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Commonly Asked Questions


1. What is this lawsuit about?

Answer:

Plaintiff Trish Herremans filed this lawsuit in March 2014. The litigation is captioned Herremans v. BMW of North America, LLC, and is pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California (Case No. 14-cv-02363-GW-PJW). The operative complaint alleges that the original water pump in the Class Vehicles with thermo-plastic housing (MINI Part No. 11 51 7 550 484) is defective because it is prone to leaking and failure. The lawsuit asserts claims against the authorized United States distributor of MINI vehicles, BMW of North America, LLC (“MINI”) for (1) violation of California Civil Code § 1750 et seq. (“CLRA”), (2) violation of California Business & Professions Code § 17200 et seq. (“UCL”), and (3) for fraud.

2. What is MINI’s position regarding these allegations?

Answer:

MINI has expressly denied and continues to deny all charges of wrongdoing or liability against it arising out of the allegations and claims asserted in the lawsuit, including that the Class Vehicles or their water pumps are defective.  MINI has vigorously resisted the lawsuit’s allegations and claims and has asserted, and continues to assert, defenses to those claims.

3. I have not received my Settlement check yet. What is the status of my payment?

Answer:

On January 13, 2017, the Settlement Administrator mailed checks to those claimants who submitted valid and timely claims. On or around March 10, 2017, the Settlement Administrator will be mailing a second group of checks to claimants who submitted valid and timely claims. Check reissues will also be mailed with this group. Please allow up to two weeks for the checks to arrive.

If you are a Settlement Class Member and you have not received your check, you may request that your award be researched by writing to the Settlement Administrator at  Herremans v BMW of North America LLC Settlement, C/O Rust Consulting, PO Box 2561, Faribault, MN 55021.


4. How can I get my damaged or misplaced check replaced?

Answer:

If you need a check reissue for any reason, please contact the Settlement Administrator by mail at  Herremans v BMW of North America LLC Settlement, C/O Rust Consulting, PO Box 2561, Faribault, MN 55021-9561.

Your check reissue request must be received by the Settlement Administrator by April 19, 2017. 

5. What is the time frame to request a reissued check?

Answer:

If you need a check reissue for any reason, please contact the Settlement Administrator by mail at  Herremans v BMW of North America LLC Settlement, C/O Rust Consulting, PO Box 2561, Faribault, MN 55021-9561.

Your check reissue request must be received by the Settlement Administrator by April 19, 2017.

6. Why was a notice issued?

Answer:

The notice is designed to inform members of the class of the pendency of this litigation and of the proposed settlement, and to describe your rights and options if you are a member of the class.

7. How do I know if I am a part of the Settlement Class?

Answer:

The District Court has conditionally certified a class that includes all residents of the United States (including Puerto Rico) who currently own or lease, or who previously owned or leased, a “Class Vehicle.” A Class Vehicle is any MINI R55, R56, R57, R58, R59, and R60 vehicle, made for sale and/or lease in the U.S. market, with a production date between October 2006 through November 2012, and that was sold or leased to the Class Member who registered and operated the vehicle in the United States and Puerto Rico.
To represent the above class for purposes of the settlement, the Court has appointed the named Plaintiff, Trish Herremans, to serve as the class representative, and has appointed the Law Office of Robert L. Starr, A.P.C. (www.starrlaw.com) and the Law Offices of Stephen M. Harris, P.C. (www.smh-legal.com) to act as Class Counsel.

8. What benefits does the Settlement provide?

Answer:

The following description of the settlement benefits and the defined terms used herein are qualified in their entirety by reference to the Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release, a copy of which is on file with the Court and available HERE. Kindly refer to the complete Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release for a full description of all settlement terms and conditions. The following definitions apply to the summary below:
• Settlement Warranty Period - “Settlement Warranty Period” is the 7 year/84,000 mile period (whichever occurs first) from the date a Class Vehicle was first placed in service as a new vehicle.
• Effective Date - The “Effective Date” is the date on which the District Court’s approval of the settlement becomes final. The Settlement Effective Date is: November 29, 2016.
• Water Pump - “Water Pump” means the original water pump in a Class Vehicle with the thermo-plastic housing (MINI Part No. 11 51 7 550 484).
• Water Pump Repair - “Water Pump Repair” means a repair for the replacement of the Water Pump, coolant, bolts, and gasket on a Class Vehicle following a Water Pump failure, and reasonable labor costs for this repair.
• Maximum Reimbursement Amount - “Maximum Reimbursement Amount” is a maximum five hundred dollar ($500) reimbursement that applies to Out-of-Pocket Costs incurred for a Water Pump Repair prior to the Settlement’s Effective Date.
• Required Documentation - “Required  Documentation” means (1) a fully completed Claim Form signed under penalty of perjury, and (2) a repair order/invoice for the replacement of a Water Pump during the Settlement Warranty Period that includes the Class Vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number, a description of the parts replaced, and labor costs, and (3) acceptable proof of an Out-Of-Pocket Cost actually paid by a Class Member during the Settlement Warranty Period for the replacement of a Water Pump such as receipts, cancelled checks, credit card statements, costs verifiable, etc., as described in the Claim Form.


