BMW Fraud Class Action Suit Heads to Appeals Court

Order Reprints

Feb. 15, 2018—A BMW driver on Tuesday told the Ninth Circuit that the noise created by his car’s squealing brakes presents a safety concern that the company had a duty to disclose, and implored the court to revive his fraud class action suit, according to a Law 360 report.

Plaintiff attorney Hovanes Margarian told the appellate court that a California federal judge wrongfully tossed out his putative class action alleging that the optional high-performance ceramic brakes make overly loud, squealing sounds. He claimed that BMW needed to disclose the noise, since it could be considered a safety defect that could distract those around the car.

“The description of the brakes, in my opinion, should say ‘high-performance noisy brakes.’ Then you would have disclosure,” he said. “But, if it says ‘high-performance brakes,’ then you don’t have proper disclosure.”

A U.S. District judge asked whether the noise had been linked to an accident; Margarian said that it hadn’t. BMW attorney Jeffrey Miller told the panel that vehicle owner’s manuals inform drivers that the brakes can make noise under certain conditions, and emphasized that the complaint included no allegations that the brakes didn’t function properly.

Plaintiff Norik Barakezyan initially took action against BMW in Jan. 2016, claiming that he paid nearly $9,000 extra for high-performance carbon ceramic brakes on a leased BMW M6 that squealed loudly when in use. He filed the complaint on behalf of all drivers who had certain BMW M-class vehicles with the purchased brake system.

During Miller’s arguments, U.S. Circuit Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw said that the court doesn’t know all facts in the case, given the stage that it was earlier dismissed.

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