A class action lawsuit has been filed in a California federal court against Mazda, accusing the automaker of concealing a defect in certain Mazda 3 vehicles that can ultimately cause the clutch system or transmission to fail and put drivers at risk of an accident. Eight individuals, the Plaintiffs, said Mazda Motor Corp. has known for almost a decade that the clutch release assembly is defective and prone to premature failure, but that the automaker has refused to disclose the defect to prospective customers and won’t fix the defect without charge, even if the parts are covered by warranty. The Plaintiffs said:
The defect can manifest at highway speeds or in dangerous driving conditions, subjecting the driver and occupants of class vehicles, others on the road, and pedestrians to an increased risk of accident, injury, or death.
According to the complaint, model year 2010-2015 Mazda 3 vehicles with 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmissions are installed with defective clutch release levers, bearings and pins that can cause premature wear on the vehicle’s transmission and related components. The alleged defect ultimately causes the clutch system or transmission to prematurely fail and can be expensive to replace. More than the cost, though, the Plaintiffs said the defect severely affects the driver’s ability to control the vehicle and ensure no one is hurt when the defect manifests. The Plaintiffs said:
Plaintiffs and numerous other owners and lessees of the class vehicles have experienced clutch failure during operation. Each time premature clutch failure occurred, the defect placed plaintiffs and those around them at immediate risk of serious injury.
The Plaintiffs alleged that Mazda has known about the defect for nearly a decade and has unsuccessfully tried to redesign the clutch assembly, yet the automaker still refuses to inform prospective customers about the defect’s existence. The automaker allegedly refuses to disclose the defect to drivers when they bring their vehicles in for routine maintenance and instead claims that the clutch failure is due to driver error. It’s alleged further that Mazda has received numerous complaints from consumers, but refuses to repair the defect or offer customers a suitable replacement. The automaker also refuses to take any action to repair the defect if it manifests shortly outside of the warranty period, according to the complaint. The Plaintiffs said:
Had plaintiffs and other class members known about the defect at the time of purchase or lease, they would not have bought or leased class vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for them. Plaintiffs and many class members also would have avoided the significant out-of-pocket costs they incurred to repair their vehicles following manifestation of the defect.
The Plaintiffs allege Mazda has violated several state consumer fraud statutes and the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, as well as breached its express and implied warranties. The Plaintiffs ask that the court award them all actual, statutory, punitive and consequential damages they’re entitled to as well as require Mazda to recall and repair their vehicles.
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