May 29, 2019 – Case Partially Dismissed; Attorneys Have Until June 12 to Refile
In response to amotionfiled by Porsche in late January 2019, United States District Court Judge Federico A. Moreno haspartially dismissedthe lawsuit detailed on this page.
Counts one and three outlined in the suit, which respectively allege violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and state a claim for declaratory relief, havebeen dismissed without prejudice; count two, which alleges Porsche breached its implied warranty of merchantability—i.e. when an individual buys a product under the unspoken assumption that it will work as intended—with consumers, has been dismissed with prejudice.
Count two was tossed by Judge Moreno on the grounds that the plaintiffs purchased their cars from third-party sellers, and not directly from Porsche.
“Simply put, Plaintiffs purchased their used Porsche vehicles from The Collection and Carmax dealerships—not directly from Porsche,” the dismissal order reads. “Because Porsche did not directly sell, or negotiate the sale of, the used vehicles to Plaintiffs, there is no contractual privity, and thus Plaintiffs cannot state a claim for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability under Florida law.”
Judge Moreno has given the plaintiffs’ attorneys until June 12 to file an amended complaint. Failure to do so will result in a final order of dismissal.
Two plaintiffs have put their names on a proposed class action lawsuit that looks to represent owners and lessees of 2010-2016 Porsche Panamera and 2011-2019 Porsche Cayenne vehicles equipped with V8 engines (class vehicles).
Filed in Florida federal court, the lawsuit centers on alleged design and manufacturing defects found within components of the class vehicles’ engine cooling systems. Specifically, the 21-page lawsuit singles out the adhesive used by Porsche to secure the slip-fit connection that joins a vehicle’s coolant pipes to the body of an engine’s thermostat housing unit assembly.
The coolant pipes continually expand and contract due to repeated heating and cooling as part of an engine’s heat cycle, the case states. In the course of ordinary operation, the suit goes on, an engine’s cooling system is also exposed to extreme temperatures and vibration. Over time, the epoxy adhesive that secures a vehicle’s coolant pipes to its thermostat housing “degrades, loosens, and eventually fails,” the case alleges, which can cause the pipes to abruptly separate from the thermostat housing.
The safety risk posed by the alleged cooling system defect is substantial, the plaintiffs say. From the complaint:
“The Cooling System Defect presents a substantial safety risk because it can cause sudden engine failure and complete loss of vehicle power at any time and without warning, including while traveling at highway speeds. Moreover, when a coolant pipe separates from the thermostat housing, it separates completely, dumping a significant amount of coolant liquid throughout the engine compartment, onto the tires of the vehicles, and into the roadway. This creates an exceptionally dangerous and slippery road condition, leaving the driver of the Defective Vehicle and those traveling behind at risk of losing traction and control.”
Porsche has known of the supposed cooling system defect for “more than a decade,” since at least 2007, the lawsuit alleges.