— A Mercedes-Benz defective rims lawsuit accuses the automaker of manufacturing and selling cars with rims that are prone to bend, warp and crack. The proposed class-action lawsuit could include as many as 1.6 million owners of Mercedes vehicles equipped with 17-inch, 18-inch or 19-inch AMG or non-AMG rims. The affected vehicles include any 2006-current models equipped with those rims.
The lawsuit alleges the Mercedes-Benz rims are defective because they bend, deform, dent, warp and fracture in typical driving conditions without need of potholes or other road hazards. The rims allegedly are manufactured with a defect caused by a lack of hardness to withstand the pressure of ordinary driving.
In particular, the plaintiffs claim processes related to surface ornamentation and resistance such as alodining raise the temperature of the rims to levels that alter and weaken their composition.
The suit alleges that around 2006, Mercedes began installing larger rims on its cars and the combination of the rims with low profile tires cause the rims to fail. The plaintiffs claim the rims aren't capable of withstanding the shock and pressure of ordinary road use.
The plaintiffs say Mercedes advertisements claim the rims were of a design typically found in the auto industry. Instead, the automaker allegedly manufactured the rims to fail in normal and off-road use and deceived customers into trusting the quality of the rims.
The warranty is a sticking point, according to the plaintiffs, who claim the rims should be covered under the warranty but Mercedes-Benz refuses to honor the warranty, leaving owners to cover the cost of replacement rims. Additionally, Mercedes allegedly offered a warranty that was deceptive because the automaker intended to exclude the rims in warranty coverage.
The lawsuit alleges Mercedes has actively concealed the rim defect and engaged in a campaign of refunding all or a portion of the cost of replacement rims only when a customer keeps complaining loudly about the problems. However, the plaintiffs claim part of the replacement deal is that Mercedes-Benz keeps the rims that were returned. This allegedly allowed the automaker to conceal problems from customers.
The lawsuit says based on its refusal to honor the warranty and the concealment of defective rims, Mercedes harmed consumers while unjustly profiting from wrongdoing.
The Mercedes-Benz cracked rims lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Luppino et al. v. Mercedes-Benz USA LLC.