A lawsuit alleging a defect in Mazda vehicles with a certain type of engine has partially survived a motion to dismiss. Specifically, the suit pertains to allegedly defective water pumps installed in vehicles with Mazda Cyclone engines.
The second amended complaint raised claims including fraudulent concealment or omission, breach of warranty, and violations of consumer protections laws. The plaintiffs contend, “the Water Pump Defect presents a significant safety risk . . . because when the water pump suddenly and unexpectedly fails and causes catastrophic engine failure, Class Vehicles lose engine power, including the ability to accelerate, maintain speed, readily control steering and/or fully engage the brakes.” One of the plaintiffs, Wright Schneider, alleged she experienced the water pump defect while driving her 2011 Mazda on the freeway, which caused sudden and catastrophic engine failure.
In challenging the complaint, Mazda argued in part that it did not sufficiently plead Mazda’s pre-sale knowledge of the alleged defect, for its claims for fraudulent concealment or omission.
The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ fraud claims under Illinois and Michigan Law, as well as the consumer protection claims under Florida, Illinois, and Ohio law. The court also dismissed the implied warranty and rehibition claims.
However, the court rejected Mazda’s remaining challenges to the other counts of the lawsuit. The court also denied Mazda’s motion to strike various allegations in the complaint, including the statements, “This dangerous condition has resulted in at least one death” and “Mazda’s internal records reflect that at least one death was caused by an accident attributed to the Water Pump Defect.”
The case is Terry Sonneveldt et al. v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc., et al., case number 8:19-cv-01298-JLS-KES. It is in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
You can read the Court's order below: