A federal judge in Illinois dismissed a lawsuit brought by a married couple claiming they were deceived by Volvo about how far the hybrid car they purchased could travel solely on an electric charge.
Xavier Laurens originally sued Volvo on his own. When the issue was raised that his wife, Khadija, was the holder of the title to the car, Xavier amended his complaint to include her as a plaintiff. Before he did so, however, Volvo offered Khadija a full refund of the purchase price, conditioned only on return of the vehicle. Volvo then argued that the case was moot because it had offered the entirety of the relief plaintiffs sought. Plaintiffs argued that what they actually sought was the difference between the purchase price of the non-hybrid vehicle and the more expensive hybrid they had purchased. The court branded this semantics, since a full refund would have allowed essentially the same thing–the purchase of a non-hybrid with the price difference left over.
This case demonstrates that potential plaintiffs should be careful before rejecting an offer of refund. Doing so could prevent them from recovering in litigation. If you are considering suing a product manufacturer for consumer fraud, please contact us for a consultation.