Lexus Brake Squeal Lawsuit Dismissed

Judge says Toyota and Lexus warn owners the high-performance brakes may squeal and make noise.

Lexus Brake Squeal Lawsuit Dismissed

Posted in News

— A Lexus brake squeal lawsuit has been dismissed by a federal judge after the plaintiff failed to adequately plead the brake systems are defective.

Plaintiff Hovsep Hagopian leased a 2019 Lexus LC equipped with a “high-friction high-performance” brake system that squeaks and squeals.

The Lexus class action lawsuit alleges defects cause the loud squealing noise when the brakes are applied.

The plaintiff says these vehicles are affected by loud brake squeal.

  • 2016-2019 Lexus LC500
  • 2016-2019 Lexus RC F
  • 2016-2019 Lexus GS F
  • 2013-2018 Toyota Corolla

The class action doesn't allege the high-performance brakes fail, and the plaintiff admits Toyota/Lexus warns vehicle owners the brakes may squeal and squeak.

Lexus says on its website the squealing can be caused by the materials and the brake pads necessary for a high-performance braking system.

The Lexus brake squeal lawsuit alleges the automaker has issued a technical service bulletin about the brakes designed specifically for "superior braking performance and response."

Lexus told dealerships that brake squeal could occur, but vehicle owners needed to be careful about using different brake components. Using different parts could cause reduced braking performance, especially on tracks.

Even though Lexus warns customers about possible brake squeal, the plaintiff claims Toyota and Lexus engaged in a nationwide conspiracy to cover up the alleged brake system defects.

Motion to Dismiss the Lexus Brake Squeal Lawsuit

Toyota told the judge the entire lawsuit revolves around "one vague allegation—the Vehicle “contains one or more design and/or manufacturing defects . . . that cause a loud squealing noise when the brakes are applied.”

The class action allegedly doesn't describe “any specific design feature, component, mechanism, or function” that renders the vehicles defective.

Judge Otis D.Wright, II, agreed and said, "Hagopian’s vague allegations fail to sufficiently identify the components and systems involved and the resulting symptoms of the purported defect."

The judge says the plaintiff fails to identify which brake system component is defective, but only alleges the effect (loud brake squeal) of the alleged brake defect. The judge also ruled the plaintiff's allegations that the brake noise is a result of a defect isn't plausible anyway.

According to the judge, the Lexus brake squeal lawsuit admits the automaker's website contains a disclosure that clearly says, “brake noise/squeal may result due to the inherent characteristic of the materials and the design of the brake pads.”

"Thus, it is implausible that a known and disclosed characteristic of the type of high-friction, high-performance brakes used in Hagopian’s Vehicle rendered the brake system defective." — Judge Wright

Although the judge granted Toyota’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, he said the plaintiff was granted leave to amend his claims.

The Lexus brake squeal lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Hovsep Hagopian, v. Toyota Motor North America, Inc., et al.

The plaintiff is represented by the Margarian Law Firm.