LOS ANGELES (CN) – In violation of state lemon laws, Mercedes-Benz leased used cars without telling customers the original owners had returned them for warranty-related problems, a class action claims in Superior Court.
California’s Automotive Consumer Notification Act requires car manufacturers to retitle with a “Lemon Law Buyback” inscription the cars they repurchase from consumers, affix a lemon law buyback decal to the vehicle, and get a written acknowledgement from the new buyer, showing the buyer is aware of the car’s history.
Lead plaintiff Henry Unger says he knew that the luxury car he leased was used, but had no idea that it had defects. In fact, Unger says, Mercedes claimed that the car would run “properly, reliably, and safely.”
Instead, Unger says, his car regularly malfunctioned. The keyless start system repeatedly failed to fire, the tire pressure warning came on for no reason, and the navigation system acted up. Unger says he asked a Mercedes mechanic if the car qualified as a lemon, but the mechanic denied it, saying the problems were not safety-related.
Unger says he found out about his car’s history when he traded it in for a new Mercedes. He says that’s when he found records showing that Mercedes had spent 30 days trying to repair the old car before buying it back from its original owner.
He demands damages, interest, statutory penalties and punitive damages. He is represented by Jennifer Connor with Westrup Klick.