Billy Glenn, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class-action lawsuit Dec. 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Co., alleging unjust enrichment, breach of express and implied warranties, and violations of California's consumer protection laws.
In the mid-2000s, according to the suit, car manufacturers introduced a substantially larger style of "panoramic" sunroof that spans almost the entire roof of the vehicle. Though aesthetically pleasing, the suit claims, these sunroofs, which require the replacement of metal roofs with large plates of glass, pose significant engineering challenges.
The suit states Hyundai has not met these demands, with more than 100 drivers having reported to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) that their panoramic roofs spontaneously shattered.
The suit claims Hyundai has known about the problem since at least October 2012, when the NHTSA investigated the 2012 Hyundai Veloster, prompting a partial and limited recall. In December 2012, the Korean Automobile Testing & Research Institute also investigated the shattering of panoramic sunroofs of several manufacturers, including Hyundai, ultimately concluding these sunroofs were prone to spontaneous shattering at least in part due to ceramic tint used on the glass.
Despite the company's awareness, Hyundai has still not warned drivers, including Glenn and others in the class, about the risk of sunroof shattering, still sells the defective vehicles, and denies that the defect exists.
Glenn and others in the class seek damages, restitution, interests, attorney fees, and other costs of the suit, together to exceed $5 million.
They are represented by attorneys Eric H. Gibbs, Dylan Hughes and Steve Lopez of Gibbs Law Group in Oakland, California; by attorney Jason T. Dennett of Tousley Brain Stephens in Seattle; by attorneys Gregory F. Coleman, Lisa A. White, and Mark E. Silvey of Greg Coleman Law in Knoxville, Tennessee; by attorneys Shanon J. Carson and Eric Lechtzin of Berger & Montague in Philadelphia; and by attorney Paul C. Peel of Farris Bobango Branan in Memphis, Tennessee.
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