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Mercedes Sued Accused of 'Fake Recalls'

4/30/2018 10:00 AM PDT

Mercedes-Benz is following the lead of fake news by its unspoken policy of "fake recalls" ... so customers claim in a new lawsuit.

The auto giant is being sued for allegedly issuing recall notices for the premature deployment of airbags, which by its own admission can cause grievous injury or death. 

According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Mercedes has been issuing recall notices for the problem, but when customers have attempted to schedule a fix they were routinely told the parts were not available and the fixes would have to wait.

According to the class action lawsuit, it's all an attempt by Mercedes to shirk its responsibility with potentially grave consequences. The suit says it especially dices for people who lease Mercedes, because the company allegedly just stalls until the customer gives up and eventually returns the car.

The suit claims at least 18 people have died as a result of Mercedes airbags, and the auto company is aware of the "significant problems" associated with its airbags.  

Attoney Ben Meiselas from Geragos & Geragos tells TMZ, "Consumers were let down, and their safety compromised, by fake recall notices.  If Mercedes announces a recall because their products could kill people they have to be prepared to actually do the recall and not string consumers along until their leases are up."

Verne Troyer Death Certificate Remains Going Back Home

4/30/2018 8:31 AM PDT

TMZ has obtained a copy of Verne Troyer's death certificate ... and it reveals his family's plans for his remains.

As we previously reported, Troyer died April 21 at a Los Angeles-area hospital. His death certificate shows Verne was cremated, and his remains will be sent to his home state of Michigan for interment.

Verne's cause of death is listed as "deferred" pending further investigation. Toxicology testing has not been completed yet.   

He was rushed to the hospital early in April after cops got a call that he was suicidal. Sources say he was treated for alcohol poisoning because his BAC was triple the .08 limit, and he'd been on life support since then.

Verne was 49. 

Mike Posner Avicii's Death is a Wake-up Call ... Remember Him for His Music

4/27/2018 12:40 AM PDT

Mike Posner's still coping with the loss of Avicii, and says the world-famous DJ's death has been a harsh reminder for him -- nothing lasts forever.

We got the singer at LAX Thursday and asked him how he feels about his hit track, "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" -- known for its mention of Avicii in the second line -- now that he's gone. He tells us it definitely has a much deeper meaning now ... and will always make him think of Tim.

Mike also says he wants his friend remembered for his music above all else, because that's the highest honor for musicians ... and what he hopes for himself. He shares some fond memories of working with Avicii, too ... even on the never-released stuff. 

Posner paid tribute to Avicii during last weekend's Coachella performance with a touching, acoustic version of "I Took A Pill In Ibiza."

NFL Prospect Derrius Guice Honors Late Father ... By Pimping Out Car

4/26/2018 12:25 PM PDT

NFL prospect Derrius Guice -- who might hear his name called in the 1st round Thursday night -- just did one of the coolest things ever ... pimping out his car to honor his late father.

Guice was only six years old when his father was murdered ... so he decked out his Hyundai in rememberance of his dad ... with a picture of his pops on the hood with angel wings and an RIP message.

DG is projected by some to go in the 1st round, and it's clear his father is heavy on his mind, 'cause Guice has been tweeting a ton about his dad leading up to his big moment.

BTW -- he didn't stop at the car ... he also has a pair of custom cleats with the same type of tribute to his dad on them, and proudly displayed those for the world to see.

Awesome stuff, but something tells us the next car he customizes will be a little more expensive.

Avicii Family Hints at Suicide ... 'He Could Not Go On'

4/26/2018 8:50 AM PDT
Breaking News

Avicii was struggling with major issues at the time of his death ... which his family is now strongly insinuating was a suicide.

The superstar DJ, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead last week in Oman, and while there's been no cause of death released ... his family just released a statement referring to his struggles to find meaning in his life once he finished touring

Here's the full statement:

Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.
An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.
When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.
He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness.
He could not go on any longer.
He wanted to find peace.
Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight.
Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed.
The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.

Obviously, the passage ... "He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace" ... seems like a reference to Avicii taking his own life. Authorities have ruled out foul play in the 28-year-old's death.

Meanwhile, Avicii was commemorated in his native Sweden where a choir performed "Wake Me Up!"

Jon Cryer, Kristin Davis Stars Raising Tons of Cash For Waffle House Hero!

4/24/2018 8:29 AM PDT
Breaking News

The hero who took down the Waffle House shooter is now bringing together Hollywood liberals and famous right wing conservatives -- they've all joined forces to raise money for him! 

Jon Cryer, Kristin Davis and Busy Philipps -- along with conservative author Mike Cernovich -- have each made significant contributions to a GoFundMe page for James Shaw Jr

In fact, Davis tweeted, "I just donated and it feels good! Good to help someone who stood up and did the right thing, thank you James Shaw Jr! And I love everyone who is donating too!"

The fundraising effort was launched by journalist Yashar Ali, who says he was so inspired by Shaw's story ... he wants to raise money for a college fund for Shaw's daughter or to help him take his family on a nice vacation, whichever he chooses! 

So far, Ali has raised more than $50,000 for Shaw!!!

FYI, Shaw is a REAL LIFE superhero -- who singlehandedly charged the Waffle House gunman in Nashville and ripped away his gun, ending the killing spree. 

Other stars who have contributed ... Ike Barinholtz and Natasha Ziff.  

'Night Court' Star Harry Anderson Died of a Stroke Influenza & Heart Disease as Contributing Causes

4/24/2018 8:43 AM PDT

"Night Court" star Harry Anderson died of a stroke he apparently suffered in the night, which might've been triggered by the flu and a specific type of heart disease. 

