Carnival Corporation filed a lawsuit against Rolls-Royce in U.S. federal court Dec. 1 seeking more than $100 million in damages because of "defective" pods used on the Queen Mary 2.
The suit alleged Rolls-Royce and its Mermaid Consortium partners rushed the Mermaid pods into production without properly testing the propulsion system.
The pods require more maintenance than Rolls-Royce led Carnival to believe they would, the suit said.
"The damages were suffered as a result of the defendants having defrauded and deceived Carnival into the selection, acceptance and continued use of a defective propulsion system," the suit said. "The Mermaid turned out to be a defectively designed and built product, which was in fact at an experimental stage of its development and seriously under-designed when it was put into operational use."
"Currently, numerous problems continue to plague the Mermaid pods on the QM2. The expected bearing life is drastically shorter than what was represented to Carnival by Rolls-Royce and Converteam to induce Carnival to accept delivery of the ship. As a result, Carnival is forced to drydock the vessel every two or three years to replace the bearings rather than implement a standard five-year drydock schedule," according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
Rolls-Royce denied the claims. "Rolls-Royce rejects the claims made by Carnival and will defend the action," a company spokeswoman told Cruise Industry News.
The suit is not the first of its kind. In 2003, Celebrity Cruises filed. a $300million lawsuit against Rolls-Royce and Alstom Power Conversion, co-producers of a pod propulsion system used by Celebrity, to recover revenue lost because of failing pods. The suit said the Mermaid pods repeatedly failed causing cancelled cruises by the Millennium, Summit, Infinity and Constellation ships.
A Royal Caribbean Cruises spokesman said the suit against Alstom had been settled, but the Rolls-Royce suit was still pending.