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Case Number: 3:16-cv-07244
Judge: Edward M. Chen
Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco County)
Defendant's Attorney: Joseph John Ybarra, et al.
Description: San Francisco, California personal injury class action lawyers represented Plaintiffs, who sued Defendant on Magnuson_Moss Warranty Act fraud theories under 15 U.S.C. 2301, et seq., which provides:
In order to improve the adequacy of information available to consumers, prevent deception, and improve competition in the marketing of consumer products, any warrantor warranting a consumer product to a consumer by means of a written warranty shall, to the extent required by rules of the Commission, fully and conspicuously disclose in simple and readily understood language the terms and conditions of such warranty. Such rules may require inclusion in the written warranty of any of the following items among others:
(1) The clear identification of the names and addresses of the warrantors.
(2) The identity of the party or parties to whom the warranty is extended.
(3) The products or parts covered.
(4) A statement of what the warrantor will do in the event of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty—at whose expense—and for what period of time.
(5) A statement of what the consumer must do and expenses he must bear.
(6) Exceptions and exclusions from the terms of the warranty.
(7) The step-by-step procedure which the consumer should take in order to obtain performance of any obligation under the warranty, including the identification of any person or class of persons authorized to perform the obligations set forth in the warranty.
(8) Information respecting the availability of any informal dispute settlement procedure offered by the warrantor and a recital, where the warranty so provides, that the purchaser may be required to resort to such procedure before pursuing any legal remedies in the courts.
(9) A brief, general description of the legal remedies available to the consumer.
(10) The time at which the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.
(11) The period of time within which, after notice of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with the warranty, the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.
(12) The characteristics or properties of the products, or parts thereof, that are not covered by the warranty.
(13) The elements of the warranty in words or phrases which would not mislead a reasonable, average consumer as to the nature or scope of the warranty.
The Plaintiffs in this class action case claimed that General Motors internal GM documents showed that the company was quickly alerted to a defect in the engine’s piston rings that resulted in the vehicles consuming too much oil. The excess oil infiltrated parts of the engine where it didn’t belong, resulting in damage and, eventually, premature engine breakdown and failure. By 2010, GM recommended to its dealers that they clean the pistons of the vehicles in question. That solution was ineffective and company engineers and other employees recommended that the piston ring design be changed. GM made other ineffective engine design changes in 2011, but the oil consumption issues persisted until GM finally discontinued production of the engine following the 2014 model year.
Outcome: Plaintiffs' verdict for $102.6 million.