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Mercedes-Benz Class Action Lawsuit Over Piston Failure Defect

Consumers filed a class action lawsuit against Mercedes Benz in the Central District of California on November 7, 2022, alleging a piston failure defect in vehicles with the M274 engine. The class action is Jamil v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, 2:22-CV-08130-FLA-AFM.

The class action lawsuit alleges that certain Mercedes Benz vehicles equipped with the M274 engine suffer from a known defect that causes the pistons to fail prematurely, which the lawsuit calls “the piston defect”. The lawsuit claims the piston defect can occur without warning and cause sudden and unexpected engine failure. The class action was filed on behalf of consumers who purchased or leased their Mercedes in California.

For a free lemon law consultation fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-OPT-OUT1 (1-855-678-6881).

According to a petition over a 2015 Mercedes Benz C300 filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, Mercedes-Benz published a technical service bulletin (communication number LI03-10P060916) regarding a faulty wrist pin resulting in knocking, clattering, and rattling noises which caused the pistons to eventually crack. According to Mercedes-Benz, “modified” wrist pins were subsequently installed in these engines.

The M274 engine is a turbocharged inline-four longitudinal engine produced by Mercedes-Benz since 2011. This engine is installed in rear-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Mercedes C-class and E-class vehicles, including turbocharged versions of the C-Class 160/180/200/250/300e, and E-Class 180/200/250/300/350e.

The class action lawsuit does not indicate which model years of these Mercedes vehicles are affected by this piston defect.

Current or former owners or lessees of these vehicles should be aware that the California lemon law and other state and federal laws may force Mercedes Benz to either “buy the vehicle back” or provide further significant compensation for those experiencing this defect.

Under California’s lemon law, qualifying “lemons” must be bought back, and that can mean a large cash refund and payoff of your loan or lease. The refund could be as much as everything you paid for the vehicle and everything you owe: monthly payments, down payments, tax, finance charges, license, and registration. You could even qualify for 2 times your money back depending on the circumstances.

What Mercedes Benz would have to buy it back for has nothing to do with how much the vehicle is currently worth. The law has a formula that starts with you getting all your money back and then taking certain deductions and exclusions away from your payment.

Those refunds and exclusions are challenging to understand and can be fought against by knowledgeable lemon law attorneys.

For free information on your legal right to seek compensation, fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-OPT-OUT1 (1-855-678-6881).

Status of Mercedes Benz class action

On November 7, 2022, consumers filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all current or former California owners or lessees of Mercedes Benz models equipped with the M274 engine.

Mercedes Benz has not yet responded to the class action complaint.

The court has not set any significant pre-trial dates, and the class action case is not set for trial.

Your options in a class action lawsuit

In a class action lawsuit, if the class is certified by the court the lawyers who bring the class action will represent you unless you opt out. You will receive a class action notice if the case is certified by the court to proceed as a class action and of your right to opt out of the class by a certain deadline.

If consumers prevail at the class action trial, you receive whatever relief that is awarded by the judge or jury. But if they lose, you may not be able to litigate individual claims over the issues raised in the class action case.

If the lawsuit survives legal challenges, the class action will most likely settle. If the class action settles, and the court preliminarily approves the settlement, you will receive a class notice describing your options.

Those options will be: (a) do nothing, in which case you may get nothing but be bound by the settlement, (b) submit a claim form if requested and get whatever relief is made available and you are also bound by the settlement, or (c) opt out and pursue your own claims, in which case you are not bound by the settlement but cannot participate in any of the relief that is being offered to class members.

For many people, a class action settlement may provide significant benefits and does not require much effort to participate. A class action settlement also comes with no risk, as the claims have been resolved.

But for others, particularly where they may have had significant damages, opting out and pursuing individual claims may provide them an opportunity to receive a better recovery, in a shorter period, but with no guarantee they will get anything in a settlement.

