Honda Moves to Dismiss Class Action Complaint in Window Regulator Case
April 15, 2013

by Jenna Reed,

In the U.S. Central District Court of California, Western Division, Honda recently filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' master class action complaint which alleges some of the automaker's vehicles have defective window regulators. In the case Grodzitsky versus American Honda Motor Co., the plaintiffs argue the window regulator defect results in the sidelite falling into the door frame or becoming stuck in the fully-open position.

Phyllis Grodzitsky, owner of a Honda Odyssey, and Jeremy Bordelon of Tennessee, owner of a Honda Element, alleged in the original complaint 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."

"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.

In the latest move on this case, Honda's attorneys write, "Seeking to represent a nationwide class of purchasers, plaintiffs assert various claims against Honda based on the general premise that the window regulators in all Honda Odyssey, Pilot, Element and Accord vehicles-as well as all Honda CR-V, Honda Civic and Acura MDX, TSX, RL and CL vehicles that none of them owned-for model years 2000 through 2011 (which plaintiffs define as the 'class vehicles') are defective because certain components in the window regulator systems could at some point during the vehicles' lives wear out and require replacement."

Honda's attorneys question the allegations, claiming that one model listed in the class action does not even have the system in question.

"The scope of the plaintiffs' putative SAC [second amended consolidated] class is vastly different from their original putative FAC [first amended consolidated] class, without explanation as to the reason for this change," Honda's attorneys write.

"However, the SAC adds three entirely new vehicles-the Acura TSX, RL and CL-and now includes 2008 through 2011 model years for all of the new 'class vehicles.' Of particular note, the SAC now adds the 2011 Honda Odyssey to the putative 'class vehicles' that all supposedly contain plaintiffs' alleged 'window regulator defect,'" the documents state.

"However, Honda has already provided plaintiffs with sworn testimony from one of its engineers that explained-in great detail and with graphics-that the 2011 Honda Odyssey uses an entirely different window regulator system and does not even contain the cable ends and polymer brackets on which plaintiffs' defect theory rests," according to the court documents.

In conclusion they write, "Given plaintiffs' demonstrated inability to plead sufficiently viable claims, despite repeated opportunities, further leave to amend would be futile" and they ask the court to dismiss the master second-amended class action complaint.

At press time, the court had not yet ruled on Honda's motion.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.