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Representing Drivers in Car & Auto Class Action Lawsuits

Girard Gibbs LLP has represented millions of vehicle owners across the United States in class action lawsuits, delivering significant recoveries and benefits ranging from cash reimbursements to free repairs and rental vehicles.

If you have a question about one of the cases below or would like to discuss a potential case with one of our auto lawyers, please complete the form to the right or call us at (866) 981-4800 for a free and confidential consultation.

Why Girard Gibbs?

Girard Gibbs represents consumers, investors, whistleblowers, employees, and businesses in cases involving consumer protection, personal injury, securities, antitrust, employment litigation and arbitration. The firm’s senior partners, Daniel Girard and Eric Gibbs, have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012 and Northern California Super Lawyers, and have earned AV-Preeminent ratings from Martindale-Hubbell, recognizing them in the highest class of attorneys for professional ethics and legal skills.

Related Cases
Summary

If you are looking for information regarding the GM ignition switch recall class action lawsuit, please click here

Final Approval Granted in GM/Dex-Cool Class Action Lawsuit

On October 23, 2008, the California Superior Court granted final approval to the class action settlement reached with General Motors in the GM/Dex-Cool class action lawsuit. This settlement affects people who purchased or leased a "covered vehicle" anywhere in the United States other than Missouri. A separate settlement has been reached for those who purchased or leased their vehicle in Missouri, which will offer the same benefits.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of owners of General Motors vehicles, which were factory-filled with "Dex-Cool" coolant. In summary, the lawsuits alleged that Dex-Cool degraded certain vehicles’ intake manifold gaskets and other engine sealability components, and that in certain other vehicles, Dex-Cool formed a rusty sludge, clogging the vehicles’ cooling systems and causing vehicles to overheat.

The settlement, which covers dozens of GM vehicle platforms spanning ten model years, provides $50 to $800 in cash reimbursement for class members who paid for a covered repair by May 30, 2008, and submitted a claim form by October 27, 2008.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs' consumer lawyers filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Ford in 2013 alleging that the fuel economy ratings of the 2013 Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid are overstated and the vehicles do not achieve the 47 MPG that Ford advertised. 

The lawsuits have been centralized before Judge Kenneth Karas in federal district court in White Plains, New York. The court appointed Girard Gibbs and one other law firm to serve as the "lead" attorneys on behalf of the plaintiffs. 

The plaintiffs filed a single complaint on behalf of every consumer in the U.S. who purchased or leased a Fusion Hybrid or C-Max Hybrid. 

Ford's Motion to Dismiss

On November 22, 2013, Ford moved to dismiss the complaint. Through this motion, Ford is asking the court to end the lawsuit in its favor. We opposed Ford’s motion. The court will likely hear oral argument on the motion, but has not yet set a hearing date.

Free Consultation 

If you own or lease a 2013 Fusion or C-Max Hybrid, or if you want to learn more about any of these cases, please contact our false advertising lawyers toll-free at (866) 981-4800 or by filling out the form to the right.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs LLP filed a class action complaint in federal court in 2006 involving the 2003 Hyundai Tiburon. The complaint alleged that though Hyundai knew the vehicles’ flywheel and clutch parts failed prematurely, it sold the vehicles without telling customers and later refused to cover repairs under warranty.

On June 28, 2010, Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler approved a nationwide settlement that provided cash reimbursements to eligible Class Members. More information about the settlement can be found in the Notice of Class Action Settlement and below.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

If you are looking for information regarding the GM ignition switch recall class action lawsuit, please click here.

Update: Important Message About GM Bankruptcy and Outstanding Claims

On June 1, 2009, General Motors filed a Chapter 11 Voluntary Petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Since that time, all matters relating to the GM bankruptcy filing, including the wrap-up of the Dex-Cool class action settlement, have proceeded before the bankruptcy court in New York. If you filed a timely claim in the Piston-Slap litigation your claim may be affected by the Chapter 11 filing.

On September 16, 2009, the Bar Date Order was entered establishing November 30, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) as the deadline to file proofs of claim (including claims under section 503(B)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code). Creditors will be notified and provided with a proof of claim form. Additional information about how to file a proof of claim can be found in the “Bar Date Materials” link at the GM bankruptcy web site at www.motorsliquidationdocket.com. If you filed a timely and valid claim with the Piston Slap Claims Administrator, Class Counsel continues to represent your Piston-Slap claim and is in communication with GM’s bankruptcy counsel in order to submit a Class Proof of Claim to the Bankruptcy Court in an effort to resolve your Piston-Slap claim. Class Counsel has negotiated the resolution of the outstanding Piston-Slap class claims with the bankruptcy counsel for GM, and the bankruptcy court has approved the settlement between the remaining Piston-Slap class claims and the GM liquidating estate. The GM Bankruptcy Trustee anticipates that the next distribution of GM stock and warrants to allowed unsecured claims will be in late October or early November. Based on that schedule, Class Counsel anticipates that it will make a distribution of the bankruptcy settlement proceeds by the end of 2011, or as the Court permits. Because the claims will be paid out of bankruptcy, they will be paid at a reduced amount, expected to be approximately 30% of the value of the claim.

