TRENTON, N.J. (June 9, 2010)—BMW North America L.L.C. and Bridgestone Americas have agreed to reimburse U.S. owners and lessees of certain 2006 and 2007 BMW 3-series models who had to replace their original equipment Bridgestone run-flat tires because of premature wear, settling a class-action lawsuit that dates to 2008.
The settlement covers BMW 3-series models originally equipped with Bridgestone Turanza EL42 RFT 205/55R16 or 225/45R17 Run-Flat Tires, according to terms of the settlement, which was posted at www.gilardi.com/BMW-BridgestoneRFT.
The tires in question were made at Bridgestone's plant in Tosu, Japan, prior to the 22nd week of 2007 for 16-inch models and prior to the 26th week of 2006 for the 17-inch versions.
The class-action suit started with an owners' group lawsuit—Chandran vs. BMW of North America L.L.C. et al (Case No. 2:08-CV-02619-KSH-PS)—which alleged that defendants BMW and Bridgestone should have known the tires were defective and prone to excessive noise and/or irregular wear, resulting in the need to replace the tires frequently and causing the vehicles to ride roughly.
The federal court for New Jersey accepted the defendants' settlement offer on April 29, clearing the way for affected BMW owners to apply for reimbursement. Bridgestone estimates the potential size of the class at about 125,000 vehicles; BMW sold 262,670 3-series models in the U.S. during 2006 and 2007.
The deadline for filing a claim is Nov. 8. The settlement calls for full or partial reimbursement, depending on the mileage at which owners replaced their tires.
In addition, plaintiffs' attorneys were awarded $1.2 million in fees and expenses.