Drivers have filed a class action lawsuit in Illinois federal court alleging Volvo misled them about the range the XC90 T8 vehicle can drive using its electric charge. This is believed to be a first-of-its-kind suit challenging automakers’ representations about electric battery capacities. Xavier Laurens, the Plaintiff, bought his hybrid T8 believing he could use it to commute daily in Chicago without using any gasoline, but says that the vehicle only provided eight to 10 miles on a full electric charge rather than the 25 miles that Volvo Cars of North America LLC had promised. He alleges in the complaint:
As a result of this reduced electric battery capacity, plaintiff is unable to complete his daily commute or everyday tasks without using the gasoline engine, which prevents plaintiff from obtaining the cost saving effects of foregoing gasoline for local trips and the environmental benefits of operating solely on electricity.
Volvo repeatedly promised in marketing materials that the T8 could achieve a range of 25 miles using just electricity, according to the complaint. In April 2015, Volvo issued a statement saying the vehicle provides 17 estimated miles based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria, but later that month the automaker reverted to its original claims. Laurens said he paid an approximately $20,000 premium for the hybrid model of the T8, believing it offered both a smaller environmental impact and gas savings.
The Plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of anyone who bought or leased a 2016 Volvo XC90 T8. The complaint seeks compensatory damages and actual damages such as disgorgement of Volvo’s revenues, as well as an order enjoining Volvo from continuing its allegedly unlawful practices.
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