When it comes to vehicle defect claims, what to do can be a complicated decision, as it can depend on many factors. These factors typically include:

  • How old is your car?
  • Has the defect occurred in your car?
  • Have you taken the car in for repairs on more than one occasion?
  • Do you still own the car?
  • Is the car still under warranty?
  • In what state do you live?

If you are willing to consider the opportunity of getting a greater recovery over what might be offered in a class action settlement, we suggest you seek out a free lemon law consultation.

We are available to help you sort through these questions and make an informed decision.

For a free lemon law consultation fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-OPT-OUT1 (1-855-678-6881).

Mercedes Benz Piston Defect Class Action – FAQ

What is the Class action lawsuit name and case number?

Jamil v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, 2:22-CV-08130-FLA-AFM

When and where was the Mercedes class action filed?

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on November 7, 2022.

What do consumers allege in the Mercedes Benz class action?

The class action seeks damages against Mercedes Benz for breach of warranty and for unfair and deceptive acts and practices pertaining to the design and manufacture of Mercedes Benz vehicles equipped with the M274 engine.

The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of California residents only. This class action lawsuit is not brought on behalf of residents of any other state.

mercedes m274 engineThe class action alleges the existence of a defect, known to Mercedes Benz but undisclosed by it to class members, in the pistons of the M274 engine are prone to premature failure.

The lawsuit claims this piston defect may require the replacement of the entire engine. The piston defect can manifest without warning and cause the sudden and unexpected engine failure.

The class action further alleges that Mercedes Benz had knowledge of this defect for years but disclosed it only to its own personnel in the form of internal learning modules, bulletins, and other repair documents that Mercedes Benz chose to keep from consumers.

What vehicle models are identified in the class action lawsuit?

The class action is brought on behalf of all Mercedes Benz vehicles equipped with the M274 engine. The M274 engine is a turbocharged inline-four longitudinal engine produced by Mercedes-Benz since 2011.

The M274 engine is installed in rear-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Mercedes Benz C-class and E-class vehicles, including turbocharged versions of the C-Class 160/180/200/250/300e, and E-Class 180/200/250/300/350e.

The class action does not list the specific model years of these vehicles that are affected by this piston and engine failure defect.

For a free lemon law consultation fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-OPT-OUT1 (1-855-678-6881).

How many Mercedes vehicles are impacted by the piston defect?

Although the exact number and model years of the Mercedes vehicles is presently unknown, based upon the number of vehicles manufactured for sale in the U.S. that were originally equipped with the M274 engine, the number of affected vehicles could be in the hundreds of thousands.

What does the class action claim is the cause of the piston defect?

The class action alleges Mercedes Benz vehicles equipped with the M274 engine suffer from a defect causing the pistons to fail prematurely. This piston defect can manifest without warning and cause the sudden and unexpected engine failure.

In addition, according to a petition filed with NHTSA, Mercedes-Benz published a technical service bulletin (communication number LI03-10P060916) regarding a faulty “wrist pin” in this engine, resulting in knocking, clattering, and rattling noises and that was causing the pistons to eventually crack.

Does the Mercedes piston defect violate the vehicle’s warranty?

Mercedes Benz offers a basic comprehensive warranty, which starts on the sale date of the new vehicle and lasts for 4-years or 50,000-miles whichever occurs first. The factory warranty is extended if the vehicle is sold Certified Pre-Owned by a Mercedes Benz dealership.

Even if certain Mercedes Benz vehicles equipped with the M274 engine aged out of the new vehicle limited warranty period, while Mercedes Benz concealed information about the piston defect from Mercedes Benz owners and lessees, many later model years are still within their warranty periods.

Are cars with the Mercedes piston defect unsafe?

According to the class action, the effects of the piston defect plaguing the M274 engine are so significant and pose such a safety concern that the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s (“NHTSA”) Office of Defect Investigations opened a formal investigation of this same problem after receiving customer complaints and conducting an initial review.

