Volvo Granted Leave to Appeal Class Action Status of Sunroof Case to Third Circuit Court

At Volvo’s request, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to review the six-state class action status of a lawsuit which alleges defects to the automaker’s sunroofs. Volvo made the appellate request after a New Jersey District Court judge declined to reconsider the class certification.

The initial lawsuit was filed in New Jersey U.S. District Court by Joanne Neale of Needham, Mass., and seven other owners. The lawsuit covers Massachusetts, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, California and Maryland. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege there is a defect in the automaker’s sunroofs, which allegedly allows water to flood their vehicles. They contend the “defect” sunroofs are on Volvo’s S40, S60, S80, V50 (model years 2004 to present), XC90 (model years 2003 to present) and V50 (model years 2005 to present).

“Plaintiffs sought to certify a nationwide class applying New Jersey law to claims for consumer and common law fraud, breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” Volvo’s attorneys write in their Appellate Court case summary. “On March 26, 2013, the District Court denied certification of a nationwide class because of variations in applicable law. However, the District Court granted plaintiffs’ alternative motion to certify six statewide classes to pursue claims under the laws of California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

“Appeal is taken from the order certifying six statewide classes and the order denying reconsideration of that order. In addition, to the extent they facilitated the District Court’s class certification decision, appeal is taken from the orders precluding the testimony of Volvo’s expert witnesses offered in opposition to class certification, the orders denying reconsideration of those orders and the order denying Volvo’s motion to preclude the testimony of plaintiffs’ proffered expert, Dr. Charles Benedict,” the attorneys write in court documents.

“[T]he District Court certified six statewide classes. It did so without examining the elements of any claim under the laws of any state, without examining the common and individual issues with respect to those elements, and without weighing the common and individual issues against each other with respect to those elements,” Volvo attorneys continued.

“The District Court also rejected Volvo’s argument that certification was improper because plaintiffs had not demonstrated that the fact or amount of damages could be proved with common evidence. The District Court certified litigation classes even though key elements of the six statewide classes could not be shown with class-wide evidence and even though the classes included many people who could not recover had they brought individual claims under their state’s law,” attorneys claim. “The District Court facilitated its class certification decision by using erroneous standards to exclude Volvo’s proffered expert evidence and admit plaintiffs’ proffered expert evidence.”

The Third Circuit Court has not issued a decision at press time.

Stay tuned to™ for more information on this case as it becomes available.

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20 Responses to Volvo Granted Leave to Appeal Class Action Status of Sunroof Case to Third Circuit Court

  1. Nicole Girod says:

    As the owner of a 2014 s60 with leaks on the passenger and drivers sides I have but one question for you Volvo “don’t you think you should find a fix before continuing to sell your faulty product’ ?

  2. Kate Chun says:

    This is a very common problem and could affect safety features. Volvo should learn from GE’s mistake and issue a recall on all of affected models immediately. Serious accidents may happen.

  3. Pingback: Volvo Owners Tell Appellate Court That Lawsuit Over Alleged Sunroof Defect Should Continue |

  4. j lopinto says:

    Speaking as a original owner of a 2005 volvo s40 which continues to have a sunroof leak.
    Each time it rains I get water inside my car behind the drivers seat. The moisture in the interior has caused my headliner to come apart and a constant must oder. I constantly have to wet vac the water out and air dry my interior which requires lifting the carpet. I have had service where they try to clear the drain lines but this seems to only provide a temporary fix. I live in New york and I feel that Volvo should have to correct this problem,
    I been dealing with this for many years now.

    • Felipe says:

      Have the same problem in my volvo 05 s40, after a lot of research just find how to fix it, have to remove seats and carpet and dry them with heaters funs and dehumidifiers for two days, the problem is the run the host two short, so 1 st is not going all the way in into the drain, 2ed looks that with the time and movements and vibrations is coming loose, they didnt even bother to put some glue on the connection. I took photos and make a video of how i fix it if you are interested let me know and i can email it to you.

    • Jeffrey Hardy says:

      Me too! Have had the exact same problems – thousands of dollars in repairs and electrical problems persist, new headliner! I will start a tweeter campaign @volvoleaks and will also post to Volvo Owners Group on LinkedIn!

    • Julie Cresser says:

      I have a s40T 2007 model which started leaking last spring and now I have a huge mess mold moisture can’t drive it as the interior passenger side floor is filled with mold. I just learned of the class action suit but I live in Oregon. Can anyone tell me if there is a action suit against Volvo in Oregon or is there any other Oregon residents with tis issue?

