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Dolores v. General R.V. Center, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 25, 2019




         Before the court is Defendants General RV Center, Inc., and U.S. Bank's motion for summary judgment. The court heard oral argument on June 4, 2019, and took the matter under advisement. For the reasons explained below, Defendants' motion is granted.


         Plaintiffs George and Odelia Dolores allege that Defendant General RV Center, Inc., duped them into buying a defective recreational vehicle. On April 3, 2018, Plaintiffs visited the General RV Center in Orange Park, Florida. The complaint alleges that they had no intention of purchasing an RV on that date. A salesman, Kevin Mills, showed them a 2018 Crossfit RV, which Plaintiffs contend was advertised for $87, 000. Mills told Plaintiffs that the RV was marked down and could be purchased for $78, 000. Plaintiffs test drove the RV; when they returned, Mills stated that he had made a mistake on the price and that it was $87, 000.

         According to the complaint, Mills pressured Plaintiffs into purchasing the RV that very day and told them that they needed a $17, 000 down payment. Plaintiffs told Mills that they did not have the funds for a down payment, but said that they had a 2007 Winnebago with an outstanding loan and a 2006 Honda truck. Mills encouraged Plaintiffs to trade in both vehicles (which were their only vehicles) toward the cost of the Crossfit. Mills told Plaintiffs that General RV would give a $55, 000 trade in credit if they agreed to purchase the Crossfit for $87, 000 that day. Mills also told Plaintiffs that the Crossfit would be ready to be picked up the next day.

         Plaintiffs signed a purchase agreement on April 3, 2018. See Doc. 20-1, Ex. 2. The complaint alleges that Plaintiffs were “under the impression” that they were purchasing a brand new “defect free” Crossfit for $87, 000 with a $55, 000 credit. Doc. 1 at ¶ 28. The purchase agreement reflected, however, a purchase price of $100, 247. Doc. 20-1, Ex. 2.

         After Plaintiffs signed the agreement, Mills informed them that they could not pick up the Crossfit on the next day because it had been recalled and General RV needed to make repairs. General RV contends that all factory recall repairs were subsequently performed. According to the complaint, Plaintiffs read the purchase agreement on April 5, 2018, and realized that General RV had “unknowingly changed and marked up the price of the Crossfit to $100, 247.” Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 40-41.

         On April 17, 2018, Mills called and told Plaintiffs they could pick up the Crossfit. When Plaintiffs arrived at the dealership, they were advised that the Crossfit was not ready. Plaintiffs waited approximately eight hours at the dealership. Plaintiffs relinquished their trade-in vehicles and executed a new purchase agreement. Doc. 20-1, Ex. 4. Plaintiffs allege that before they signed the new purchase agreement, General RV represented that the purchase price was $87, 000, they would receive a $55, 000 credit for their trade-in vehicles, the Crossfit was safe, and the vehicle was fit for its intended purpose. Again, the new purchase agreement reflected a list price of $100, 247. Id. Plaintiffs contend that they were rushed through the signing of the documents and did not have the opportunity to read them. Doc. 26-2 at ¶¶ 20-21.

         Plaintiffs also signed a retail installment contract for the financing of the Crossfit, which was provided by Defendant U.S. Bank. Doc. 20-1, Ex. 10. Plaintiffs allege that the material terms of the installment contract were “covered” when they signed it. Doc. 1 at ¶ 50. Plaintiffs further allege that the installment contract does not disclose the existence of the trade-in vehicles, any net trade-in allowance, or down payment amount, and that it contains “charges for soft add-ons which were not disclosed to Plaintiffs prior to consummation.” Id. at ¶ 54.

         Plaintiffs state that they initially declined an extended service contract but the business manager falsely stated that they would need one to protect against the theft of the vehicle. Plaintiffs contend that they were fraudulently induced into purchasing the service contract from Defendant Cornerstone.

         After taking possession of the Crossfit, Plaintiffs took a road trip. On May 5, 2018, the Crossfit began shaking when driven on the highway, due to tire defects. General RV refused to replace the tires. On June 5, 2018, the Crossfit's back window popped out and shattered while Plaintiffs were driving. Plaintiffs allege that the awning motor was inoperable, the refrigerator and freezer malfunctioned, the microwave oven overheated, and the kitchen countertop was defective. Plaintiffs also allege that holes in the ceiling were covered up with scotch tape. On July 18, 2018, Mrs. Dolores's neck was injured after she was jerked and swiveled around in the Crossfit's unsecured passenger seat. Plaintiffs contend that the Crossfit is mechanically unsound and unsafe to drive.

         Plaintiffs state that they called the corporate office of the manufacturer, Forest River, Inc., on May 11, 2018, and spoke to the service warranty manager, Gregory Legatt. Legatt informed Plaintiffs that the Crossfit had sat idle on the dealership lot for one year because of its recall status and mechanical problems. Legatt told Plaintiffs that the dealer should not have sold the Crossfit because of the outstanding recalls.

         Plaintiffs filed their complaint on February 11, 2019, alleging the following causes of action: Count I, Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act (against General RV and U.S. Bank); Count II, Motor Vehicle Installment Sales Contract Act (General RV and U.S. Bank); Count III, Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (General RV and U.S. Bank); Count IV, Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (Forest River); Count V, Michigan Consumer Protection Act (General RV and U.S. Bank); Count VI, Michigan Consumer Protection Act (Forest River); Count VII, misrepresentation (General RV and U.S. Bank); Count VIII, misrepresentation (General RV and Cornerstone); Count IX, statutory conversion (General RV and U.S. Bank); and Count X, common law conversion (General RV and U.S. Bank). Plaintiffs have stipulated to the dismissal of Cornerstone and have agreed to withdraw Counts V (Michigan Consumer Protection Act), IX (statutory conversion), and X (common law conversion). General RV and U.S. Bank seek summary judgment on Plaintiffs' remaining claims against them.

         LAW ...

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