— A Land Rover diesel class action lawsuit will continue in court after a federal judge denied almost all of Land Rover's motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
New York plaintiff Daoud Shaaya and California plaintiff Mark Freiburghouse filed the lawsuit alleging 2016-2020 Land Rover Range Rovers and other vehicles are equipped with defective diesel particulate filters.
The filter is allegedly prone to getting clogged under normal driving conditions which should activate a warning light to indicate when to begin the process to clean the filter.
But the class action lawsuit asserts the warning light illuminates too late or not at all, leaving a vehicle with a clogged diesel filter.
According to the plaintiffs, a clogged diesel particulate filter can cause engine damage and creates serious safety hazards.
The Land Rover diesel lawsuit says the exhaust filter is supposed to remove the diesel soot by burning it through a combustion process known as regeneration.
But for regeneration to take place, the Land Rover must be driven at highway speeds for prolonged periods on a regular basis. The diesel filters will allegedly clog if a vehicle is typically driven in stop-and-go traffic.
Then there is the allegedly defective warning light system that activates too late for regeneration to occur, forcing Land Rover customers to replace the diesel particulate filters.
According to the lawsuit, an amber warning light indicates regeneration is required and instructs the driver to drive at highway speeds for approximately 20 minutes. A red light indicates the filter is full and the driver should contact a Land Rover dealer.”
Then a green light displays when regeneration is complete.
Motion to Dismiss the Land Rover Diesel Lawsuit
Land Rover filed a motion to dismiss the diesel filter class action lawsuit by arguing one plaintiff doesn't have standing to sue because the Range Rover owner never paid for any repairs. A dealer replaced the diesel fluid tank and fluid injector, then technicians induced regeneration at no cost.
But the judge says the owner claims the repairs didn't help, so the fact repairs were performed for free does not preclude standing.
The class action lawsuit also alleges Land Rover violated two warranties: the new vehicle limited warranty, and the federal emission control system warranty. Land Rover argues the new vehicle warranty covers only manufacturing defects, not the design defects alleged by the plaintiffs.
But the judge ruled at this stage of the lawsuit the diesel filter allegations are enough to establish a manufacturing defect as well. The judge allowed a breach of express warranty to move forward as to the new vehicle warranty but not the federal emissions warranty.
Regarding a breach of implied warranty of merchantability claim, both plaintiffs allege the diesel particulate filters make the Land Rover vehicles unfit for providing "reasonably reliable and safe transportation."
Land Rover disagreed, but the judge found the vehicles are not fit for ordinary use because the Land Rover vehicles can suffer a “sudden and unexpected loss of power.”
Judge Claire C. Cecchi also refused to dismiss a fraudulent omission claim which alleges Land Rover concealed diesel filter defects.
Additionally, an unjust enrichment claim wasn't dismissed after the judge determined the plaintiffs adequately asserted Land Rover unjustly benefited at the expense of owners.
Land Rover also allegedly violated state laws even though the automaker had a duty to disclose the allegedly defective diesel particulate filters.
The Land Rover diesel class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey: Shaaya, et al., v. Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP, Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP, Taus, Cebulash & Landau, LLP, and Greenstone Law PC.