Judge Rules Class Action Lawsuit Against BMW for Faulty Electronics and Flooding Can Continue
Last week, Judge Maxine M. Chesney ruled against BMW in two motions filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California and will let a class action against BMW alleging concealed design defects causing trunk leaks and electrical problems in certain vehicles proceed. Plaintiffs allege that BMW’s X5, X3 and 5-series vehicles were designed with a defect that leaves certain electrical components prone to water damage. According to the complaint, some vital electrical components are located in the lowest part of the cars’ trunks. Their location makes them prone to damage, and damages to those components can cause the car to lose power while in operation. In the case of one of the named plaintiffs, she alleges that her car became inoperable while she was driving on the highway.
The Court found that Plaintiffs had adequately alleged BMW knew of the defect due to a service bulletin issued by BMW.
The bulletin pertains to the “E60 (5 Series)” model, describes its “Subject” as “Various Electrical Problems Caused by Water Ingress,” and, in the portion of the bulletin titled “Situation,” states that “[w]ater ingress into the luggage compartment may cause various electrical problems or faults associated with [various specified components],” including SDARS, RDC, and PDC Modules. The bulletin also identifies fifteen locations for a technician to check for water leaks, including checking “[s]unroof drains for being loose on the rear of the sunroof or clogged.” . . .
The Court finds the above-referenced bulletin sufficient at the pleading stage to show BMW’s awareness of the existence of the asserted defect prior to the dates on which plaintiffs purchased their respective vehicles.