TMZ has obtained Anderson's death certificate, which lists the actor's primary cause of death as cardioembolic cerebrovascular accident, which is a stroke that's caused by the heart pumping unwanted materials into the brain's circulation. 

The contributing causes are listed as influenza -- the flu -- and a heart disease that affects the tissue of the organ by either enlarging it or disrupting its natural motor function.

As we reported ... Anderson was found dead on arrival last week after his wife called 911. She told the operator that his body was cold, and that CPR wouldn't help. She also mentioned he'd suffered a series of strokes earlier this year.

He was 65. 

Gronk Praised By World-Famous DJ For Avicii Tribute

4/24/2018 8:04 AM PDT

Rob Gronkowski celebrated Avicii's life EXACTLY the way the DJ would've wanted ... so says another world-famous DJ, who tells TMZ Sports Gronk put a little happy into a terribly sad situation.

We got Gianluca Vacchi (yes, he's Italian) -- the dude GQ once called "The Coolest Man On Instagram" -- and asked him what he thought of Gronk turning up to Avicii's song in Austin this weekend.

You can tell Vacchi (who's remixed Avicii's music in the past) was moved by the tribute, telling our camera guy having fun is the whole point of EDM, and the perfect way to honor the late DJ.

Sad story, but you know what's not sad? Vacchi's Instagram. Dude has over 11 million followers and we gotta say his lifestyle makes Gronk look like Peyton Manning.

RIP Avicii.

Waffle House Offers to Pay Funeral Expenses Of Shooting Victims

4/24/2018 7:22 AM PDT

Waffle House has offered to pay for the funerals of the 4 people killed in its restaurant in Tennessee over the weekend ... and will help to cover the medical expenses of those injured.

A rep for the company tells us they've reached out to the families of the victims of the attack to help in any way they can. We're told the restaurant chain has offered to pay for all funeral and medical costs associated with the attack.

Four people were killed and another 4 injured when 29-year-old Travis Reinking entered the restaurant with an AR-15 and opened fire.

WH's director of PR, Pat Warner, says the company's CEO and Senior Management team has personally visited with victims and their families to offer condolences and assistance during the difficult time.

We're told company honchos have developed a personal relationship with James Shaw Jr. -- the man responsible for disarming the gunman -- and have offered assistance to him as well.

Reinking was arrested in a wooded area Monday after more than a day on the run. His motives for carrying out the shooting are still unknown.

Avicii Friends Thought Drinking Problem Would Kill Him

4/23/2018 12:06 PM PDT

Avicii's friends and family members feared the superstar's drinking problem would catch up to him in the months leading up to his death.

Sources close to the DJ tell TMZ his alcoholism he battled for so many years had recently gotten out of control and those around him were concerned it could kill him. Avicii suffered from pancreatitis -- the inflammation of the organ -- made worse by heavy alcohol consumption.

TMZ broke the story ... Avicii was photographed on a yacht in Muscat, Oman just a day before his death with what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage in his hand.

Autopsies were conducted on Avicii's body both Friday and Saturday. An official cause of death has not yet been released but cops say there is no indication of foul play.

Gronk Honors Avicii With 'Levels' Dance Battle

4/23/2018 5:57 AM PDT

Everybody mourns in their own way ... for Rob Gronkowski, he paid his respects to Avicii by dancing his face off to the DJ's biggest hit -- and TMZ Sports has the video. 

The New England Patriots tight end was at the Summit Rooftop Lounge in Austin, Texas over the weekend when Avicii's "Levels" started booming out of the speakers.

So, what did Gronk do? Dance battle.

The NFL star cleared an area and went toe-to-toe with a female clubgoer ... and together, they put on a show!


Prince Poetry & Photos Poised for Release Under Paisley Park Umbrella

4/22/2018 1:00 AM PDT

Prince's vast collection of unreleased music isn't the only way his estate will reap money for years to come -- turns out his words, as in poetry and lyrics, could also be gold.

Paisley Park Enterprises -- the merchandising arm of Prince's estate -- has filed paperwork to produce printed content. According to the docs, it will include collector's books of his handwritten lyrics as well as poetry. Prince's never-before-released photos and journals could also be flipped for a profit.

It's great news for fans eager to celebrate Prince's life as Saturday marks the 2nd anniversary of his death. The only bad news ... no word on when PPE will start publishing the material.

As we reported ... cops released video Thursday that was shot inside Prince's home the day they found him dead. Their 2-year investigation determined there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges in his death.

Photos were also released inside his legendary vault containing shelves upon shelves of recordings ... many unreleased ... which we know the estate wants to release eventually.

The vault also stored tons of recording equipment, and large sums of cash.

Verne Troyer Dead at 49

4/21/2018 1:09 PM PDT

Verne Troyer -- best known for playing Mini-Me in the 'Austin Powers' comedies, and for being one of the shortest men in the world -- has died.

Verne died Saturday, according to a statement from his family. We'd been told he was on some form of life support since being taken to the hospital earlier this month after cops got a report he was drunk and suicidal, and was treated for possible alcohol poisoning.

Verne's family says during the recent adversity, "he was baptized while surrounded by his family."

He also struggled with alcoholism for years and had been to rehab many times.

Troyer was born with the genetic disorder known as achondroplasia dwarfism, but said growing up on a farm in Michigan he was never treated differently by his parents than his average-sized siblings.

Verne began his Hollywood career in 1994 as a stunt double for Baby Bink in the film "Baby's Day Out." He then landed small roles in "Men in Black" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" ... before making it big as Mini-Me in 1999's "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."

He continued to land bit roles in comedies and appeared on many popular reality shows over the years ... like "Celebrity Juice," "Celebrity Wife Swap," and "The Surreal Life."

Verne was 49.


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