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Appeals court reverses lower court dismissal of lawsuit that says $9,000 ceramic brakes are noisy.

Posted in News

BMW M Carbon Ceramic Brake Noise Lawsuit to Continue
Appeals court reverses lower court dismissal of lawsuit that says $9,000 ceramic brakes are noisy.

— A BMW M carbon ceramic brake noise lawsuit alleges the $9,000 brakes are so noisy they scare and distract anyone within hearing distance.

The class-action lawsuit includes the following M models if equipped with carbon ceramic brakes:

  • 2013-2016 BMW M6 Coupe
  • 2013-2016 BMW M6 Gran Coupe
  • 2013-2016 BMW M6 Convertible
  • 2013-2016 BMW M5
  • 2014-2016 BMW M3
  • 2015-2016 BMW M4 Coupe
  • 2015-2016 BMW M4 Convertible

The plaintiff claims the $9,000 ceramic brakes cause long high-pitched noise when the brakes are applied, but BMW allegedly claims the brakes are working as designed.

Plaintiff Norik Barakezyan leased a 2014 BMW M6 Coupe in July 2014, and one of the added options was carbon ceramic brakes that added another $9,250 to the price of the vehicle.

The plaintiff claims the ceramic brakes are so loud that people stop and stare, especially around crowded streets within city limits. Even police officers allegedly take note because they equate the loud brake noise with high-speed driving or racing.

According to the lawsuit, BMW has allegedly known about the M carbon ceramic brake noise since 2013 but has continued to conceal the issue of brakes that make noise above what an ordinary customer would expect.

According to the lawsuit, BMW has engaged in a nationwide conspiracy to conceal the brake defects by refusing to keep records of visits to dealerships by M model customers. The plaintiff claims by failing to document dealer visits or provide repair orders, BMW has deprived customers their lemon law rights by distorting the M model repair histories.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges the 48-month/50,000 mile warranty is useless because the automaker refuses to honor the terms that should apply to the noisy brakes.

Attorneys for BMW say they can't understand why the automaker has been sued for brakes that work perfectly fine, are made exactly the way they are supposed to be made and have no technical defects whatsoever.

The plaintiff claims BMW should have warned customers the noisy brakes could scare other drivers and possibly cause crashes, making the brakes a dangerous safety defect the automaker allegedly ignored. However, the plaintiff also admits he doesn't know of any crashes caused by the squealing brakes.

BMW says noisy brakes are not a safety defect and the owner's manuals warn customers the ceramic brakes can make noise. Those M model manuals say, “...due to properties of the materials used, braking may be associated with louder function noises, particularly in wet conditions, just before the vehicle comes to a stop.”

More importantly, nowhere in the lawsuit does it claim the carbon ceramic brakes don't work as intended.

After the plaintiff filed a third amended lawsuit, a California federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in full without giving the plaintiff the right to amend the complaint again. The dismissal caused the plaintiff to appeal to the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which ruled the lawsuit shouldn't have been dismissed.

The case will be returned to the lower court for reconsideration.

The original BMW M carbon ceramic brake noise lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California - Norik Barakezyan, et al., v. BMW of North America, LLC, et al.

The plaintiff is represented by the Margarian Law Firm.

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