Creative class actions: gas in repossessed cars

Lawyers representing a White Lake, Mich. woman say that whether or not Ally Financial was within its rights to repossess her 2006 Pontiac, it was not entitled to the half-tank of gas it carried. They are asking class-action status on behalf of Michigan customers and seek $5 million. [Detroit News]


  • Okay, we can all agree this is insane. I can’t defend this one.

  • […] is the most ludicrous lawsuit on record?  Well, Walter Olson has a new contender.  On Overlawyered Olson reports on a Michigan class action lawsuit against Ally Financial.  Lawyers for the plaintiffs are seeking […]

  • In our part of the world when the sheriff throws someone out of their house or apartment for default they just empty the building of its contents and set it on the side of the road for the neighbors to go through. Same could apply here, just siphon the gas on to the road and tow the car off. ( I have a mental image of haz-mat teams following the tow trucks around and little weenies in the EPA having conniption fits.) Win-win!

  • After they get the gas question settled, then they can sue for the oil. And then there’s the windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid…

  • Traditionally, a vehicle is delivered to the purchaser with a full tank of gas. So, arguably at least, the lien on the car includes that full tank. The re-posessors should counter, asking for P’s to reimburse them the cost of filling the tank.

  • I have to agree with Walter- for a class-action suit, that is quite creative. I expect it will get a fair hearing, upon which the judge will dismiss it and everyone, except the lawyers expecting a windfall, will have a good laugh. At least, that’s what should happen to something so crackpot.

  • “everyone, except the lawyers expecting a windfall, will have a good laugh. ”
    Not quite. The lawyers will get a huge fee from the settlement. The class members will get a discount coupon, good on their next repo.