Ford named in class action lawsuit over defective CP4 high pressure fuel injection pump

 

 

Ford Motor Company has sold—and continues to sell—millions of diesel trucks equipped with high-pressure fuel injection pumps that are proverbial ticking time bombs, wholly unbeknownst to an unassuming American public who pays for these vehicles’ fictitious “durability,” “longevity,” and “top notch fuel economy.” As alleged, Ford promised consumers the continued reliability of their diesel engines with increased fuel efficiency and power at greater fuel efficiency. However, this came with a hidden and catastrophic cost that was secretly passed on to consumers.

 

The culprit is the Bosch-supplied CP4 high pressure fuel injection pump, which unbeknownst to consumers is a ticking time bomb when used in American vehicles. As Ford knew before and during the Class Period (2011-2018), Bosch’s CP4 pump was never compatible with American fuel standards. The CP4 pump is not built to withstand the specifications for U.S. diesel fuel in terms of lubrication or water content, and it struggles to lift a volume of fuel sufficient to lubricate itself. As a result, the pump is forced to run dry and destroy itself as air bubbles allow metal to rub against metal. The pump secretly deposits metal shavings and debris throughout the fuel injection system and the engine until it suddenly fails without warning, further contaminating the fuel delivery system with larger pieces of metal.

 

This pump failure often can occur as early as “mile 0,” as the fuel injection disintegration process begins at the very first fill of the tank. This total fuel injection system failure and consequential engine failure results in an outrageously expensive repair bill, all for a repair that will not truly ameliorate the issue so long as the vehicle is being filled with U.S. diesel. And, although complete and total pump failure takes time to occur, the defective CP4 pump starts damaging the vehicle’s fuel injection system and engine immediately upon the vehicle’s first use. Further, the sudden and unexpected shutoff of the vehicle’s engine while it is in motion and then subsequent inability to restart the vehicle present an inherent risk to consumer safety—one which Ford itself has recognized in the past. Thus, Plaintiffs and other Class members have suffered from a defect that existed in the Class Vehicles, upon the first use of the Class Vehicles. Plaintiffs and other Class members are seeking recovery for this manifested and immediately damaging defect, in addition to any and all consequential damages stemming therefrom.

 

According to the complaint, Ford blames the failures on “fuel contamination,” which is not covered under their warranties because it is “not caused by Ford.” Consumers are left with repair bills that range from $8,000.00 to $20,000.00 per vehicle.

 

Ford sought to use the CP4 system in American vehicles, promising consumers exactly what they were looking for—improvements in torque, horsepower, durability, and fuel economy. But Ford could never deliver on that promise for American vehicles because the CP4 fuel pump is not compatible with American diesel fuel; in fact, Ford knew this before and during the Class Period, and equipped its modern Power Stroke diesel vehicles with the European-designed CP4 fuel pump anyway.

 

Ford knew, from the specifications of the pump as compared to the specifications of American diesel, the Bosch-made CP4 Pump was clearly incompatible with the ordinary use of American diesel fuel. That is, well before Ford ever chose to implement the CP4 component part (as incorporated in the diesel engines of the subject Class Vehicles), the issue of incompatibility was (or should have been) known and yet was totally ignored in the design of the Class Vehicles’ engine systems. This is further evidenced by the fact that Ford had experience with widespread catastrophic fuel injection pump failures when cleaner diesel standards were first implemented in the 1990s. By 2002, the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (“EMA”)—of which Ford is a member company1—acknowledged that the lower lubricity of American diesel could cause catastrophic failure in fuel injection system components that are made to European diesel specifications.

 

Not only did Ford fail to inform American consumers and fail to stop touting the fabricated benefits of the vehicles containing CP4 pumps, they actively attempted to shift the blame to American consumers. For instance, in 2010, Ford claimed it was consumers’ improper use of contaminated or substandard fuels that damaged the vehicles’ fuel system, even when Ford knew that the malfunction was actually the result of the CP4 fuel injection pump design, which was simply not fit for American diesel fuel.

COMPLAINT

Hyundai named in class action lawsuit over engine defect

This is a class action on behalf of current or former owners and/or lessees of a 2011 – 2015 Hyundai Sonata with a 1.6- liter turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 4-cylinder engine.

