Sharma et al v. BMW of North America LLC* is a putative class action on behalf of California residents who purchased or leased certain defective BMW vehicles sold in the United States by BMW of North America, LLC. A putative class action is a potential class. The process for filing a class action is filing suit with one or several named plaintiffs on behalf of a putative class.
The putative class must consist of a group of individuals or business entities that allegedly suffered a common wrong. Generally, these cases involve a particular product defect or policy, or standard action on the part of a business applicable to all potential class members in a uniform manner. After the summons and complaint is filed, the plaintiff typically brings a motion to have the class certified. The class is certified if the court agrees with the plaintiffs, turning the lawsuit into a class action.
The suit alleges the X5, X3, and 5 series vehicle were designed with certain electrical components of the vehicle located in the lowest part of the trunk and are prone to water damage secondary to ordinary use of the car. The damaged electrical components subsequently cause the vehicle to lose power while in operation and become inoperable. This impacts the safety and effective operation of the vehicle.
The class action further asserts the vehicles were designed so that the drainage tubes used to drain water away from the vehicles’ sun roofs are located directly next to the electrical equipment in the trunk. The drains are susceptible to getting clogged with dirt, leaves, and other debris. When the drainage tubes clog, they loosen or leak into the automobiles’ trunks. These leaks eventually flood the trunks causing vital electronic components to short, shutting off certain components of the vehicle essential for driving. The design defect poses significant safety and operative risks.
William A. Kershaw, Stuart C. Talley, and Ian J. Barlow of Kershaw, Cook, & Talley represent the plaintiffs.
*The case is Sharma et al. v. BMW of North America LLC, case number 3:13-cv-
02274, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
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