Please monitor the General Motors Corporation Court Documents and Claims Register website at www.motorsliquidationdocket.com for additional information and court filings as the bankruptcy proceeds. Class Counsel will also update this website as more information becomes available.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

A nationwide class action is pending in New Jersey federal court on behalf of Mercedes-Benz owners and lessees relating to the Tele Aid systems installed in their vehicles. The Plaintiffs allege that Mercedes-Benz failed to inform its customers that the analog only Tele Aid systems in their vehicles would become obsolete in 2008 unless they paid hundreds of dollars for a digital upgrade. Plaintiffs allege that Mercedes-Benz knew as early as 2002 that the FCC would no longer require cellular providers to support analog cellular phone services but did not begin informing its customers that this would adversely impact their analog Tele Aid systems until late 2006.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs LLP and co-counsel filed a class action complaint against Honda on behalf of plaintiffs and other owners and lessees of certain 2008-2010 Honda Accord and 2009-2010 Acura TSX vehicles. The complaint alleged that a defect caused the vehicles’ rear brake pads to wear prematurely and that Honda did not tell its customers about the defect or cover the repairs under warranty. Honda has denied the allegations.

 
In July 2010, Judge Margaret M. Morrow approved a settlement that provided cash reimbursements to eligible Class Members nationwide. Among other things, eligible Class Members could purchase newly available improved rear brake pads and be reimbursed for the parts and labor costs in full, up to $150.
 
More information about the settlement is below and can also be found in the Honda Class Action Settlement Notice.
Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs' car & auto lawyers and lawyers from other firms filed lawsuits alleging that Toyota failed to tell its customers about a problem with the HID headlights on 2006-2009 Toyota Prius vehicles. According to the lawsuits, the headlights prematurely fail by flickering or turning off intermittently, often requiring costly repairs. Although Toyota has denied these claims, Girard Gibbs LLP is pleased to announce that the parties reached a proposed settlement that has been granted final court approval. Reimbursement checks are expected to begin going out by mail by December 2011. When a more precise date is known, it will be posted here.

Among other things, the settlement provides:

  • A free warranty extension for HID headlight bulb and electronic control units (through the earlier of 5 years and 50,000 miles); and
  • Cash reimbursements to many class members who paid for headlight repairs.

Details about the settlement can be found in the TOYOTA CLASS ACTION NOTICE.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs and co-counsel filed class action lawsuits across the country, representing nearly 400,000 class members nationwide against Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. and DaimlerChrysler Corp. The class action lawsuits alleged that Mitsubishi and Chrysler failed to tell their customers about the wheel rim problems, which posed a potential safety risk to consumers, even after learning of the problem. The class action lawsuits alleged violations of various California, Missouri, and Kansas consumer protection laws..

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen of America on behalf of owners and lessees of 2001-2003 Volkswagen Passat, Jetta, New Beetle, GTI and Golf vehicles, as well as Audi A4, TT and A6 vehicles. The class action suit alleged that the vehicles' ignition coils were defective and presented a potential safety concern to drivers of affected vehicles. The class action contended that Volkswagen violated consumer protection laws by concealing a known problem about its ignition coils.

In the court approved the class action settlement negotiated by Girard Gibbs, Volkswagen provided cash reimbursements to its customers who spent money repairing defective ignition coils. As part of the settlement, Volkswagen also notified customers that they could get free replacements of the ignition coils in their vehicles.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs' false advertising lawyers filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of U.S. Hyundai and Kia owners and lessees, contending that Hyundai continued to advertise false horsepower ratings in the United States even after the Korean Ministry's findings. The class action complaint alleged that Hyundai and Kia were able to sell more vehicles and charge more per vehicle because of the deceptive advertising.

Girard Gibbs negotiated a class action settlement which provided Hyundai and Kia owners nationwide with cash payments and dealer credits. The value of the settlement was estimated between $75 million and $125 million. Under the court approved settlement, Hyundai provided up to $225 in cash and up to $325 in dealer credits to owners of the affected vehicles.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Owners of 2004-2006 Hyundai Elantras from across the country reported experiencing problems with their front airbags. Owners reported that the passenger airbags would sometimes fail to activate, leaving the passenger vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident.