 

As alleged, each Subject Vehicle is equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 4-cylinder engine. Upon information and belief, under normal use and with proper maintenance, the engines in Subject Vehicles suffer from inadequate engine oil lubrication, which causes the engines and their subject components to wear prematurely and ultimately cause catastrophic engine failure.

The connecting rod bearings within Subject Vehicles additionally suffer from failure caused by metal debris circulating within the engine via the engine oil. The oil contamination and inadequate engine lubrication cause the connecting rod bearings to break and release even more metal debris into the engine oil. Consequently, contaminated oil begins to recirculate throughout the engine, causing further engine damage and eventual catastrophic engine failure.

COMPLAINT

Trevena Inc named in securities class action lawsuit

 

This is a securities class action on behalf of all purchasers of Trevena common stock (NASDAQ: TRVN) between May 2, 2016 and October 8, 2018, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”) seeking  remedies against Trevena and certain of its most senior executives under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), and Rule l0b-5 promulgated there under.

Trevena is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. At the start of the Class Period, the Company’s most advanced drug under development was Olinvo (a/k/a “Oliceridine” and “TRV130”), an intravenous pain reliever which was undergoing a Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of moderate-to-severe postoperative pain after surgery. According to Trevena, its Phase II clinical trial for Olinvo had demonstrated that Olinvo was superior to the then standard of care for post-surgery pain reduction, morphine. Trevena also claimed that once approved for commercial distribution, it planned to price Olinvo higher than morphine, because Olinvo purportedly caused less costly adverse effects than morphine, such as respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting.

As alleged, unbeknownst to investors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) had expressly warned Trevena, however, prior to the start of the Class Period, of many defects in the design of its Phase III clinical trial – design defects Trevena refused to remedy – that threatened to render the data derived in the Phase III clinical trial worthless. As a result, the Company’s prospects of obtaining FDA approval for commercial distribution of Olinvo, and its eventual commercial successes, were much lower than defendants were leading the market to believe throughout the Class Period.

Based on defendants’ Class Period materially misleading statements and omissions concerning the strength of its clinical development program, the design of its Phase III Olinvo clinical trial and its prospects for obtaining FDA approval to commercially distribute Olinvo and the drug’s financial prospects, the price of Trevena common stock traded at artificially inflated prices throughout the Class Period, trading above $8 per share on May 10, 2016.

When the Company disclosed the results of the Phase III clinical trial of Olinvo on February 21, 2017, the data did not show that Olinvo caused any meaningfully less adverse effects than morphine. On this news, the price of Trevena common stock plummeted approximately 40%, or $3 per share, on February 21, 2017, on unusually heavy trading of more than 10.5 million shares trading.

Then, on October 9, 2018, the FDA made public its prior criticisms of the design of the Phase III clinical trial and disclosed that its Advisory Committee was recommending that the FDA reject the Company’s New Drug Application (“NDA”) for Olinvo. On this news, the price of Trevena common stock plummeted another 64%, almost $2 per share, on October 9, 2018, again on unusually high trading of more than 40 million shares trading.

On October 11, 2018, trading in Trevena common stock was halted on pending news. Later that day, the Company disclosed that the FDA Advisory Committee had voted against approving Olinvo. While Trevena contended that “[t]he FDA [was] not bound by the Advisory Committee’s recommendations” that day, it also acknowledged that the FDA “takes its advice into consideration when making its decision.” When trading recommenced on October 12, 2018, the stock price dropped another 7%, closing below $1 per share, on unusually high trading of more than 12 million shares.

Finally, on Friday November 2, 2018, Trevena disclosed that the FDA had formally rejected its NDA for Olinvo, with the FDA stating in its complete response letter that the safety data was not adequate.

COMPLAINT

Rite Aid named in class action lawsuit over misleading labeling of private label vitamins and supplements

The claims arise from the marketing and sales of certain “Rite Aid” branded vitamins, minerals, supplements, herbs, sports nutrition and other health and wellness products (collectively “Nutritional Supplements”). The Nutritional Supplements at issue are marketed, labeled, and sold with inaccurate or misleading representations and omissions on the container in violation of Federal and state of Oregon law and regulations. As alleged, containers for the Nutritional Supplements at issue falsely indicate that the contents provide a certain number of milligrams (“MGs” or “mgs”) of Nutritional Supplement per tablet, capsule, caplet, chew, or other individualized delivery method (“Unit”) and/or they contain inaccurate or misleading representations and omissions related to the total amount of milligrams of Nutritional Supplement included in the entire container.

