BMW Owners Seek Permission to File Third-Amended Complaint Over Alleged Sunroof Defect

BMW owners have outlined what would be included in their third-amended class action complaint over an alleged sunroof defect. Judge Maxine Chesney of the U.S. District Court of Northern California has granted permission for the petition to be filed later this month.

Plaintiffs’ include Monita Sharma and Eric Anderson who argued that their case should include California residents who have “owned or leased any BMW X5 series vehicles, X3 series vehicles and 5 series vehicles.”

“On June 19, 2014 [the court] issued an order granting BMW’s Motion to Dismiss and allowing the plaintiffs to amend their second-amended class action complaint. In the court’s order, it determined that plaintiffs’ Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the Unfair Competition Law claims could not stand because there were insufficient allegations in the complaint establishing that BMW was aware of the safety defect at issue before the plaintiffs’ purchased their vehicles,” according to court documents.

“The proposed third-amended class action complaint adds additional facts sufficient to support a finding that BMW knew of the class vehicle defect when plaintiffs purchased their vehicles and failed to disclose this defect to the class,” BMW owners’ attorneys write in court documents. “Specifically, the complaint alleges that years before plaintiffs purchased their vehicles, BMW had become aware of numerous complaints and instances where the vital electrical equipment in the trunk had become water damaged due to its vulnerable location in the class vehicles’ trunks. In response to these complaints, BMW chose to blame the consumer and conceal the problem. It refused to issue a recall, failed to pay to fix the problem, and failed to provide any warnings to consumers about the danger. Rather, it circulated a secret service bulletin to authorized service technicians advising them of the problem and instructing them to fix damaged vehicles by relocating the electrical equipment. The secret service bulletin also instructed repair facilities to place a warning in the trunk advising owners of the potential for water damage. But BMW refused to cover the cost of the repair to resolve the defect, and instead would blame consumers for failing to clean their sunroof drains, instead of acknowledging the vulnerable position of the electronics. For many class members, these repairs and warnings were a day late and dollar short.”

The third-amended class action complaint alleges “causes of action” for violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Competition Law. The new complaint also adds a “cause of action” for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability pursuant to Cal. Civ. Code, §§ 1792, 1794.

BMW attorneys told the court they were “unopposed” to the plaintiffs’ filing a third-amended complaint.

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