Girard Gibbs filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 2004-2006 Hyundai Elantra owners and lessees in federal court in Los Angeles, California. The class action lawsuit alleged that Hyundai failed to warn owners of a known safety defect with the vehicles' airbag system. The lawsuit contended that Hyundai's failure to warn or repair these vehicles violated consumer protection and warranty laws.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs filed a class action lawsuit against BMW in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The class action alleged that BMW failed inform its customers of a known problem in the seat occupation detection system and that by concealing the defect, BMW was able to sell and charge more for the vehicles than they would have otherwise. The lawsuit alleged that BMW's failure to fix this problem violated various consumer protection and warranty laws.

Judge Wendell Mortimer approved the class action settlement negotiated by Girard Gibbs, which provided BMW 5-Series owners with free seat occupation system repairs. In a statement concerning the settlement, the court said that "Class Counsel displayed skill in achieving a highly favorable result that confers significant benefits on a large number of people while addressing an issue of societal importance - public safety."

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs and co-counsel filed a national class action lawsuit against BMW in federal court in Los Angeles, California. The class action lawsuit alleged that 1999-2006 BMW 3 series vehicles suffer from defective sub-frames and that BMW was aware of the alleged defect, but failed to notify consumers or pay for sub-frame repairs under warranty. The lawsuit additionally alleged consumer fraud, deceptive advertising, and that BMW had implemented a secret warranty program.

Girard Gibbs and co-counsel negotiated a settlement with BMW in the class action lawsuit, which was approved by the court in 2009. Under the settlement, class members nationwide received full reimbursement for prior sub-frame repair costs as well as free inspections and, if needed, repairs to their sub-frames.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

In November 2010, Girard Gibbs LLP filed a national class action lawsuit alleging that the plastic fuel tanks on certain Ducati motorcycles are defective because they degrade and deform due to an incompatibility with the motorcycles’ fuel. On January 12, 2012, the Court fully approved a settlement that provides an extended warranty and repairs for fuel tank expansion issues, including cosmetic imperfections.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Summary

Girard Gibbs LLP filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Ford in April 2011 involving the 2005-2007 Ford Freestyle.  The lawsuit alleges that Ford sold and leased the Freestyle without warning customers about a problem that causes the Freestyle to surge while idling.

The lawsuit is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California before Judge Michael M. Anello. The lawsuit is a proposed class action, meaning that if the court allows the suit to proceed as a class action, a successful resolution may benefit not just the named plaintiff, but other Californians who bought or leased a Ford Freestyle as well. 

Case Status

Unfortunately, the trial court ruled in June 2012 that the case could proceed on an individual basis only.  We asked the court to reconsider its decision, but the court declined to do so. We then filed a request to appeal the trial court’s decision, and on February 27, 2013, the court of appeals agreed to hear the case.

We will continue to update this web page as there is news to report on the case. You can also fill out the form to the right to receive periodic updates on the case via email. If you live outside of California or are otherwise interested in pursuing a claim on an individual basis, we recommend that you take action promptly (whether by going through small claim’s court, contacting another lawyer, or by taking some other step) because the passage of time can affect your rights.  Regardless, if you have spent money on related repairs, we encourage you to save your receipts. 

Court documents such as the Order Granting Permission to Appeal and the court’s order denying class certification can be viewed on this webpage.

Alleged Legal Violation(s)
Consumer Lawyers
  • Eric
    Gibbs
    Eric Gibbs is a founding partner of Girard Gibbs LLP, a law firm dedicated to the protection of consumer... MORE >
  • A. J.
    De Bartolomeo
    A. J. De Bartolomeo is a partner at Girard Gibbs LLP with extensive experience representing consumers and... MORE >
  • Dylan
    Hughes
    Dylan is a partner at Girard Gibbs LLP, and for years has dedicated his efforts to protecting consumers... MORE >
  • Geoffrey
    Munroe
    Geoff Munroe is a partner at Girard Gibbs LLP dedicated to holding corporations accountable for using unfair... MORE >
  • David
    Stein
    David Stein is a partner with Girard Gibbs and a member of our Consumer Attorneys Practice Group. David... MORE >
  • Amy
    Zeman
    Amy Zeman is an associate attorney and a member of our Consumer Attorneys Practice Group. Amy represents... MORE >
  • Scott
    Grzenczyk
    Scott Grzenczyk is an associate at Girard Gibbs LLP and a member of the Consumer Protection Law Practice... MORE >
  • Matthew
    George
    Matthew George is a partner with Girard Gibbs and a 2005 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. MORE >
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