United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
PAUL WEIDMAN, RAUL VALENTIN, ERICA GOMEZ, PERRY BURTON, TERESA PERRY, and ROY NAASZ, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS CONSOLIDATED CLASS
ACTION COMPLAINT [#35]
HONORABLE GERSHWIN A. DRAIN, JUDGE
before the Court is the Defendant, Ford Motor Company's,
Motion to Dismiss Consolidated Class Action Complaint, filed
on December 18, 2018. Plaintiffs filed their Response in
Opposition on January 23, 2019. Defendant filed a Reply in
support of its Motion to Dismiss on February 6, 2019. Upon
review of the parties' submissions, the Court concludes
that oral argument will not aid in the disposition of this
matter. Accordingly, the Court will resolve the
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on the briefs.
See E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons that
follow, the Court will grant in part and deny in part
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Consolidated Class Action
are six individuals from five different states who, at
varying times between 2015 through 2017, purchased a Ford
F-150 truck. Plaintiffs allege that each of these vehicles
contains a defective front brake master cylinder that places
it at risk of suddenly and unexpectedly losing braking
ability. Plaintiffs assert that the master cylinders in all
the F-150 trucks, model years 2013 through 2018, have a
“defective sealing mechanism that is inadequate to
prevent brake fluid . . . from leaking, ” causing
reduced or lost braking ability. Compl. at §§ 4-5.
Plaintiffs Paul Weidman, Roy Naasz, and Teresa Perry allege
that they experienced some loss of braking force while
driving. Specifically, Plaintiff Weidman maintains that his
brakes failed within five months of purchasing his truck.
Plaintiff Perry's brakes failed with less than 20, 000
miles on her truck and Plaintiff Naasz's brakes failed
while he was trying to slow down for a freeway off-ramp. In
each case, Ford technicians diagnosed the problem as a failed
further allege that Ford's pre-sale knowledge of the
master cylinder defect is evident from internal documents
that it provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration. For example, on June 16, 2015, a Ford
engineer sent an email stating “Master Cylinder leaks
are getting a lot of attention at Ford.” Compl. §
76. Plaintiffs further assert that there are an exceptionally
high number of consumer complaints regarding the master
cylinder defect, beginning with the model year 2013.
admitted the existence of the master cylinder defect in a
safety recall. However, Plaintiffs complain that the recall
was inadequate because it only covered F-150s from model
years 2013 through 2014. The recall was also inadequate
because it simply provided for the replacement of the
defective master cylinder with another defective master
seek to certify a nationwide class of all “current or
former owners and/or lessees” of model year 2013
through 2018 Ford F-150 trucks under federal law, as well as
seek to certify, on multiple claims, separate Alabama,
California, Florida, Georgia and Texas state classes for
vehicles purchased or leased in those states.
LAW & ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows the court to make an
assessment as to whether the plaintiff has stated a claim
upon which relief may be granted. See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 12(b)(6). “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2)
requires only ‘a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order
to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the ...
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957). Even though the complaint need not contain
“detailed” factual allegations, its
“factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all
of the allegations in the complaint are true.”
Ass'n of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of
Cleveland, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007) (quoting
Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 555).
court must construe the complaint in favor of the plaintiff,
accept the allegations of the complaint as true, and
determine whether plaintiff's factual allegations present
plausible claims. To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, plaintiff's pleading for relief must provide
“more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Id. (citations and quotations omitted).
“[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of
the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to
legal conclusions.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129
S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). “Nor does a complaint suffice
if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'” Id.
“[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Id. The
plausibility standard requires “more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not
permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not
‘show[n]'- ‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Id. at 1950.
district court generally reviews only the allegations set
forth in the complaint in determining whether to grant a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, however “matters of public
record, orders, items appearing in the record of the case,
and exhibits attached to the complaint, also may be taken
into account. Amini v. Oberlin College, 259 F.3d
493, 502 (6th Cir. 2001). Documents attached to a
defendant's “motion to dismiss are considered part
of the pleadings if they are referred to in the
plaintiff's complaint and are central to her
Breach of Express Warranty
Defendant argues that Plaintiffs' allegations show that
Ford fully complied with the terms of its Limited Warranty.
The Complaint alleges Ford breached its express warranty to
repair defective parts because when the Plaintiffs presented
their vehicles for repair of the master cylinder, Ford
installed the same defective master cylinder. Compl.
§§ 202, 318. Defendant argues that Plaintiffs
failure to allege that any problems have reoccurred is fatal
to their express warranty claim. Plaintiffs rely on two
out-of-circuit cases in support of their position. See
Benkle v. Ford Motor Co., No. SA CV ...