SUMMARY OF BENEFITS:

Reimbursement for Water Pumps Replaced on or before July 22, 2016: 

MINI will reimburse you for eligible Out-Of-Pocket Costs incurred prior to the Effective Date, November 29, 2016 for a Water Pump Repair. The Water Pump Repair must have occurred during the Settlement Warranty Period. The reimbursement will be the lesser of (1) the actual Out- Of-Pocket Cost you paid for a Water Pump Repair, or (2) the Maximum Reimbursement Amount ($500).

To be eligible for a reimbursement you must submit a timely Claim and Required Documentation to the Class Administrator before the claims deadline of October 21, 2016. The deadline to submit a Claim for reimbursement has now passed.

Reimbursement for Water Pumps Replaced on or after July 23, 2016:

If you incurred an Out-of-Pocket Cost for a Water Pump Repair on or after July 23, 2016 but before the Settlement Effective Date, November 29, 2016, your deadline to submit a Claim for these costs only was December 29, 2016The deadline to submit a Claim for reimbursement has now passed.

Replacement of Failed Water Pumps After  the Settlement Effective Date of November 29, 2016:
MINI will cover 100% of the costs to replace a failed Water Pump on a Class Vehicle if the Water Pump fails during the Settlement Warranty Period. This repair will be covered if (1) the Water Pump failed in the ordinary course of driving, (2) there is no evidence of abuse, misuse, or accident, and (3) the vehicle is presented to an authorized MINI dealer in the United States or Puerto Rico during the Settlement Warranty Period for repair. Water Pump Repairs performed by third party repair facilities after the Effective Date will not be paid or otherwise covered by MINI under this Settlement. A Claim Form is not required to receive this benefit. If you meet the qualifications set forth herein, simply take your vehicle to an authorized MINI dealership for the repair.

9. How will the Attorneys’ be paid?

Answer:

The Court has approved the proposed settlement, Class Counsel applied to the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement for costs not to exceed $692,500. This request was granted by the Court. Class Counsel also applied to the Court for a service award of $2,500 to the named Plaintiff Trish Herremans, for her initiative and effort in pursuing this litigation for the benefit of the class. This request was also granted by the Court. Any award of attorneys’ fees and expenses and any service award will be paid by MINI and will not reduce the benefits available to you under the settlement. You are not personally liable for these attorneys’ fees and costs or the service award.

10. What happens now that the Court has approved the Settlement?

Answer:

If you fall within the class definition and elected to remain in the class, the Court has entered a judgment dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice, and releasing any and all claims that you may have against BMW of North America, LLC and Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (BMW AG), and their respective subsidiaries and related entities, and every entity involved in the design, development, supply, manufacture, sale, lease, repair, or distribution of the Class Vehicles, and the foregoing entities’ past and present officers, directors, shareholders, predecessors in interest, successors in interest, and employees, including any claim for violations of federal, state, or other law, whether known or unknown, related to the Water Pumps or Water Pump Repairs of any Class Vehicle. The settlement and judgment will not release any claims for personal injury, property damage, or claims for subrogation.

11. How do I participate in the Settlement?

Answer:

If you agreed with the Settlement, you did not need to do anything to remain in the class. You were, however, required to submit a timely Claim for reimbursement as set forth herein to be eligible for reimbursement, or comply with other deadlines as set forth herein and in the Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release. For information on the status of settlement and other settlement related information, please visit the Home and Court Documents pages of this website.

If you wish to comment in favor of the Settlement, you may send your comment to Class Counsel:

Stephen M Harris

Law Office of Stephen M. Harris, P.C.,

6320 Canoga Avenue, Suite 1500, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

(866) 317-8668

waterpump@starrlaw.com

or

Law Office of Robert L. Starr, A.P.C.

