Mercedes-Benz under fire for alleged seat heater defects

By Rory Sharrock | Dec 23, 2014


William and Elizabeth Callaway filed a class-action lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz USA LLC and Mercedes Benz of Laguna Niguel on Thursday for allegedly failing to disclose safety defects in its cars' seat heaters.

The lawsuit alleges that Mercedes knew the seat heaters in its vehicles manufactured between 2000 and 2014 had a history of overheating, smoking and catching on fire in some cases. The company allegedly concealed and failed to share this information with the plaintiffs before they purchased their 2006 Mercedes-Benz R350 from the Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Nigel.

While driving the car on May 24, 2014, Elizabeth Callaway turned on the driver and passenger-side seat heaters. During the ride, both Elisabeth and her friend, Megan Fitzgerald, noticed the smell of smoke in the air.

On the following day, the plaintiff once again turned on the seat heater and smelled smoke. The plaintiff alleges the fumes were so strong she had to roll down her window to breathe. She later noticed burn marks on her dress and complained of pains on the left side of her waist.

Callaway informed the dealership of these issues. Upon hearing these concerns, the defendant allegedly said it would repair the seat heaters if the defendant signed a confidential release agreement. Callaway refused to sign the form.

The plaintiffs want the defendants to repair and/or replace the seat heaters with those that do not contain safety defects and disclose safety defects to all customers. They are also seeking payment for attorney fees and court costs.

United States District Court Central District of California case no. 8:14-cv-02011-JVS-DFM.

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