Plaintiffs Seek Class Certification in Headrest Lawsuit

Plaintiffs suing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have moved for class certification

Plaintiffs suing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have moved for class certification of a nationwide class (excluding California) and Florida and New York subclasses. The motion, filed in April 2022, follows the Court’s March 2021 denial of Defendant’s motion to dismiss the case and an October 2021 mediation hearing.

The lawsuit, filed in February 2020, alleged a defect in the headrest of certain Chrysler vehicles.  The “active head restraint” mechanism in the headrest, designed to rapidly push the headrest out to catch the occupant’s head upon a rear-end collision, allegedly deployed even without a collision.  The plaintiffs claim the force of such impact can cause serious harm to the head and neck, as well as create a risk of collision.  They further contend that Chrysler “concealed the risk from consumers,” “issued a public statement denying its existence,” and simply replaced the allegedly faulty component when vehicles were brought in for repair with “new, equally defective replacement” active head restraints.

The complaint contends this alleged safety-related defect is due in part to the use of a cheap plastic component inside the active head restraint, and the affected vehicles include:

2010-2018 Dodge Journey
2010-2011 Dodge Nitro
2010-2012 Jeep Liberty
2010-2017 Jeep Patriot or Compass
2010-2012 Dodge Caliber
2010-2018 Dodge Caravan
2011-2018 Dodge Ram C/V
2011-2018 Dodge Durango
2011-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2010-2014 Sebring/Avenger
2011-2018 Chrysler Town & Country
2011-2018 Chrysler 200
2011-2018 Chrysler 300

According to a April 8, 2022, order, Defendant has until May 3, 2022, to respond to the motion for class certification.

The case is Jason Nuwer, et al. v. FCA US LLC f/k/a Chrysler Group LLC, case number 0:20-cv-60432-AHS, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.