COMPLAINT

Nektar Theraputics named in class action lawsuit for securities fraud

This is a federal securities class action on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise acquired Nektar securities between November 11, 2017 through October 2, 2018 (“class Period”) seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws.

The Company’s Common Stock is listed and traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (“NASDAQ”) under the ticker symbol “NKTR”. If you purchased during the Class Period wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than December 31, 2018.

Nektar is a research-based bio pharmaceutical company that discovers and develops innovative medicines in areas of high unmet medical need. Nektar’s research and development pipeline of new investigational drugs includes treatments for cancer, autoimmune disease and chronic pain. Nektar purports to leverage its proprietary and proven chemistry platform to discover and design new drug candidates. These drug candidates utilize the Company’s advanced polymer conjugate technology platforms, which are designed to enable the development of new molecular entities that target known mechanisms of action.

NKTR-214, is the Company’s lead immune-oncology (“I-O”) candidate, is a biologic with biased signaling through one of the IL-2 receptor sub units (CD 122) that can stimulate proliferation and growth of tumor-killing immune cells in the tumor micro-environment and increase expression of PD-1 on these immune cells.

As alleged, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) prior studies which attempted to pegylate IL-2 failed; (ii) NKTR-214’s extended half-life was unlikely to result in efficacy and created additional high-dosing safety concerns; (iii) NKTR-214 was less effective than IL-2 alone; (iv) the combination of NKTR-214 with nivolumab has not yet demonstrated significant positive results; and (v) as a result, Nektar’s public statements as set forth above were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On October 1, 2018, Plainview LLC published a report entitled “NKTR-214: Pegging the Value at Zero”. The report addressed the efficacy of Nektar’s lead clinical-stage drug NKTR-214, which the Company has touted as “a promising treatment for cancer, particularly in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.” The Plainview report stated that “Nektar hypothesized that IL- 2 [a naturally occurring cytokine] could be improved by adding polyethylene glycol molecules to it (pegylating it) to extend the half-life and block interaction with” a specific receptor, but that “[u]nfortunately, the anticipated benefits did not materialize and pegylation has proved to be a drag on efficacy.” The Plainview report asserted that the core concept of Nektar’s plan to develop NKTR-214 into “a new universal cancer treatment” “has never worked in practice”, and further asserted that Nektar’s decision to only disclose certain trial results represented “an unprecedented level of data opacity.”

Following publication of the Plainview report, Nektar’s stock price fell $5.63 per share, or 9.24%, over the following two trading sessions, closing at $55.33 per share on October 2, 2018.

As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s securities, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages.

COMPLAINT

Champion Pet Foods named in class action lawsuit for failure to disclose presence of heavy metals in pet food

 

Plaintiff brings this Class Action Complaint against Defendants Champion Petfoods USA, Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP for their negligent, reckless, and/or intentional practice of misrepresenting and failing to fully disclose the presence of heavy metals and toxins in their pet food sold throughout the United States.

 

According to the complaint, Defendants have created a niche in the pet food market by making biologically appropriate’ pet food- as close to what animals would eat in nature as possible- and producing it using fresh, natural ingredients. Yet nowhere in the labeling, advertising, statements, warranties, and/or packaging do Defendants disclose that the Contaminated Pet Foods (defined herein) contain levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium and/or BISPHENOL A (“BPA”) — all known to pose health risks to humans and animals, including dogs.

COMPLAINT

Honda named in class action lawsuit alleging defect in 1.5-liter direct injection turbocharged engines

 

This consumer class action arises from a latent defect found in model year 2015 – through 2018 Honda Civic, CR-V, and Accord vehicles with 1.5-liter direct injection turbocharged engines.

As alleged, the engines in these vehicles suffer from an inherent latent defect that results in the engine oil becoming diluted with gasoline, which is known as fuel dilution. Due to the defect, gasoline gets into the crankcase, diluting the oil and reducing the oil’s ability to protect and lubricate the engine, leading to premature engine wear, potential engine damage and ultimately potential engine failure. In addition, fuel dilution can lead to gasoline fumes seeping in to the passenger compartment.

