The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Volvo Car Corporation marketed and sold vehicles that have defective sunroof drainage systems and did not properly warranty their vehicles.
One plaintiff in this case, Joanne Neale, brought her car to the dealer after noticing that her car’s carpet was wet and hearing strange sounds while braking and turning corners. Although the mechanics at the authorized Volvo dealership told her that was a common problem with Volvo sunroofs, Neale was still charged $592. Volvo claimed that “an outside influence” caused the problem which brought the problem outside of warranty coverage. Another plaintiff, Kari Hay, also noticed that her carpets were soaking wet. The mechanics of her dealership in Maryland told her that it was a common problem with the sunroof drain system. She had to pay $775 for the repair. The mechanics also informed her that she needed to be better about checking her sunroof drain for clogs. These plaintiffs, other named plaintiffs, and owners around the country have suffered financial losses from Volvo’s negligent behavior.
The Volvo sunroofs are operated by an electronically controlled glass sliding panel on the roof of the vehicle. Sunroofs in most vehicles contain drainage systems to prevent water from entering the inside of the vehicle. Volvo’s drainage systems use drain holes and tubes to direct water from the sunroof to the underside of the vehicle, passing through the interior of the passenger’s side along the way. Unfortunately, defects in the system makes dirt and debris build up in the tubes, which can cause water to enter the passenger’s interior compartment. These leaks not only damage the interior, but can create a safety hazard by potentially damaging important electrical items and sensors. One of these electrical components is the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control system which greatly decreases the risk of accidents in hazardous weather or road conditions.
Volvo never required or recommended having the sunroof drainage system cleaned or checked. In September 2005, they finally addressed the water leakage by issuing a Technical Service Bulletin about the inferior quality of the sunroof drain tubes. They still required consumers to purchase a new hose on their own.
Volvo failed to adequately design, test, and manufacture a sunroof drainage system before marketing and selling it as safe. Customers expected to enjoy the use of their vehicle without the worry that the sunroof drainage system would fail. If it did fail, they expected it would have fallen under warranty. Instead they suffered economic strain due to costly repairs and decrease in vehicle value for resale.
Based on the facts of the case, the plaintiffs allege that Volvo violated Common Law Fraud and breached Express Warranty, Implied Warranty of Merchantability, and the Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.