AUTOMOTIVE class actions
MLG’s team of experienced auto lawyers and business litigation attorneys are responsible for filing some of the most significant automotive class action cases in our nation’s history. This includes, among many others, the GM ignition switch claim, the Volkswagen diesel emissions claim, and the Uber fraudulent business practices case.
Our experienced auto lawyers have a deep understanding of the nation’s motor vehicle laws, and how they play into the nation’s automotive recall system. Under federal law, carmakers are required to immediately recall a vehicle once a safety defect is discovered. Unfortunately, however, many manufacturers refuse to issue recalls putting the public at significant risk.
The failure to follow these motor vehicle laws can be devastating to the public, leading to death or catastrophic injury of innocent motorists. Our team of experienced auto lawyers have sought to hold these manufacturers responsible by filing automotive class action cases. We have also represented numerous families in wrongful death suits and wrongful death claims against manufacturers which resulted from their refusal to follow the nation’s motor vehicle laws.
MLG’s notable CASES
Apple Texting and Driving Class Action
On January 17, 2017, MLG’s team of auto lawyers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, Inc., to
address the extremely serious problem of texting and driving which endangers the lives of tens of
millions of people every day. The case was filed in state court in Los Angeles, and is entitled Julio Ceja v. Apple, Inc.
Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
The Volkswagen emission scandal surfaced in September 2015, when Volkswagen admitted that it had been
falsifying emissions data for nearly 500,000 diesel cars sold in the U.S., and that it had instructed its software engineers
to develop a sophisticated “defeat device” that would conceal the vehicles’ true emissions levels from regulators.
GM Ignition Switch Fraud
In early 2014, General Motors recalled approximately 800,000 vehicles due to faulty ignition switches,
which posed the risk of spontaneously shutting off the vehicle’s engine during normal operation. On March 21, 2014,
MLG’s auto lawyers filed a class action lawsuit against General Motors relating to this massive recall.
BMW i3 Range Extender
BMW’s new all electric vehicle, the i3 REx, is alleged to contain a faulty and dangerous “range extender” feature.
On May 17, 2016, MLG filed a class action lawsuit against BMW for these defects in the 2014 to 2016 models.
Uber Fraudulent Business Practices
As the company was beginning to build momentum, ride-share sensation Uber was alleged to have made
numerous misrepresentations to the public about the safety of its driver background checks. On January 26,
2015, MLG filed a class action lawsuit against Uber for fraudulent business practices.
Toyota Soy-Based Wiring
In the mid-2000s, Toyota began replacing its plastic wire coverings with a soy-based product. The move was
intended to be more environmentally friendly, but it had a very disastrous side effect: the soy materials
invited rodents to chew through the insulation, causing severe damage to vehicles’ electrical system.
Kia Fuel Economy Fraud
MLG’s team of auto lawyers sought to hold Kia responsible for their false statements regarding Kia’s
purported fuel efficiency. On January 9, 2013, MLG filed a class action lawsuit against Kia, alleging the
car company misrepresented the gas mileage capabilities of certain 2011-2013 model vehicles.
Maserati’s Defective Locking System
Maserati North America, Inc. was faced with a class action filed by MLG for its 2014 to 2016 model
year Ghibli vehicles equipped with a defect that allows the key fob to be locked inside the vehicle
without a way to unlock it, creating a dangerous situation if a pet or child is locked inside the car.
Our firm has a rich history of litigating complex cases throughout the United States. Collectively, our attorneys have litigated cases against GM Audi, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Kia, Nissan, Honda, AM General, Isuzu, Toyota, Hyundai, Harley-Davidson, Ford, Chrysler, Tesla, Volvo, Volkswagen, Aston Martin, Land Rover, Mercedes and Porsche.
We are responsible for filing what we believe to be some of the most significant cases in the automotive industry. This includes several national class action cases, as well as Spitzer Motor City v. U.S. – where we represented numerous terminated Chrysler dealers against the United States for the unlawful “taking” of their franchises in 2009, a violation of the 5th Amendment.
Our team of lawyers are admitted to practice in California, Colorado, Michigan, the U.S. District Court for the Southern, Central and Northern Districts of California, the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. For those jurisdictions where our auto lawyers are not admitted, we seek admission on a pro hac vice basis.
