The Central District of California recently denied class certification in a lawsuit alleging breach of express warranty and implied warrant of merchantability. Gable v. Land Rover of North America, 2008 WL 4441960 (C. D. Cal. Sept. 29, 2008)–not reported in F. Supp. 2d. Plaintiff claimed that Land Rovers sold in Michigan in 2005 and 2006 had a defective “toe-out” condition in the rear tires, causing the vehicles to be “duck-footed.” The court found that many different circumstances can cause duck-footed misalignments. Without “individual inquiry” there was no way to determine whether the duck-footedness was caused by the manufacturer or driver. The court also noted that plaintiff had not shown that even a majority of the class vehicles experienced the defect. These two factors caused the judge, Andrew J. Guilford, to rule that the plaintiff had “no class.” The opinion noted that courts often split over the issue of class certification involving defects that can be caused by the manufacturer or owner. (See Sammuel-Bassett v. Kia Motors America, Inc., 212 F.R.D. 271, 282 (E.D. Pa. 2002) [class certification granted in premature brake wear case]; Kia Motors America Corp. v. Yvonne Butler, No. 3D05-11455 (Florida Third District Court of Appeals, 2008) [class certification denied in case involving the exact same claims.]) Maybe the Ninth Circuit will have to determine whether duck feet have no class.
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