23277 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, California 91364

(866) 317-8668

waterpump@starrlaw.com

12. How do I exclude myself?

Answer:

If you did not want to stay in the Class, then you must have sent a written notice of your request to exclude yourself from the Class, postmarked no later than August 26, 2016 to the Claims Administrator. The deadline to submit your request to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class has now passed.

Your request must have been signed by you, included your name and address, and specifically stated that you request to be excluded from the Class in Herremans v. BMW of North America, LLC.

If you validly and timely requested exclusion from the class, (1) you will be excluded from the class; (2) you will not be entitled to the settlement benefits; (3) you will not be bound by the terms of the settlement, the judgment dismissing the lawsuit, or the release of claims provided by the settlement; and (4) you were not be entitled to object to the proposed settlement or be heard at the fairness hearing.

13. How do I object to the Settlement?

Answer:

If you are a member of the class and you did not request to be excluded, you may have objected to the terms of the settlement or to Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs. You may have, but need not have, entered an appearance through counsel of your choice, but you will be responsible for your own attorneys’ fees and costs.

The deadline to object to the Settlement has now passed.
If you objected to the settlement, you must have done the following, on or before August 26, 2016:
(1) filed with the Clerk of the Court of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 312 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, California  90012 and (2) served upon the Claims Administrator, a written objection, including (i) a reference to Herremans v. BMW of North America, LLC, Case No. 14-cv-02363-GW-PJW; (ii) your full name, address and telephone number; (iii) the year, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the Class Vehicle that you own or lease or previously owned or leased; (iv) a written statement of all grounds for the objection accompanied by any legal support for your objection; (v) copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents upon which the objection is based; (vi) a list of all persons who will be called to testify in support of the objection (if any); (vii) a statement of whether you intended to appear at the fairness hearing; and (viii) your signature or if you are represented by counsel, your counsel’s signature. You were not required to personally appear at the Final Approval Hearing for your objection to be considered by the Court.

To retain your right to appeal from any provision of the order approving the Settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate, the award of incentive payments, or to the award of reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses paid by MINI and awarded to Class Counsel, you must have filed an objection. If you intended to appear at the fairness hearing through counsel, the objection must have also stated the identity of all attorneys representing you who would have appeared at the fairness hearing.

Class members who did not timely make their objections in this manner are deemed to have waived all objections and shall not be heard or have the right to appeal approval of the settlement.

14. When and where did the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

On Monday November 28, 2016, in Courtroom 10 of the United States Courthouse, United States District Court for the Central District of California, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012-4701, the Honorable George H. Wu, United States District Judge, held a fairness hearing for the purpose of deciding (a) whether the settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate for the class; (b) whether a judgment granting approval of the settlement and dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice should be entered; and (c) whether Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and expenses and incentive award for the named Plaintiff should be granted.  You did not need to attend this hearing to remain a member of the class or participate in the settlement.

The Settlement was approved on November 28, 2016.

15. Where can I review the documents filed in this case?

Answer:

For full details of the Settlement matters, you may review the Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release available HERE. A complete copy of the Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release, and all other pleadings and papers filed in the lawsuit are also available for inspection and copying during regular business hours at the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012-4701 and on the Court Documents page of this website.

16. How can I get more information about the Settlement?

Answer:

You can get more information by reviewing all of the Commonly Asked Questions on this page, by reviewing the Court Documents located HERE, or by contacting the Claims Administrator or Class Counsel:

Claims Administrator

Herremans v. BMW of North America, LLC Settlement
c/o Rust Consulting - 5097
P.O. Box 2561
Faribault, MN 55021-9561
1-877-465-5124

Class Counsel

Stephen M Harris

Law Office of Stephen M. Harris, P.C.
6320 Canoga Avenue, Suite 1500
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
(866) 317-8668
waterpump@starrlaw.com


Robert L. Starr

Law Office of Robert L. Starr, A.P.C.
23277 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, California 91364
(866) 317-8668
waterpump@starrlaw.com

Please include the reference: Herremans v. BMW of North America, LLC.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC OR THE COURT WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT.

Disclaimer

This site is not operated by the Court, Class Counsel, Defendant’s Counsel, or Defendant. This class action settlement is supervised by the Court and is administered by a consulting firm that handles all aspects of settlement administration.

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