The Superior Court of New Jersey will rule July 15 on whether to let stand a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Saab Cars USA Inc.
The suit alleges that 1994-2002 Saab 900s or 9-3s equipped with low-profile tires - specifically, 16-inch wheels and 205/50 tires or 17-inch wheels and 215/45 tires - were equipped with defective rims that caused tire or wheel damage, or both, under routine driving conditions. The damage is not covered under Saab's warranty.
More than 50,000 cars with the lawsuit's specifications were sold, said Robert Berg, a partner at Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP in New York. The cars were equipped with tires by Michelin, Pirelli and Dunlop.
Saab has offered to pay up to $4.25 million to reimburse repair costs. That covers up to $350 for each 16-inch wheel and up to $450 for each 17-inch wheel.
To qualify for the money, a customer must have bought or leased the car before Feb. 22, 2002, and the damage must have occurred within four years or 40,000 miles of original delivery.
No related accidents or injuries have been reported, Berg said.
A Saab spokesman said the company does not comment on issues under litigation.