— Mercedes-Benz "high-priced parts" warranty problems have caused a class action lawsuit that includes all consumers in California who, within the last four years, have been owners or lessees of Mercedes vehicles and who have paid for repairs and parts that should have been covered under the automaker's high-priced warranted parts 7-year/70,000 mile California emissions warranty.
Mercedes says the lawsuit could include hundreds of thousands of vehicles because it includes all Mercedes-Benz models sold in California for over a decade.
"Vehicles sold in 2008 are the oldest vehicles that could still have been within the seven-year limitation of the warranty at the start of the putative class period four years ago in 2015." - Mercedes-Benz
According to the plaintiff, Mercedes fails to accurately identify all the vehicle parts that should properly be classified as “high-cost emissions warranty parts” under California’s emission control system warranty requirements and covered under the California emissions warranty for 7 years or 70,000 miles.
The lawsuit also alleges Mercedes has limited parts that should be covered under the emissions warranty in order to decrease warranty exposure.
By not identifying all the parts that should be included as high-cost warranted parts, Mercedes allegedly is able to limit the emissions warranty coverage for those parts to only 3 years or 50,000 miles.
Mercedes-Benz is allegedly required to inform the California Air Resources Board (CARB) about vehicle parts that are high-priced warranted parts. The plaintiff says this is referred to as the "High-Cost Warranty" or the "California Emission Control System Warranty."
With regard to 1990 and subsequent model year vehicles, a warranted part is defined as, "any part installed on a motor vehicle vehicle engine by the vehicle or engine manufacturer, or installed in a affects any regulated emission from a motor vehicle or engine which is subject emission standards."
According to the lawsuit, this means any part that either affects a vehicle's emissions or causes the onboard diagnostic malfunction light to illuminate is considered a warranted part with a 50,000 mile California emissions warranty.
But the lawsuit alleges if the part is a “high-priced warranted part, the part, labor cost of diagnosing the part failure and the labor cost of replacing the part shall have a 7-year 70,000 mile California emissions warranty pursuant to the High-Cost Emissions-Related Parts Warranty."
According to the plaintiff, the automaker omits from the warranty booklets all the parts that should be labeled as high-priced warranted parts that should be covered under the 7-year/70,000 mile warranty.
The plaintiff claims California consumers have to pay out-of-pocket for these repairs which should be paid for by the automaker. This allegedly allows Mercedes to reduce the amount of money the automaker pays on warranty claims.
The Mercedes-Benz high-priced parts warranty lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division: Hazdovac, et al., v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by Pomerantz LLP, and the Law Office of Robert L. Starr.