A class action lawsuit against Chrysler was put on hold last month because of a federal appeals court ruling. Former U.S. Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch; along with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; brought the class-action lawsuit against Chrysler. They argue that the U.S. government’s decision to change the way it estimates the value of General Motors’ common auto parts, when determining whether or not to pay for the bank’s acquisition of the carmaker, was discriminatory.
The decision to alter the valuation formula relied upon by the government could have given the bank an unfair advantage over other companies seeking to purchase parts from General Motors. The decision could also have deprived thousands of car owners of thousands of dollars they are entitled to from recovering their losses.
Class Action Lawsuit Against Chrysler
On August 7, the U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The three-judge panel found that the plaintiffs did not demonstrate that they had suffered any injury or loss as a result of the bank’s actions.
The court did not, however, rule in favor of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs will have to wait until a final decision from the appeals court is released to determine whether or not they have a case against Chrysler. In the meantime, the banks can move forward with selling off all of their remaining cars and allowing potential buyers to purchase used Chrysler vehicles.
According to news reports, the new plan allows the bank to sell off a portion of the remaining fleet of Chrysler vehicles and to require the automaker to pay a reduced target fee.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers were quoted in news reports saying that the new target fee may be as large as $5 million. (After all, the bank is selling off half of its remaining fleet of Chrysler vehicles. That is obviously a lot of money.)
The crux of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, which was supposed to be brought on behalf of the general public, revolves around the fact that the bank sold off hundreds of used cars with known recalls.
The defective cars included an automatic transmission with a serious engine defect, a battery that manufactured excessive amounts of voltage, and a “fogger” that continually fouled the air conditioner system. The bank was ordered to sell the vehicles to special buyers who are qualified to purchase vehicles that have been involved in an accident that has been ruled as having caused the vehicle to become inoperable.
The plaintiffs argue that because the automaker did not heed warning signs that the vehicles were dangerous when they were sold, they should be responsible for injuries that resulted from the defect.
The companies that bought the cars from the bank were aware of the problems with the products. It is also argued that since the bulk of the vehicles came from outside sources, the automaker was negligent in its design or manufacturing defects. Another class action lawsuit against Chrysler claims that the automaker ignored warnings about the serious risk associated with the ignition switch defect and did not fix the issue until after it had already cost consumers enormous medical bills. All the while, the automaker continued to ship cars with the ignition switch defect.
Class action lawsuits are usually very easy to prepare and handle, since all you really need to do is provide sufficient proof of the plaintiffs’ claims in order to prove your case.
Often, the company will ask you for diagnostic reports, and other paperwork in order to prove the negligence that you say occurred. In the case of the Chrysler recall, you will need to provide proof of a gas leak that shut off the air conditioner while the car was being driven.
As well, the documents showing that the defective vehicles came from an infotainment system manufacturer to make sure that the court believes that the manufacturer did know about the risk inherent in the infotainment system. Once you’ve gathered enough evidence to show the negligent nature of the automaker’s actions, you have a very good chance of convincing the court that your injuries were indeed caused by the automaker’s negligence.