No attorney-client relationship exists between MLG (or any of its attorneys) and you unless a written Retainer Agreement has been signed by both us and you.
FREQUENTLY asked QUESTIONS
Quite possibly, yes. The test is whether you were injured because of a defect in the vehicle, not whether the vehicle was recalled. The injury needs to be the result of the defect in the vehicle, as opposed to other outside factors, such as actions of other drivers or your mistake. If the defect caused a fatality, there may be a wrongful death claim or wrongful death suit that can be filed. Ask our team of auto lawyers for advice.
Each state has a “statute of limitations” that indicates how long parties have to file a lawsuit. The time limitations vary from state to state based on your claim, and there may be factors that can extend the time to file. Even if your accident occurred a long time ago, you may still have the ability to file a lawsuit. Contact our team of auto lawyers, and we can review the motor vehicle law of your state to see if you can pursue a claim.
After you contact us, our team of auto lawyers will review the motor vehicle laws of your state, and determine the strength of your potential wrongful death suit or wrongful death claim. If we decide that it is in your best interest to pursue a wrongful death suit, we will offer to file a claim on your behalf on a contingency fee basis. A “contingency fee” is an amount that will be freely negotiated between us and you (it is not set by law) that will allow us to get paid at the end of the case out of the total recovery. If we decide you should move forward with your wrongful death suit, we would also pay for all the expenses on the case, and also recover these expenses out of the ultimate recovery. You will need a strong wrongful death attorney to evaluate the claim.
In the event our auto lawyers are unsuccessful in obtaining a recovery for you on your wrongful death suit, you will owe us nothing for our time, and you will not be required to reimburse us for any expenses incurred on the matter. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
A class action is a lawsuit brought against a company by someone who has a claim that is similar to others’ claims. The person who brings the lawsuit is called the “class representative,” and that person is responsible for continuing the case on behalf of all others similarly situated. You will need a strong consumer protection attorney or automotive defects attorney to advise you on the nature of the claim.
If a recovery is received, either by settlement or through trial, the net funds are distributed to all class members. You may have experienced this over the years, where you receive a class action check in the mail that you were not expecting. That would have been your share of the recovery for that case.
Only one person is needed to start a class action. Once our auto attorneys identify a person who has been impacted by the event (for example, identifying a person who owns one of the recalled cars), we have the ability to file the class action. The person who brings the lawsuit is the “class representative,” and the case is brought on behalf of all others similarly situated. If the defect is serious enough, there may also be potential wrongful death suit or wrongful death claims separately filed.
If multiple class action lawsuits are brought at the same time by different law firms, the court may consolidate them into one case.
Generally speaking, when someone else files a class action, and you are similarly situated (that is, you have the same type of claim), you will automatically become part of the class unless you “opt out” of the case. You may have received notices like this from time to time, asking if you would like to opt out of a class action. If you elect to opt out, you will not be part of the class, and you would be able to file your claim by yourself. A knowledgeable consumer protection attorney can advise you on the manner in which the case will proceed.
No. Class action cases are to recover economic damages that are similar to the class as a whole. If you have been injured by a defective vehicle, or if you have a wrongful death claim for a family member who was killed by a defective vehicle, you would need to file an individual lawsuit. This case would be specific to you, and would compensate you for your direct injuries. These types of claims can be valuable, and can include past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and punitive damages. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can help you evaluate the claim.
MLG does not charge the class representative a fee for filing the case, and we advance the expenses involved in the case. We get paid by asking the court to allow us to collect our fees and expenses from the recovery in the case. In the event we are unsuccessful in obtaining a recovery, you will owe us nothing for our time, and you will not be required to reimburse us for any expenses incurred on the matter.
The following is a list of just some of the class action lawsuits that you may recognize that have resolved in recent years:
- VW Emission Fraud – $14.7 billion
- Toyota unintended acceleration – $1.6 billion
- Exxon Valdez oil spill – $5 billion
- Enron stock fraud – $7.2 billion
- World Com stock fraud – $6.2 billion
These results are based on the unique facts and circumstances of these particular cases, and are not in any way indicative of future results. No representation or guarantee of any kind – express or implied – is made as to the financial recovery that will be achieved in any future case. The recovery, if any, of any future matter will be based on the unique facts and circumstances of that particular case, and nothing else.