Consumer Litigation

Claims of Product Defect, False Advertising or Privacy Breaches

Product Defects: When Consumers accuse you of Manufacturing, Design or Packaging Defects

At times, it seems that consumers and Consumer Advocacy Groups live to file expensive and time-consuming product defect cases against automotive aftermarket companies.  There are a number of steps you can take to limit the risk of these lawsuits, including the selection of reputable contract manufacturing partners coupled with the use of rigorous third-party testing before the product is launched.  For new technology, it is important to consider the creation of testing standards that can be adopted by international standards boards to apply across the new product category.   At a minimum, you need to make sure that your products are tested and approved by third parties as evidence that the product was safely introduced to the market.  

At Aftermarket Law, we work with our clients to limit the chances of these expensive suits.  From the creation of testing standards, solid manufacturing agreements, and appropriate insurance coverage, Aftermarket Law works to make sure that you are ready when a claim of product defect hits your desk.  

Aftermarket Law is a trial firm and will represent you when a consumer, consumer advocacy group or governmental agency accuses your technology of defect. These allegations can be directed at the design of the product, the quality of its manufacture, the manner in which it is marked, or even the manner in which you instruct consumers to use the products.  We defend the Aftermarket across the country with great success.  We work to ensure that the court and the jury know the real story behind the innovation, hard work, diligence, and ethical approach you used to design, manufacture, and distribute the automotive products. 

Advertising and Product Packaging: Defending False Advertising is Critical to your Company’s credibility in the Automotive Aftermarket.

State Attorneys General, Consumer Advocacy Groups, and consumers themselves can launch lawsuits against your company claiming that you misrepresented your product and its features.  These groups rely upon state Consumer Protection Acts along with the Federal Lanham Act to assert claims of false advertising, false designation of origin, deceptive trade practices, false marking, etc.  At their heart, these claims accuse you of overstating or misstating the quality and features of your product.   

Merely being accused of deceptive trade practices by a State Attorney General, or one of your customers can set you back for years with your distribution and retail partners.  Major distributors and retailers are at risk when they house or shelve products made by those accused of false advertising and they will tend to shy away from working with those who have been accused of such misdeeds.  It is important to take steps to avoid these claims before they happen.

Aftermarket Law works with its clients to monitor and approve product packaging and advertising.  We help identify the buzz words that regularly create the basis for claims for deceptive trade practices and false advertising by State Attorneys General, consumers, and advocacy groups.  We also work to ensure that you do not find yourself sued by a competitor that does not like the product comparisons that you make.  

When claims invariably hit, Aftermarket Law is there to help the Automotive Aftermarket client address frivolous claims of false advertising, deceptive trade practices, or violations of the Lanham Act and State Consumer Protection Acts.  We travel the country handling these cases with great success.  We focus on proving that your statements are true, and should not be misconstrued into supporting a frivolous or unsubstantiated claim.  

Government Mandated Markings: Claims That Your Product Doesn’t Have a Government-Mandated Warning Label

States across the country have enacted laws requiring the products be marked in certain ways.  It is important to work with a law firm like Aftermarket Law that is aware of the requirements imposed by states as well as Federal Agencies such as the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.   For example, California’s Prop 65 impacts nearly all Automotive Aftermarket companies, from their online markings to product packaging.  The enforcement of this law is taken very seriously. It is important to be familiar with the law and ensure your products are properly marked.  Aftermarket Law can help prevent claims as well as address them when they arise. 

Consumer Privacy in the United States

With many automotive aftermarket companies selling direct to consumers, the risk of breaching a consumer’s privacy rights has escalated in the Automotive Aftermarket.  The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) is intended to put consumers in control of the data about them that businesses can and cannot collect. It is critical to know what the law requires you to do with the data and how you are required to protect it from loss or misappropriation.  We work with eCommerce retailers and brands that sell direct to consumers on their websites to ensure that they are in compliance.

Get in touch with the Aftermarket Law team at Sheridan Ross, P.C.