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Case Number: 23-CV-1408
Judge: Donna M. Ryu
Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of California (Alameda County)
Defendant's Attorney: Meghan Gallagher and Soheyl Tahsildoost
Description: Oakland, California consumer law lawyers represented Plaintiff who sued defendants on breach of contract theory.
The complaint contains the following allegations. On July 18, 2022, Lemke-Vega purchased a used 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 (“the vehicle”) from Mercedes-Benz of Walnut Creek, an MBUSA-authorized dealership and repair facility. Compl. ¶¶ 8, 17. The total sale price was $62,427.04. Id. at ¶ 3, Ex. A. Lemke-Vega alleges that “[e]xpress warranties accompanied the sale of the Subject Vehicle . . . by which [MBUSA] undertook to preserve or maintain the utility or performance” of the vehicle or to provide compensation in the event of “failure in such utility or performance.” Compl. ¶ 17. She alleges that the vehicle had “serious defects and nonconformities to warranty and developed other serious defects and nonconformities to warranty,” including defects in the powertrain, engine, transmission, steering, and HVAC systems. Id. at ¶ 18. Exhibit A to the complaint is the Retail Installment Sale Contract (“RISC”) for the vehicle. Id. at ¶ 3, Ex. A.
Lemke-Vega filed the complaint on March 24, 2023 alleging three claims under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, California Civil Code sections 1790 et seq. (“Song-Beverly Act”): 1) breach of express warranty under section 1793.2(d)(2); 2) breach of implied warranty under section 1792; and 3) violation of California Civil Code section 1793.2(b). MBUSA now moves to dismiss the complaint and/or strike portions thereof....
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California's Song-Beverly Act “is a remedial statute designed to protect consumers who have purchased products covered by an express warranty.” Robertson v. Fleetwood Travel Trailers of Cal., Inc., 144 Cal.App.4th 785, 798 (2006). The law “regulates warranty terms, imposes service and repair obligations on manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who make express warranties, requires disclosure of specified information in express warranties, and broadens a buyer's remedies to include costs, attorney's fees, and civil penalties.” Dominguez v. Am. Suzuki Motor Corp., 160 Cal.App.4th 53, 57-58 (2008) (quoting Murillo v. Fleetwood Enters., 17 Cal.4th 985, 989-90 (1998)). A buyer “who is damaged by a failure to comply with any obligation under [the Song-Beverly Act] . . . may bring an action for the recovery of damages and other legal and equitable relief.” Cal. Civ. Code § 1794(a).
Lemke-Vega seeks relief under the “refund or replace” provision of the Song-Beverly Act, California Civil Code section 1793.2(d)(2). Compl. 6 ¶¶ 25, 26. That provision states that “[i]f the manufacturer or its representative in this state is unable to service or repair a new motor vehicle, as that term is defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 1793.22, to conform to the applicable express warranties after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall either promptly replace the new motor vehicle . . . or promptly make restitution to the buyer” in accordance with the statute. Cal. Civ. Code § 1793.2(d)(2). The statute defines “new motor vehicle” as “a new motor vehicle that is bought or used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes,” and includes “a dealer-owned vehicle and a ‘demonstrator' or other motor vehicle sold with a manufacturer's new car warranty.” Cal. Civ. Code § 1793.22(e)(2). “A demonstrator is a vehicle assigned by a dealer for the purpose of demonstrating qualities and characteristics common to vehicles of the same or similar model and type.” Id.
Outcome: For the foregoing reasons, MBUSA's motion to dismiss is granted. The motion to strike is denied as moot. Lemke-Vega may file an amended complaint by no later than June 12, 2023. The initial case management conference is continued to July 19, 2023 at 1:30 pm. A joint CMC statement is due by July 12, 2023.
IT IS SO ORDERED.