Autobahn Motors and Mercedes-Benz

December 2018: The parties moved for final approval of the settlement agreement.

August 2018: A federal judge preliminarily approved a settlement agreement that would resolve all of the claims against Autobahn and Sonic and some of the claims against Mercedes. According to the settlement terms, class members may receive vouchers to use toward services at Autobahn.

  • Class members who serviced their vehicles at Autobahn may receive a voucher in an amount that depends on when and the number of times their vehicle was serviced at Autobahn.
  • Class members who had zMAX added to their vehicle as part of a service or during reconditioning at Autobahn may receive a $40 voucher.
  • Class members who purchased a certified pre-owned vehicle from Autobahn may receive a voucher for either $12.50 or $50, the amount depending on when they purchased the vehicle from Autobahn.

2016: A false advertising class-action lawsuit against Autobahn Motors (a Mercedes-Benz certified auto dealer), Mercedes-Benz, and Sonic Automotive was filed in state court (and transferred to federal court in 2017). The complaint, which was later amended in 2018, alleges that:

  • The companies deceptively market Mercedes-Benz parts as superior to parts from other brands when, according to the complaint, many of the parts are identical because the same companies manufacture them;
  • Autobahn Motors deceptively represents that it used Mercedes-Benz parts to maintain, repair, and recondition vehicles when, according to the complaint, the dealer did not use Mercedes-Benz parts; and
  • Autobahn Motors and Sonic Automotive “force” customers getting a standard oil change to purchase an oil additive (zMAX) that causes harm to car engines and voids manufacturers’ warranties.

(Ferrari et al v. Autobahn, Inc. DBA Autobahn Motors, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, and Sonic Automotive, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-18, N. D. CA.)

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