BMW named in class action lawsuit over defective timing chain tensioners in Mini Cooper vehicles

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The class action complaint is brought against BMW and pertains to the following Mini Cooper vehicles: 2007 through 2010 Hardtop (R56), 2008 through 2010 Clubman (R55), and 2009 through 2010 Convertible (R57) (collectively, the “Defective Vehicles”). The Defective Vehicles have a defect within their timing chain tensioners that cost, at minimum, hundreds of dollars to fix and that can cause extensive engine damage (the “Defect”).

As alleged, the Mini Cooper is a distinctive vehicle containing the Price engine. Unlike most engines made for the consumer market, the Prince engine uses a metal timing chain rather than a “belt” made of composite materials. When the Prince engine was first introduced in 2004, Defendant touted the timing chain’s durability compared to a timing belt, and indicated that the timing chain would remain maintenance-free throughout the full running life of the engine. One of the features of the Prince engine Defendant has promoted is that the timing chain and tensioner are located inside the engine block. However, actual road use has shown a significant drawback to this design: if the chain fails, damage to the engine can be catastrophic.

According to Defendant’s warranties and maintenance program, the chain and tensioner do not require service, and the on-board computer does not monitor chain condition. Accordingly, problems with the timing chain tensioner can easily go unnoticed and cause serious damage to the vehicle.  A defective timing chain can cause damage to the engine and present serious safety concerns. When a chain tensioner fails, the vehicle will lose all power, even while it is in motion.

As further alleged, despite numerous customer complaints related to the Defect, including catastrophic engine failure, Defendant has systematically denied the existence of the Defect, and thus refused to honor any applicable warranties. As a consequence, Defendant has failed to reimburse vehicle owners for the costs they incur resulting from damages related to the failures of the timing chain tensioner, and/or refuses to provide repairs free of charge.

Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. investigated over concerns that it sold floors to consumers with illegal levels of formaldehyde

Lawyers are investigating claims that Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: LL) sold floors to consumers with illegal levels of formaldehyde.  Claims of dangerously elevated toxin levels, registering far in excess of the standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency and state regulatory agencies, have been leveled against some of the Company’s most popular and profitable products, including their Mayflower line of floors.

According to the investigation, independent testing conducted at two different IAS certified laboratories revealed formaldehyde levels as high 0.17 ppm, three and half times the government mandated maximum emission level, in Mayflower flooring.

The investigation seeks to determine, among other things, whether Lumber Liquidators sold products to consumers in violation of federal and state laws.


FDA Warns That Mirapex May Increase Risk of Heart Failure

FDA has alerted health care professionals to the possibility that the medication Mirapex (pramipexole) could increase the risk of heart failure. Mirapex is a prescription medicine used to treat the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome.  It is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Risk: FDA evaluated an analysis of clinical trials and found that heart failure was more frequent with Mirapex than with a placebo treatment. However, these results were not considered statistically significant. FDA also evaluated two epidemiologic studies that suggested an increased risk of heart failure with Mirapex use. However, study limitations made it difficult to determine the influence of other factors.

Thus FDA has not been able to determine conclusively whether Mirapex increases the risk of heart failure. The agency is working with the manufacturer to clarify the risk and will update the public when more information is available.

At this time, FDA has not concluded that Mirapex increases the risk of heart failure.

The FDA suggests that patients should contact their health care professional if they experience any symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen, fatigue and weakness, rapid or irregular heart beat, chest pain, or persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm.