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July 26, 2012 / Robert Drexler, Jr.

Lawsuit Alleges Defective Lexus RX Headlamps

Toyota’s legal woes continue. On May 24, 2012, Mui Ho filed suit in federal court in San Francisco alleging that certain Lexus RX headlamp assemblies are defective because the headlamp housing allows water and moisture to enter and damage the interior headlamp components causing them to dim or fail. Ho v Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (USDC Case No: CV 12 2672). The lawsuit seeks class action status and certification of a nationwide class of purchasers and lessees of 2004-2009 Lexus RX vehicles and a subclass of California consumers. This suit joins other suits filed in recent years against Toyota, including 250 suits alleging vehicle defects causing unintended acceleration, which are being litigated in a consolidated multidistrict litigation proceeding in federal court in Los Angeles.

Ms. Ho claims that she had to replace her Lexus RX headlamps three times because they were inoperable due to heavy moisture build up. Each time the dealer installed a replacement lamp. She cites complaints made by other consumers about the same problem. Additionally, her suit alleges that Toyota knew of the problem in 2010, issued a technical service bulletin to its dealers but failed to recall the vehicles to correct the problem. Rather,  the complaint claims Toyota offered to install new headlamps, a temporary fix, but only to consumers who complained thereby constituting a “secret warranty” in violation of California law (Cal. Civ Code § 1795.90). The suit also asserts causes of action in violation of California’s : (1) Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Cal. Civ Code § 1770(a), Unfair Business Practices Act (Cal. Bus & Prof Code §17200 et seq), Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (Cal. Civ Code 1791.1 et seq.), and express warranty law (Cal Commercial Code, § 2313) and common law fraud by omission. Among its remedies, the suit seeks damages, restitution and injunctive relief ordering Toyota to notify class members of its warranty program and removing and replacing the headlamp housing with a suitable alternative product.

California has strong consumer protection laws. If you purchased a defective product and want to know your legal rights, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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