Complaints of loud brake sounds have led to a lawsuit against Porsche. The California-based plaintiff drives a 2018 Cayenne. She says the squeaky brakes reduce the vehicle’s value and cause unwanted attention from bystanders and law enforcement.
Here’s what you need to know about this Porsche model and whether the lawsuit might affect you.
The Porsche Cayenne’s specs and features
The Porsche Cayenne starts at $67,500. It features a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that makes 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. It gets 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for a combined 20 mpg.
This luxury SUV comes standard with cruise control, keyless drive, and park assist with a rearview camera. It has a manually dimming interior rearview mirror and unique features such as an analog clock on the dashboard. It also has partial leather seats.
The lawsuit’s allegations
According to CarComplaints.com, the class action lawsuit against Porsche claims the automaker has been aware of defective brakes in its vehicles since at least 2013. Allegedly, Porsche dealerships across the nation have been engaging in a cover-up and refusing to repair defective brakes. The lawsuit also alleges dealerships have not been documenting visits from owners when they complain about loud sounds. Because this affects the drivers’ repair histories, it would deprive owners of their lemon law rights.
Plaintiff Eliza Minassian claims the loud noises from her brakes attract unwanted attention when she drives on crowded city streets. Additionally, the plaintiff alleges that because the squealing sounds like someone is speeding, it has attracted law enforcement’s attention too.
The lawsuit also alleges that Porsche offered secret warranties to certain customers when they complained of brake problems. A secret warranty refers to a warranty that an automaker offers individual customers in response to a defect without issuing a mass recall or informing all customers of the new warranty. This means that, allegedly, certain customers who repeatedly complained of brake defects might’ve gotten a special warranty but that all customers weren’t informed of the warranty. The lawsuit also alleges that because the Porsche vehicles offer only limited warranties, they are “substantively and procedurally unconscionable.”
Finally, the class action alleges these brake defects caused the vehicles to lose their value. It also claims affected owners use their vehicles less than they would’ve if the brakes worked properly.
How Porsche has responded
In early 2018, Porsche released an online video discussing the potential causes of brake noise in its vehicles. In the video, the automaker explained that the high-performance brakes in many of its models sometimes squeal.
However, the video fails to address several significant problems, including that dealerships are allegedly turning owners away when they complain of defective brakes. The plaintiff also leased her Cayenne the month before Porsche released this video, so she wasn’t aware of these issues.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges an authorized dealer has since told the plaintiff that her brake dust is causing the noise. The 2018 Porsche video doesn’t discuss that problem.
Anyone in the U.S. who has leased or purchased a Porsche vehicle with brakes that generate “an extremely loud squealing noise” can join the class-action lawsuit. The name of the suit is Minassian vs. Porsche Cars North America, Inc., et al. If you believe your Porsche model is affected, contact the Margarian Law Firm at 818-553-1000.