Mercedes News

A California federal judge has granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement to resolve defective engine allegations against Mercedes-Benz U.S.A., LLC.

U.S. District Judge Thelton E. Henderson said in his Wednesday ruling that “the terms of the settlement agreement are sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to allow dissemination of the notice.”

The Mercedes class action settlement is for “all current and former owners and lesses of Mercedes-Benz branded automobiles equipped with M272 or M273 engines bearing serial numbers up to 2729..30 468993 or 2739 ..30088611, found in the Subject 2005 – 2007 Model Year Vehicles respectively (the ‘Subject Vehicles’), who purchased or leased their Subject Vehicles within the United States.”

The class representatives are plaintiffs Majeed Seifi, Tracey Deakin and Ronald Reyner, Judge Henderson said.

However, he said that the class action settlement agreement is not an admission of fault by Mercedes that and of the allegations are true and valid and ought “not be offered or be admissible in evidence by or against [Mercedes].”

Class Members will be notified of the class action settlement agreement through relevant vehicle registration information, which the federal judge gives the parties permission to obtain “for the purpose of disseminating notice of the proposed settlement.”

If someone wants to be excluded from this Mercedes class action settlement, they will need to “submit a written request for exclusion.”

“Anyone who falls within the Settlement Class definition and does not submit a Request for Exclusion in complete accordance with the deadlines and other specifications set forth in this Order and the Settlement Agreement shall remain a Settlement Class Member and shall be bound by all proceedings, orders, and judgments of this Court pertaining to the Settlement Class,” Judge Henderson explains.

Mercedes agreed to the defective engine class action settlement on March 23.

The first defective engine class action lawsuit filed against the German automaker was in 2010 in a New Jersey federal court over the allegedly defective M272 or M273 engines, in which it was alleged that “the engines are equipped with defective gears in their balance shafts (in the event of the M272 engines) or with defective idle gears (in the case of the M273 engines).

“These defective gears wear out prematurely, excessively, and without warning, causing the vehicle to malfunction, the ‘check engine light’ to remain illuminated, and the vehicle to misfire and/or stop driving,” the Mercedes class action lawsuit alleged.

This current Mercedes class action lawsuit brought by Seifi and Deakin in October 2012 making similar allegations about the M272 and M273 engines.

According to the class action settlement agreement, Class Members will be reimbursed for repairs they had to fund to the tune of thousands of dollars due to the alleged engine defect as well as “future repairs for the allegedly defective parts at issue for the lesser of 10 years or 125,000 miles, subject to certain conditions and limitations.

“This extended coverage more than doubles the durational limit of MBUSA’s New Vehicle Warranty’s term of the lesser 4 years of 50,000 miles,” the class action settlement agreement explained.

The amount Class Members will receive will vary. Repairs not done at an authorized Mercedes dealer will result in a reimbursement up to $4,000. Mercedes will also cover the cost to repair future engine problems, which will also vary depending on the age of the car when the problems come to fruition. The reimbursement will be 100 percent, 70 percent or 37.5 percent of the cost of the repair.

The plaintiffs are represented by Roy A. Katriel of the Katriel Law Firm and Gary S. Graifman of Kantrowitz Goldhamer & Graifman PC.

The Mercedes-Benz Engine Defect Class Action Lawsuit is Majeed Seifi, et al. v. Mercedes Benz USA LLC, Case No. 3:12-cv-05493, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.