  5. Noelle Mori says:

    I am having the same problem with my V50…there is now a Facebook site for Canadian Volvo owners to start a Class Action Site in Canada. It’s not right that this is passed on the consumer and I am stunned at how much effort is being put into ‘not’ doing the right thing. This is not the consumer’s problem. No one buys a car and expects this to happen…it’s a bad design and there needs to be a recall…but how to make that happen?

  6. Robert Weidknecht says:

    Does anyone know the fix to this problem? My 2000 S80 is leaking like crazy on the passenger side. I just removed the front and rear carpeting to dry it out and cannot find the location of the problem area. Does anyone have a diagram of the hoses and drains?

  7. Kara Oberbauer says:

    I am having this same problem with my leaky sunroof on my 2007 Volvo S40. When it rains water leaks into my car through the sunroof unto the front passenger seat and the back drivers seat floor boards. I literally had a puddle of water last week in the front passenger seat floor board. The back seats floor board has become moldy and constate musty smell. I take my car in every year since I’ve owned it in 2008 to get fixed and it’s always a temporary fix. I have spent thousands of dollars fixing this problem since 2008. I would like information on how to join this suit so I can get my car that I otherwise love permanently fixed. It has only 45k miles and is paid off so I wish keep it for as long as possible in good working condition. Please email me at with information on how to join this suit. Thank you, Kara.

  8. Scott Rome says:

    I have the same problem on my 2008 volvo s40, back passenger and passenger floors. Please add me to the group,



  9. dave from n.j says:

    I have had this problem fixed by a volvo dealer , and 1 year later the same problem . This should be a recall , but volvo will not , so the goverment should , this is a safety problem .

  10. Mita from CA says:

    I have the same problem with my 2000 S70 (California)

  11. Elizabeth Wells says:

    I have a 2009 S40 purchased in CA. I just started having the same problem this year. Leaks in the passenger side floor board found after rain. First time I had access to a wet-dry vac. Second time I had to do my best to clear moisture without. Still smells. Not sure what to do. Volvo mechanic diagnosed it over the phone as the sunroof. Obviously he is aware this is an issue. Quoted $400-600 fix. Yikes! Per other comments, the leaks will likely return. I just dealt with a known defective satellite radio issue that caused my battery to drain. The dealer comped the fix and the battery. No offer to comp the leaky sunroof drain when I called. Come on Volvo. I love my car, but really? PLEASE ADD ME TO THE SUIT!!

  12. Tammy Thompson says:

    The XC60 was not included, but I am having the same problem. I have had such an unpleasant experience owning this vehicle. I am hoping to sell mine and get another vehicle.

  13. wouter goedkoop says:

    I own a 2010 XC60; I have had issues with sunroof leakes twice. Last bill $ 680. Dealer claims this is quite normal with all cars with sunroofs. Now I also need a new circuit board of $ 700 ( due to corrosion) to operate the sunroof. Always had cars with sunroofs and I have never experienced this problem.

  14. Nicola Walker says:

    I have a 2007 volvo s 40 that is leaking water all over the back passenger floor. Its already got mold growth that I am trying to keep up on cleaning it…I have had a body shop clear out the drains from sun roof, but should a car be leaking water inside like this? I have had quite a few cars in my time, and never ever have I ever had a car leak inside the cabin like this! And I have had some pretty crappy cars! I have always thought of volvos to be a high end luxury car! I thought it to be the nicest car I have ever owned! Well, its turned out to be the only car I have owned to leak water into the cabin causing mold and rust and I do not think its okay! This is very bad of volvo to allow cars to be make with this problem! They should take responsibility for the problem and recall them for free repairs….This is not okay! wet car inside will cause mold which for many people is very toxic and a major life changing health concern! Mold can kill elderly or immunocompromised people! These leaky cars are not safe and need to be taken care of! Will the CEO of volvo swap out his car for my leaking 2007 s40? Maybe that would be fair since they put the leaky cars on the market! Make the Volvo high up people drive them! Then see how long they want to deal with this huge problem!

  15. Joe says:

    2007 S40 leaking into passenger side rear. Cleared all water out and let dry. Did not move car all weekend. Rained heavy on Saturday and today filled with water again. There has to be some way we can fix this mess.

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