— BMW has agreed to settle two class-action lawsuits that allege sunroof drain tubes get clogged, cause water to enter the area of the spare tires and ruin electrical components and important modules.
Included in the proposed settlement are 2004-2010 BMW 5 Series (E60 and E61) cars that allegedly have electrical components that aren't properly protected from water, causing the components to fail and cost a small fortune to repair or replace.
One plaintiff said he was driving his 2007 BMW 530xi when the car suffered complete electrical failure and died on a busy highway. After taking the car to a dealership, it was determined two inches of water had covered the electronics located under the spare tire area.
Mechanics said the water accumulated from clogged sunroof drain tubes, something that would cost $2,000 to fix. The plaintiff claims the dealer told him nothing would be covered under warranty, leaving the plaintiff to cover the expense.
The BMW lawsuits allege BMW knew, or should have known, placing sensitive electrical parts in the trunk could cause catastrophic failure of the car. In addition, the lawsuits allege the automaker should have known how the clogged sunroof drains could drown the trunk.
Saying the cars are "especially prone to water damage that can be caused through the normal and ordinary use of the vehicle,” the plaintiff claims BMW failed to inform customers of the risk of driving the cars. Additionally, the lawsuits focus on the manuals that allegedly do not include information about the dangers of liquid near the spare tire area.
BMW doesn't admit to any wrongdoing and doesn't admit fault or liability, but says it decided to settle the lawsuits to avoid the time, expense and uncertainty of prolonged litigation.
The BMW clogged drain tube lawsuits include all persons or entities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico who currently own or lease, or previously owned or leased, a 2004-2010 (U.S. specification) BMW 5 Series (E60 and E61) car purchased in the U.S. or Puerto Rico.
According to the proposed settlement, affected BMW owners, within one year of the effective final settlement date, may schedule an appointment with an authorized BMW dealer for an inspection. Dealerships will relocate all modules located in the spare tire well of the trunk, specifically the RDC, PDC, MPM, TCU, LOGIC-7 and SDARS modules.
Any damaged modules that show evidence of water damage will be repaired or replaced. In addition, dealers will affix a warning label to the trunks of cars.
Any affected BMW owner who incurred any out-of-pocket expense for repairs prior to the end of the claims submission period will be entitled to submit a claim for reimbursement of those repair expenses, up to $1,500, with proof of those prior repairs.
The BMW clogged sunroof drain tube lawsuits are Sharma v. BMW of North America, LLC, and Catalano v. BMW of North America, LLC and BMW Aktiengesellschaft.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Law Office of Robert L. Starr, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff LLP, Wexler Wallace LLP, the Law Offices of Stephen M. Harris, P.C., and the Law Offices of Joseph R. Santoli.