According to the complaint, under normal circumstances, un-combusted gasoline accumulates in the lubricant oil pan and evaporates under heat from the engine that then ends up back in the engine combustion chamber as fuel. In the vehicles at issue, however, owners are reporting that un-combusted gasoline is diluting the engine oil which manifests in a strong smell of gasoline inside the cabin, in the short term, and gasoline in the oil that may lead to engine damage in the long term. Some drivers have reported that the car’s check-engine light has switched on as result.

Despite notice and knowledge of the defect from the numerous complaints it has received, information received from dealers, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) complaints, and their own internal records, including pre-sale durability testing, Honda has not recalled and/or offered an adequate engine repair to the Class Vehicles, offered their customers suitable repairs or replacements free of charge, or offered to reimburse their customers who have incurred out-of-pocket expenses to repair the defect.

COMPLAINT

Coca-Cola sued over advertising of Hansen’s Natural sodas

 

Defendant manufactures, markets, advertises, and sells a line of products in the “alternative” soda beverage category, which Defendant prominently labels and sells as “Hansen’s Natural” sodas Defendant uses the “natural” branding strategy and labeling claim as the primary feature differentiating Hansen’s Natural Sodas from other soda products in the marketplace. However, Defendant’s advertising and marketing is false, deceptive and misleading because each Hansen’s Natural Soda product contains one or more artificial and/or synthetic, non-natural ingredients, including Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, and Caramel Color.

 

COMPLAINT

National Beverage Corp  makers of LaCroix Sparkling Waters named in class action lawsuit over false advertising of product as natural

 

This is a class action against National Beverage Corp. d/b/a LaCroix Sparkling Waters to stop their practice of mislabeling their signature product, LaCroix Water, as “all-natural.” LaCroix Water is manufactured using non-natural flavorings and synthetic compounds, and Defendant continues to mislead consumers into believing that their product is natural when it is not.

According to the complaint, the water contains ethyl butanoate, Iimonene, linalool and linalool propionate — chemical compounds that are synthetically created and added to consumable goods to make those goods taste or smell a certain way.

COMPLAINT

GM named in class action lawsuit over excessive oil consumption in Chevrolet Equinox vehicles

 

This class action pertains to Model Year 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox vehicles with 2.4-liter engines. These engines were denominated within GM as the “LAF” and “LEA” engines (also referred to herein as the “EcoTech 2.4L” engine).

 

As alleged, GM knew that these vehicles contained one or more design and/or manufacturing defects that cause them to be unable to properly utilize the engine oil and, in fact, to improperly burn off and/or consume abnormally high amounts of oil (the “Oil Consumption Defect”).

The primary cause of the Oil Consumption Defect was the composition and construction of faulty piston rings, including both “compression” and “oil” rings. In particular, the composition of compression rings did not permit these rings to withstand the higher compression ratios of the LAF and LEA engines, in that the coating would fail and cause premature ring wear, and that these rings were too thin. Additionally, GM installed low-tension oil rings in these engines that do not maintain sufficient tension to keep oil in the crank case within design specifications.

Included in the EcoTec 2.4L engines, which further contributes to the Oil Consumption Defect, are spray jets that spray oil onto the piston skirt and cylinder wall. This was not common on other engines with adequate piston rings. This oil spray overloads and fouls the defective piston rings, triggering oil to migrate past the piston rings into other places in the engine. This excess oil either burns off or accumulates as a carbon buildup on the combustion chamber’s surfaces.

The complaint also alleges that the EcoTec 2.4L engine includes a flawed Positive Crankcase Ventilation system that vacuums oil from the valve train into the intake system, where it is ultimately burned in the combustion chambers.

The engine oil defect can cause a myriad of issues creating a safety issue including:

  • Sudden engine shutoff, resulting in loss of power, loss of braking, and inability to adequately maneuver in high-speed or congested driving situations;
  • Driver distraction due to sudden and unexpected engine shutoff, caused by sudden loss of power, illumination of warning lights and sounds, and loss or diminution of power brake assist;
  • Loss of maneuverability in high-speed or congested driving conditions due to unexpected loss of engine power—even when the engine does not shut off;

COMPLAINT