A class action lawsuit has been filed against Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA LLC in a New Jersey state court, claiming the companies failed to disclose, and have failed to properly remedy, defects in certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles that can cause gasoline-soaked seats and vapors. Plaintiff Helena Barinova is attempting to represent a class of New Jersey residents who purchased certain W211 E-Class generation Mercedes-Benz vehicles that were produced from 2003 to 2009 as well as a subclass of owners and lease holders who shouldered costs to repair components of the vehicles’ fuel delivery systems.
Ms. Barinova contends in the suit, which asserts claims under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and state common law, that undisclosed defects in the fuel delivery system of the vehicles can cause interior and exterior leaks of gasoline and gasoline vapors and that the vehicles’ seats can end up absorbing gasoline. The problem has left drivers and passengers facing fire and explosion risks and health problems, according to the complaint. It’s alleged in the suit:
Defendants have ignored these risks and otherwise failed to repair or replace defective fuel tanks under vehicle warranties. Instead, Defendants have ignored and concealed the defect, instructing Mercedes-Benz technicians to replace fuel sending units under warranty only after repeated owner complaints.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received more than 100 complaints concerning the smell of gasoline in the cabins of Mercedes-Benz E-Class vehicles and liquid gasoline leaks outside of the vehicles. In 2012, the agency opened an investigation into gasoline leaks on Mercedes-Benz E55 vehicles from 2003 to 2006. Mercedes-Benz issued a recall to fix a problem related to leaking gasoline, but said that recall only covered certain 2003 to 2006 vehicles and didn’t correct the problem.