly fail and become inoperable-sometimes shattering along the way-is not a safety hazard and is indistinguishable from a fully operational window a driver or occupant voluntarily rolls down. Honda's argument is illogical: a sudden and unexpected falling (and shattering) of a window while driving plainly implicates safety, as does the driver's inability to open or close that window if and as needed."

In the motion to dismiss, Honda alleges that plaintiffs do not have the legal ability to make a claim on an expired warranty without "trying to extend the terms of their express written warranties indefinitely." Honda also cites plaintiffs' inability to "show a legitimate, plausible safety issue."

In response, the plaintiffs allege Honda acknowledged the safety concern by issuing a recall on additional vehicles.

"Honda's position conflicts with testimony its own employees gave in other cases and contradicts Honda's own acknowledgement of the safety hazard the window regulator defect poses: just last year, Honda issued a partial recall of other vehicles based upon the very same defect, warning vehicle owners that windows affected by the defect 'may bind and shatter onto the occupants,'" reads the opposition.

Judge Stephen V. Wilson granted a hearing on the motions Tuesday, which will take place on September 17.

In the complaint filed February 9, Phyllis Grodzitsky, owner of a Honda Odyssey, and Jeremy Bordelon, owner of a Honda Element, alleged that they reported repeated failures of window regulators in their vehicles. Grodzitsky further claims that she contacted her local Honda service manager and was told, "all [Honda Odysseys] have that problem."

The vehicle models in question include the Honda Odyssey, Pilot, Element, Accord, CR-V, Civic and Acura MDX between the years of 1994-2007.

"Honda knew of the window regulator defect, yet failed to disclose and concealed the defect from class members and the public and Honda continued to market and misrepresent the class vehicles as 'reliable' and 'durable' vehicles, which they are not," read the original complaint.

Plaintiffs have since successfully turned the original complaint into a class action suit which now includes two other named plaintiffs, Mark David Olson and Sohal Shah.

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