A judge in the U.S. Central District Court of California, Western division, recently denied in part and approved in part Honda’s motion to dismiss a master class action complaint which alleges some of the automaker’s vehicles have defective window regulators.
The court denied Honda’s motion to dismiss as it pertains to the California Consumers’ Legal Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law and the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act claims. However, the court approved dismissal of the complaints in relation to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the Song-Beverly Act, the Tennessee Implied Warranty of Merchantability, the New Jersey Implied Warranty of Merchantability and the Deceit and Common Law fraud claims with prejudice.
“For the reasons put forward in this order, the court denies defendant’s motion as to plaintiffs’ CLRA (California Consumers’ Legal Remedies Act), UCL (California’s Unfair Competition Law) and Iowa Fraud Act claims,” says U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, according to court minutes.
Phyllis Grodzitsky, owner of a Honda Odyssey, and Jeremy Bordelon of Tennessee, owner of a Honda Element, alleged in the original complaint that they reported repeated failures of window regulators in their vehicles. Grodzitsky further claims that she contacted her local Honda service manager and was told, “all [Honda Odysseys] have that problem.”
Honda attorneys had questioned the allegations in their motion to dismiss, claiming that one model listed in the class action does not even have the system in question.
“The defendant argues that plaintiffs do not have standing to sue over products they did not purchase,” the judge says, according to court documents. “Specifically, while the named plaintiffs purchased Honda’s Odyssey, Element, Accord and Pilot models, they seek to represent a class that includes six other models, spread out over a 12-year period. In response, plaintiff argues that they have standing to sue over all models that contained the same defect, which extends (at least) to the named models and years.
“The court finds defendant’s argument ill-suited to a motion to dismiss. … Defendant’s argument is better made at the class certification stage,” Judge Wilson continued.
The vehicle models in question include the Honda Odyssey, Pilot, Element, Accord, CR-V, Civic and Acura MDX between the years of 1994-2007.