Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Daimler AG face a proposed class action initially filed in California Superior Court over the alleged propensity of sunroofs found in certain vehicle models to spontaneously explode, shatter or crack. Per the plaintiff, the lawsuit, which now resides in federal court, claims the sunroof on the man’s 2015 GLA model—for which he supposedly paid a premium price—shattered without warning as he was driving to work, spraying shards of glass all over, including in the plaintiff’s hair and eyes. The lawsuit adds the plaintiff is a pilot and needed clearance from an eye doctor before returning to work.
Describing the alleged sunroof problem as a “common and known defect,” the complaint explains larger sunroofs, like those found on supposedly affected Mercedes models, require “precise strengthening, attachment and stabilization of the glass,” an area in which the suit posits several carmakers have fallen short in recent years. According to the lawsuit, the defendants, in addition to apparently possessing knowledge of the defect, have refused to warn drivers of the problem while continuing to sell and lease vehicles without disclosing the alleged defect. From the complaint:
“The sunroofs in Mercedes Vehicles are defective and unsafe, in that they are prone to spontaneously explode, shatter, or crack. This defect is a safety hazard, as shards of glass fall on drivers while operating the vehicle, and could cause a serious accident. The sunroofs in Mercedes Benz vehicles are defective in their design and manufacture, as well as for their lack of warnings. [The plaintiff] is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that [the defendants] at all relevant times were aware of the defects, and have changed providers or vendors for their sunroof glass because of the problems and defects.”
The lawsuit seeks to cover two possible classes:
A class of California residents who bought or leased a Mercedes-Benz vehicle in the state and have “incurred actual expenses in connection with either diagnosis or repair of the vehicle’s sunroof”; or
A class of California residents who currently own or lease a Mercedes-Benz car in the state who have not had the sunroof fully repaired.