Auto Industry Class Actions: Pursuing, Defending or Settling Consumer Fraud and Warranty Breach Claims

Navigating Issues of Predominance, Standing and Causation; Obtaining Court Approval of Settlements; Minimizing Litigation Exposure

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, July 7, 2016

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will examine the latest trends in consumer class actions targeting the automotive industry and outline strategies for bringing, defending and settling claims. The panel will review court rulings in cases against auto manufacturers, suppliers and distributors involving a variety of allegations, including consumer fraud, breach of contract, breach of warranty, excessive fees, and more. The panel will also discuss tactics for obtaining court approval of settlements and proactive steps auto industry clients should take to minimize their exposure to class claims.


The past several years have been brutal for the auto industry from a legal, financial and public relations standpoint. High profile incidents including Volkswagen’s emissions testing scandal, Toyota’s sudden acceleration debacle and General Motors’ ignition switch defect mishap resulted in a significant number of government enforcement actions and follow-on class actions. According to National Economic Research Associates, the average automotive class action nets $247 million.

Whether pursuing or defending class actions against auto manufacturers, suppliers or distributors, counsel must understand common and emerging liability theories in these cases and be able to navigate issues of predominance, standing, causation and more. Class counsel must also understand the current legal landscape regarding settling auto industry class actions in order to devise effective settlement strategies for their cases. Further, defense counsel should help their auto industry clients take proactive steps to minimize the likelihood of class claims.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class action plaintiff and defense attorneys discusses current trends and case law developments impacting auto industry class actions. The panel will outline strategies for increasing the likelihood of success from both the plaintiff and defense perspective from class certification through trial or settlement. The panel will also explain best practices for minimizing liability exposure.



  1. Class actions against the auto industry—latest trends and case law developments, liability theories
    1. Consumer fraud
    2. Breach of contract
    3. Breach of warranty
    4. Excessive fees by distributors/dealers
  2. Litigation strategies—plaintiff and defense perspective
    1. Certification strategies
    2. Trial strategies
    3. Settlement strategies
  3. Proactive strategies for auto manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to mitigate the risk of class actions


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the latest trends and case law developments impacting auto industry class actions?
  • What strategies and tactics are plaintiffs’ counsel frequently using when pursuing class actions against auto manufacturers, suppliers or distributors?
  • What compliance steps can put auto industry clients in a good position to avoid becoming a target of a class action lawsuit, and to position themselves for a successful defense?


Stein, David
David Stein

Of Counsel
Girard Gibbs

Mr. Stein represents consumers in complex litigation against Fortune 100 companies. He helped generate a $25...  |  Read More

Walters, Neal
Neal Walters

Ballard Spahr

Mr. Walters is the Practice Leader of the firm’s Product Liability and Mass Tort Group. He and his national team...  |  Read More

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