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Defective Automobile

2016 Kia Optima EX

Connor Brogan was driving in the highway in his 2016 Kia Optima EX when his engine made an odd noise, the complaint for this class action alleges—and then the car stopped and the engine caught fire. The complaint claims that Kia and Hyundai Theta II engines in certain model vehicles have a defect that can restrict oil flow and prevent proper lubrication that can result in engine failure, and that the companies have concealed this defect and continued to sell vehicles with affected engines.

Chrysler Logo

Stoneridge Control Devices, Inc. has agreed to replace parts in a settlement of a class action alleging that clutch safety interlock devices (CSIDs) in certain Chrysler vehicles contain return springs that may fatigue and fail. CSIDs prevent ignition unless the vehicle’s clutch pedal is pressed.

Mercedes-Benz 2007 M Class Vehicle

Mercedes-Benz USA has agreed to settle a class action alleging that seat heaters in some of its vehicles may overheat, causing a hot spot to develop that can spark, smoke, or burn a hole in the seat cover. The vehicles in question are a 2000-2007 ML-Class, 2006-2007 R-Class, or 2007 GL- Class Mercedes-Benz vehicle equipped with seat heaters.

2013 Nissan Sentra

Plaintiff U Can Rent bought fourteen Nissans equipped with Nissan’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan markets the CVT as being new and better, but according to the complaint for this class action, it is in fact defective and even dangerous. The complaint claims that with fewer than 20,000 miles on the vehicles, they began having issues such as engine revving and delays while the car was transitioning between gears, and shaking. The complaint also alleges that the CVT would “jump, start, stop, bind, and lag unexpectedly, dangerously, and inappropriately” and that Nissan has been aware of the problem for some time.

2015 Cadillac SRX

The complaint for this class action alleges that the headlights for 2010-2015 Cadillac SRX vehicles are defective, so that they may dim and/or fail in a short time. The complaint claims that the seals in the cars’ headlights wear out or deteriorate, allowing moisture to condense and accumulate, and that the vents are also defective in not allowing a proper flow and exchange of air. According to the complaint, the accumulating condensation can corrode lamp components and cause the headlights to malfunction or the bulbs to dim or fail, within as little as three months after the car is purchased.

2016 Ford Focus

Ford has agreed to settle three class actions alleging that its PowerShift Dual-Clutch Automatic (DPS6) Transmissions are defectively designed, affecting certain 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta and 2012-2016 Ford Focus vehicles. The complaints for the class actions claim that defects cause the cars to slip, buck, kick, or jerk, resulting in a sudden or delayed acceleration.

Nissan Sentra 2017

The complaint for this class action quotes many online complaints that describe problems with 2012 to 2017 Nissan Sentras that are equipped with Nissan’s Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). According to the complaint, the CVT is prone to premature failure from overheating. The complaint suggests that the temperature of the CVT fluid is controlled by a small cooler attached to the CVT, and that this design makes it “unreasonably sensitive” to heat, which may turn on the vehicle’s Fail-Safe Mode and cause anything from shudders to catastrophic transmission failure where that the driver loses control.

Chrysler Jeep Wrangler

The Chrysler Jeeps in question in this case, for model years 2012 to 2017, have a cylinder head on top of the engine that is made with sand casting. The complaint alleges that the sand is not sufficiently removed but seeps out as the car is driven, working its way through the car’s systems and settling in the heater core, radiator, and oil cooling systems as a thick, reddish, sludge that builds up until the heating and cooling systems stop working properly. Chrysler has refused to pay for repairs required by the problem, the complaint says, claiming that the problem is caused by “external factors” or “misuse” or that the vehicles are out of warranty. However, the complaint points out that buyers cannot know of the defect until the systems actually fail. Among its other claims, it requests a declaration by the court that the repairs should be covered under the Powertrain Warranty and an extension of the Basic Limited Warranty.

Blood on Airbag

Certain car companies are now beginning to settle cases requiring they replace those defective and dangerous Takata airbags. That should be a relief.

Unfortunately, it turns out that other car companies also used Takata-made airbags and have not issued a recall to replace them! Why have they delayed for so long?

Subaru Forester 2013

Six car companies—BMW, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota—have agreed to settlements in a class action alleging that they used defective Takata airbags in their vehicles that, at deployment, could rupture and expel debris or shrapnel into the passenger compartment or otherwise improperly deploy, and that consumers sustained economic losses from this.

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