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Shively v. BMW – Defective Auto Lawsuit Alleges Failure to Disclose

A defective auto parts lawsuit has been filed against a manufacturer by a California resident who alleges defendant failed to disclose a dangerous and material defect in the throttle control system of the vehicle. steeringwheel1

In Shively v. BMW, plaintiff seeks class action status for his claim.

The lawsuit alleges breach of implied warranties and violations of the Unfair Competition Act, False Advertising Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. It also alleges defendant engaged in fraudulent concealment and nondisclosure for not informing customers of defective and potentially dangerous conditions of the cars they sold.

As of this writing, BMW has not issued a recall on the part, and they have not yet responded to the lawsuit.

Plaintiff alleges he leased a 2013 sedan the year it came out. He says in making his choice on which car to lease, he leaned heavily on marketing materials released by the company indicating these were quality vehicles that were regarded for safety and performance. However, plaintiff says that soon after he signed his lease and took possession of the car, he began to experience issues with the vehicle failing to accelerate properly. Sometimes it would not accelerate at all, and then other times, it would accelerate belatedly. This, he says, posed a serious safety hazard to himself and others.

There is no indication from the filing the plaintiff was involved in an accident or hurt as a result of the problem, though he does allege the company is and was aware of the problem as a result of complaints from consumers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Despite being made aware of the issues, defendant reportedly did not remedy them and in fact, according to plaintiff, actively concealed them in an attempt to ensure the warranty on the vehicles ran out, so that consumers would be burdened with the cost of repair.

He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The problem of defective vehicles and defective vehicle parts is not a new one.

Ford, for example, was also accused of a throttle defect that caused sudden acceleration. In Johnson et al. v. Ford Motor Co., a pending class action lawsuit alleges that vehicles manufactured from 2002 to 2010 are prone to sudden acceleration, and that the company did not create systems that prioritized braking over acceleration. That case is being tried in a federal court in West Virginia.

More recently, auto manufacturer Tesla recalled 90,000 cars – every Model S car the company ever made – due to a single report in Europe that the seat belt was not properly assembled. According to news reports of that case, a front seat passenger turned to talk to passengers in the back and her seat belt became disconnected. There was no accident or injury, though clearly, the manufacturer wasn’t taking any chances.

Also this month, Kia recalled nearly 260,000 Soul model sport utility vehicles made from 2014 through 2016, citing potential steering wheel problems. No crashes or injuries have thus far been reported in that case either.

And last month, Japanese manufacturer Takat6a Corp., responsible for airbag production, agreed to a $200 million civil penalty for defects linked to seven deaths and more than 100 injuries in the U.S. alone.

Our Orlando car accident lawyers know that last year, there was a record number of vehicle recalls – 64 million –  driven largely by General Motor’s ignition switch fiasco that reached back to vehicles manufactured more than a decade earlier.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

BMW sued for allegedly failing to disclose defective throttle control, Nov. 19, 2015, By Sharon Spungen, LegalNewsline.com

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Elder Driver Causes Florida Crash That Killed Father, Infant; Six Others Injured, Nov. 17, 2015, Orlando Car Accident Attorney Blog

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