— A California man says his Mercedes-Benz sunroof shattered while he was driving, sending shards of glass into the GLA250 SUV and all over the driver.
Giorgio Enea says he leased a new 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 in July 2015 and while driving to his job as a pilot for a major airline in June 2017, the sunroof shattered and sent shards of glass all over the inside of the SUV and into the hair and eyes of the plaintiff.
Enea says he was removed from his job as a pilot for several days until he was cleared to fly again by an eye doctor.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff took the SUV to a Mercedes dealer, but the dealer allegedly refused to fix the shattered sunroof for free unless the plaintiff signed a form to release the automaker from all liability.
"It is understood and agreed that for and in consideration of the full discharge of any and all past, present, and future claims for or with respect to any losses or damages of any form whatsoever (including but not limited to any and all claims for personal injuries, economic loss or other loss) involving Releasor’s 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 automobile..."
The release form goes on to describe what type of claims will be dropped by the owner, including legal claims.
"In further consideration of the undertaking by Releasees under this Release, Releasor represents that he has not filed, nor will he file, a lawsuit against Releasees as it relates to the Issue."
Enea says he refused to sign the release and had to pay more than $2,000 of his own money to repair the shattered sunroof.
The panoramic sunroofs take up a large portion of the roofs and allegedly pose unique problems for engineers, something that is seen with numerous manufacturers that experience shattered sunroofs in their vehicles. As with other automakers, Mercedes allegedly charges a premium for vehicles with panoramic sunroofs that cover the roofs.
The lawsuit alleges several Mercedes models have the same sunroof problems which lead to complaints about sunroofs that crack, explode and shatter.
The plaintiff claims it's a clear safety issue because the explosive sound created when the sunroof shatters creates a distraction to the driver, not to mention the distraction caused by shards of glass falling all around.
According to the lawsuit, Mercedes-Benz has refused to warn drivers about the dangers of the sunroofs and has continued to sell and lease the vehicles without mentioning the alleged defects. Additionally, the plaintiff claims Mercedes changed sunroof suppliers because of shattered sunroof incidents.
The proposed class-action lawsuit includes all California consumers who purchased or leased Mercedes-Benz vehicles in California and who paid for the diagnosis or repair of the sunroofs or who have not had the sunroofs fully repaired.
The Mercedes-Benz shattered sunroof lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Alameda - Giorgio Enea, et al., v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by Haffner Law PC, of Los Angeles.