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By: Justine A. Baakman
With the push toward production of environmentally friendly motor vehicles driven primarily by consumer demand, vehicle manufacturers have been forced to rapidly adapt vehicle design and marketing strategies. Appeals to the environmentally conscious consumer often involve touts of vehicle emissions test results with the goal of elevating one’s vehicle above the competition through achieving a lower result than any vehicle on the market. The necessity to meet consumer demand in this respect has left vehicle manufactures open to suit by consumers unsatisfied with the emissions performance of their vehicles as compared to those advertised by vehicle manufactures.
BMW North America is the latest vehicle manufacturer facing such litigation. In a class action federal suit filed by consumers residing in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Colorado, BMW faces allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, and violation of consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws in relation to its emissions test results advertising of its 2009-2013 X5 xDrive 35d models and its 2009-2011 330d models. BMW faces allegations that the subject models emit significantly higher levels than those advertised to consumers.
BMW has also been accused of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) arising from allegations that it installed emissions cheat devices on the models at issue to render lower emissions test results, and in turn, appeal and attract environmentally conscious consumers to its vehicles. Additional allegations include that the models at issue emit emissions at 27 times higher than the maximum level allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and that BMW colluded with a vehicle parts maker to attain the results advertised to consumers.
For further information or for further inquiries involving commercial liability, you may contact Justine Baakman of Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP, at [email protected].