BMW Attorneys Cite Recent Ninth Circuit Opinion as Support to Dismiss

Attorneys for BMW of North America (NA) claim a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court supports their motion to dismiss a case brought by BMW owners in the U.S. Northern District Court of California, San Francisco division, over an alleged sunroof defect. BMW’s attorneys filed a statement with the court claiming, “The arguments made by BMW NA to dismiss plaintiffs’ warranty claims are the exact holdings of the Ninth Circuit in [Troup versus Toyota Motor Corp.]”

“Troup concerns allegations that the manufacturer’s decision to use resin in a fuel tank gave rise to claims for breach of an express warranty against ‘defects in materials and workmanship,’” BMW’s attorneys write in court papers. “The Ninth Circuit rejected this claim, noting that, ‘In California, express warranties covering defects in materials and workmanship exclude defects in design.’ … Further, the panel found ‘[plaintiffs] failed to adequately allege a materials or workmanship defect. Despite its scattered references to materials, the gravamen of the complaint is that the Prius’ defect resulted from the use of resin to construct the gas tanks, which is a design decision.’”

“The arguments made by BMW NA to dismiss plaintiffs’ warranty claims are the exact holdings of the Ninth Circuit in Troup. First, BMW NA pointed out that in California, claims for ‘design defect’ are not covered by automobile warranties, which are limited to materials and workmanship, and this was expressly recognized by Troup,” BMW’s attorneys wrote in court papers.”

The attorneys claim that the Troup decision “confirms that plaintiffs’ warranty-based claims should be dismissed.”

The BMW owners allege their vehicles suffered water damage after the drainage tubes installed to pull water away from the sunroofs did not properly work.

Monita Sharma and Eric Anderson, BMW owners and California residents, claim the class should include California residents who have “owned or leased any BMW X5 series vehicles, X3 series vehicles and 5 series vehicles.”

Their attorneys claim, “… the class vehicles are equipped with defective sunroof drains that are prone to clogging and rupturing and are routed through the trunk compartment. These defective sunroof drain tubes provide a common source of water ingress to the trunk compartment, where class vehicles’ electronic components are housed. This defect presents a serious safety hazard and makes the vehicles ‘unreasonably dangerous to consumers because of the danger of catastrophic electrical system failure … the vehicles are unsafe to drive.”

The judge has not yet issued any decision at press time.

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