A vehicle whose defective engine causes it, or makes it prone, to lose power and shake on freeways and roadways clearly poses a safety risk.

According to the class action, Mercedes-Benz issued a technical service bulletin for a faulty engine wrist pin that can result in knocking, clattering, and rattling noises and cause the pistons to eventually crack.

Has the Mercedes piston class action settled?

No, not at this time. The class action lawsuit was only recently filed.

What is the status of the Mercedes piston class action?

On November 7, 2022, Plaintiffs filed a Class Action Complaint on behalf of all current or former California owners or lessees of these vehicles. Mercedes Benz has not yet responded to the Complaint.

No pre-trial dates are set, and the case is not set for trial.  The case is pending in Central District, California before Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha.

For a free lemon law consultation fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-OPT-OUT1 (1-855-678-6881).

Do I need to join or file anything in the Mercedes piston class action?

At this point this case has not been settled or certified to proceed as a class action. If you decide you want to bring your own lemon law claim, you can do so now and opt out when you receive notice. Or the class will be defined as those people who have not filed lawsuits or settled their claims, and you will be automatically opted out of the settlement.

As no settlement has been reached nor a class certified, there is nothing you need to do at this time. However, if you would like to discuss your lemon law options, fill out the form below.

What happens if I don’t opt out of a class action?

It depends on how the class action, or any settlement is structured, but in general if you do not opt out of a class action settlement you will be bound by its terms. You will receive any benefits offered in the class action settlement, either automatically or by submitting a claim form. However, you will not be able to bring any individual claim for damages caused by the defect, except possibly for personal injury claims.

What is the Song Beverly Warranty Act?

handing keys over to carThe Song-Beverly Warranty Act, California Civil Code §1793.2(d)(1), is a California state law that requires manufacturers to repair defects after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

What is “reasonable” is not part of hard and fast rules – safety defects should be fixed immediately, for example. The defects must be important, and must “substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety.” Civil Code §1793.22(e)(2).

Under Civil Code §1793.2(d)(1), manufacturers must promptly offer repurchase or replacement of the vehicle if they cannot fix it in a reasonable time frame. In addition, Civil Code §1794(c) and §1793.2(d) provides that customers are entitled to a civil penalty in an amount up to two times actual damages if manufacturers acted “willfully” (meaning knowingly, but not necessarily with wrongful or malicious intent) in ignoring or failing its obligation under Song-Beverly.

Finally, under Civil Code §1794(d), manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz must pay plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and costs as part of the settlement, as the Song-Beverly Act is a pro-consumer fee-shifting statute.

What compensation could I get if I bring a lemon law lawsuit?

Current or former owners should be aware that the California lemon law and other state and federal laws may force Mercedes Benz to either “buy the vehicle back,” or provide other important compensation.

Under California’s lemon law, qualifying “lemons” must be bought back, and that can mean a large cash refund and payoff of your loan or lease.

The refund could be as much as everything you paid for the vehicle and everything you owe: monthly payments, down payments, tax, finance charges, license, and registration.

In fact, you could even qualify for two-times your money back, depending on the circumstances.

For a free lemon law consultation fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-678-6881.

What Mercedes Benz would have to buy it for has nothing to do with how much the vehicle is currently worth. There is a formula in the law, that starts with you getting all your money back, and then taking certain deductions and exclusions away from your payment.

Those refunds and exclusions are difficult to understand and can be fought against by knowledgeable consumer attorneys. Don’t settle for small dollar payments or more possible fixes without speaking to qualified consumer attorney who has your individual best interest in mind.  Contact a consumer lemon law lawyer for free advice.

Get your free lemon law consultation

There are a lot of factors to consider in deciding whether to pursue individual lemon law claims. We are available to help you sort through these questions and make an informed decision as to your options.

To get started, fill out the following form or call us at (855) OPT-OUT1 (855-678-6881).

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