— A Range Rover air suspension leak class action lawsuit has been preliminarily approved for consumers who leased or purchased 2003-2006 Range Rovers on or before December 31, 2018.
According to the lawsuit, 2003-2006 Range Rovers have defective air suspensions that crack and leak, causing a loss of air pressure in the suspensions and affecting the height of the vehicles. In addition, the plaintiffs claim the vehicles cannot travel straight once air leaks from the systems.
The plaintiffs say they are forced to pay their own money to replace the front air springs, something the automaker should pay for since the air suspensions are defective.
The plaintiffs also allege Land Rover has known about the electronic air suspension system leaks since 2003 and issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) to dealer technicians in 2006.
TSB LM204-006 told dealers about Range Rover customers of models up to 2004 who complained their SUVs lowered in height.
Land Rover said no obvious system leaks may be found, but vehicles in mileage ranges of 30,000-60,000 may develop hairline cracks in the rubber material of the front air springs. Those cracks were likely located at the points where the air springs roll over the plastic bases.
Dealerships were told to replace the affected front suspension components with upgraded spring material, if necessary. However, the lawsuit alleges the new air springs are just as defective as the original springs.
Jaguar Land Rover says it decided to settle the class action after the judge dismissed multiple claims against the automaker while allowing others to continue. The automaker denies any wrongdoing and says there is nothing wrong with the air suspensions, but it is settling the matter to save on the cost of extended litigation.
The plaintiffs told the judge Jaguar Land Rover should stop selling the vehicles, give up all profits from sales of the 2003-2006 Range Rovers and replace the front air suspension systems. But according to the settlement, that's not going to happen.
Instead, Land Rover customers may receive reimbursements for past expenses related to the air springs, but there are specific conditions that must be met. Maximum amounts of reimbursements, time and mileage limits will apply.
To qualify for reimbursement there are two specific conditions. The Range Rover at the time of the front air spring replacement must have been in service for less than the applicable number of years below, and it must have been driven for less than the maximum number of miles within the applicable mileage period.
- Up to 5 years, between 50,001 miles and 62,500 miles: Maximum reimbursement amount - $500
- Up to 6 years, between 62,501 miles and 75,000 miles: Maximum reimbursement amount - $250
- Up to 7 years, 75,001 miles and 87,500 miles: Maximum reimbursement amount - $125
- Up to 8 years, between 87,501 miles and 100,000 miles: Maximum reimbursement amount - $100
If the Range Rover had been in service for more than eight years or driven more than 100,000 miles when the first air suspension replacement occurred, the customer will not be eligible for reimbursement. And service records must prove it was the front air spring replaced. Rear air suspensions are not eligible for reimbursements.
In addition to filing a valid claim, a customer must provide proof of repairs that include:
- The date and mileage when the front air spring was replaced.
- The exact amount of the out-of-pocket costs to replace the front air spring. Estimates or unpaid invoices will not suffice.
- Proof the customer who files a claim owned or leased the Range Rover when the front air spring was replaced.
Reimbursement is only available if the front air spring was replaced due to an air leak caused by a crack or failure of the rubber material of the component.
"A claim will not be eligible for reimbursement if the vehicle’s repair documentation indicates that the repair was due to a collision, accident, vandalism, puncture from road debris, customer abuse, noise complaint unrelated to an air leak, or any other reason other than an air leak."
Additionally, the front air spring must have been one of the original springs installed on the new Range Rover at the factory.
If a replacement was performed by a service center other than an authorized Land Rover dealer, the replacement will not qualify for reimbursement.
If the Range Rover customer paid out-of-pocket for strut replacement, the replacement is eligible for reimbursement only if service records prove the strut was replaced in order to replace a failed front air spring due to an air leak.
Although the automaker and plaintiffs agreed to the settlement agreement, the judge will hold a fairness hearing February 3, 2020.
Attorneys for Land Rover customers may receive nearly $1.4 million.
The Range Rover air suspension leak class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey: Majdipour et al. v. Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by Mazie, Slater, Katz & Freeman, and Strategic Legal Practices.