A proposed class action alleges Mercedes-Benz was aware that the 2021 450 GLE suffered from a defect plaguing the SUV’s on-board electrical system yet did not disclose the problem to drivers prior to sale.
The 69-page first amended complaint, removed to New Jersey District Court on June 18, claims Mercedes-Benz knew of the 450 GLE electrical problems as early as January 2020 yet failed to disclose the defect, and drivers have in turn seen the value of their vehicles diminish after repeated unsuccessful repair attempts, the suit says.
“Accordingly, acting in bad faith, [Mercedes-Benz] lured plaintiffs to consider purchasing the vehicle, marketed and sold as it was with its warranty but without disclosure of the problems that were unable to be fixed in a reasonable time under warranty,” the case says, alleging Mercedes has run afoul of the New Jersey New Car Lemon Law, various state consumer protection statutes and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff bought his vehicle in October 2020 after Mercedes had issued at least three technical service bulletins related to a “no start condition and/or issues related to the vehicle’s battery and/or the vehicle’s electrical system” and after consumers had posted online about their troubles with the 450 GLE and subsequent repair attempts.
“Upon information and belief, before plaintiffs purchased the vehicle from the selling dealer, none of the employees of the selling dealership that showed plaintiffs the vehicle or were involved in the sale of the vehicle to plaintiffs ever mentioned the defect,” the suit asserts, noting that the plaintiff, who does not allege he paid any out-of-pocket money for repairs, was sold his Mercedes with a warranty for four years or 50,000 miles for “basic” components.
Per the complaint, the plaintiff’s vehicle has undergone at least three repair attempts and spent roughly 47 days at the dealership as a result of the no-start condition and/or electrical malfunction. During one repair, the dealership’s staff told the plaintiff that the 450 GLE’s 48-volt battery was the cause of the electrical problems, yet no repairs could be done because the battery was said to have been backordered, the case claims. A few months later, the plaintiff’s vehicle died again and was again towed back to the dealer, whose staff again claimed the 48-volt battery was the root of the issue, the suit says.
“Plaintiffs have no idea if or when the vehicle’s problems will occur again, potentially requiring further repairs,” the complaint reads. “Plaintiffs fear being in a situation in which the vehicle fails to start and that plaintiffs will be stranded somewhere.”
The suit stresses that the extent to which the vehicle has been repaired, i.e. its repair history, counts as a permanent blemish on the car’s value. The plaintiff contends his GLE 450’s repair history makes the car less valuable than had it run without issue.
The lawsuit, initially filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on May 7, looks to cover a proposed class that includes anyone who bought or leased a 2021 or older Mercedes-Benz 450 GLE, with the vehicle being purchased, leased or registered in New Jersey.
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