Canadian Alisha Koubi leased a 2006 Mazda3, then discovered that a locked driver's door could be opened by giving it a shoulder check. Reports say that at the same time she was reading about Mazda3s being broken into in a way that left dents above the driver's door, she was reading Mazda promotional material touting the safety and quality of the company's products. Her car was never broken into, but she decided to sue Mazda for selling "an unfit product for profit," and the case has just been granted class-action status in British Columbia.
Because the lawsuit isn't based on actual loss but the more nebulous idea of a breach of commercial duty, Koubi and her attorney want damages to be assessed based on Mazda's profits from all the Mazda3s sold and leased from 2004 to 2007. That covers 19,909 cars.
Mazda asserts that the door issue wasn't a defect. The company didn't publicize the issue, claiming it was afraid that would increase break-in rates, but it did add a reinforcement plate for any drivers that requested it on those cars and redesigned the lock on the next generation. No word on when it will go to trial, but similar lawsuits have also been launched in Quebec and Ontario. Thanks for the tip, Edwin!
[Source: CBC News]