Nissan Escapes Class Action Over Keyless Ignition

On September 30, 2016, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. won dismissal for Nissan North America, Inc., from a putative class action against numerous automakers, alleging their keyless ignition systems were defective. Plaintiffs claimed the keyless system did not automatically turn off when owners left their vehicles, resulting in the risk of injury and death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The industrywide action initially sought damages from 18 automakers (including Nissan North America) and their research and design companies. Plaintiffs sought to certify a nationwide class and nine statewide classes.

On Nissan’s behalf, Shook moved to dismiss and argued the motion on June 27, 2016. U.S. District, Central District of California Judge André Birotte Jr. granted the motion to dismiss on Sept. 30, 2016, denying plaintiffs’ request for leave to amend and dismissing the action with prejudice. Judge Birotte ruled that plaintiffs did not satisfactorily plead actual injury or product defect.

Shook partners Bill Sampson, Amir Nassihi and Kevin Underhill led the defense of Nissan in this matter.

Law360 covered the development in more detail.

The case is Lassen et al v. Nissan North America, Inc.