Chrysler’s Dodge Division has suffered a number of class action lawsuits recently regarding the brakes in its vehicles. In December of 2012, one such case was dismissed. Most recently, a class action lawsuit in California against the major car company survived a motion to dismiss, but the judge said the plaintiffs have to amend their complaint if the case is to continue.
U.S. District Judge James V. Selna gave the plaintiffs 30 days to re-plead their claims that Chrysler violated California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act as well as its Unfair Competition Law and breach of express warranty.
The plaintiffs, Ronald Coleman and Giuliano Belle, sued Chrysler Group LLC for allegedly concealing a manufacturing or design error in their Dodge Journeys, which caused their brake pads or rotors to prematurely wear, requiring frequent and costly repairs. For obvious reasons, brake defects pose the greatest safety hazard in vehicles and the plaintiffs say they would never have bought the cars, had they known about the defects.
According to the lawsuit, Chrysler allegedly knew about the defects and, not only failed to disclose the information, but even went so far as to actively conceal it from consumers. Chrysler would have had this knowledge of the brake defect allegedly through pre-release testing data, consumer complaints, and data from authorized dealers and replacement part sales.
While Judge Selna determined that the plaintiffs adequately pled their cases that they suffered economic losses under the CLRA and UCL, he says that Coleman cannot bring his claims under those statutes because he bought his car in Texas. Belles express warranty claim, on the other hand, was denied because Belle did not allege that the brake repair he received under warranty was defective.
The skilled Chicago business attorneys at Lubin Austermuehle have considerable experience with class action lawsuits, consumer fraud and business litigation. Our attorneys can help evaluate a manufacturing defect to determine if the case is a candidate for a class action. the defenses available to protecting your business from a class action lawsuit. If you have questions about Chicago class actions, consumer or business law, contact our office at 630-333-0333 or (630) 333-0333 to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable Chicago business lawyers.