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Camden Vicinage Sean Latraverse, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. Kia Motors of America

July 27, 2011

CAMDEN VICINAGE SEAN LATRAVERSE, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KIA MOTORS OF AMERICA, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kugler, United States District Judge:

NOT FOR PUBLICATION (Doc. No. 4)

OPINION

This is a proposed class action for breach of warranty against Defendant Kia Motors of America*fn1 ("Kia") by owners of automobiles with engine defects that Kia has refused to repair. Before the Court is Defendant‟s Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, Defendant‟s Motion is DENIED in part and GRANTED in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is the owner of a 2004 Kia Rio ("the Rio"). (Compl. ¶ 1). The Rio is covered by a standard 10-year / 100,000 mile warranty ("the Warranty").*fn2 (Compl. ¶ 4). Plaintiff alleges that, on an unspecified date, the Rio experienced "engine failure as a result of a defect." (Compl.

¶ 5). As a result, Plaintiff brought the vehicle to an authorized Kia dealer for repair. (Compl. ¶

5). Kia refused to cover the cost of the repair. (Compl. ¶ 5). Plaintiff alleges that Kia breached the Warranty by refusing to cover the repair. (Compl. ¶ 5). Plaintiff claims that because Kia refused to cover the repair, he could not drive the Rio for a period of time, incurred costs for a rental vehicle, and repaired the Rio‟s engine at his own expense. (Compl. ¶¶ 5-7). Further, Plaintiff alleges that "[r]ather than acknowledge the problem, Kia has proceeded to deny and / or conceal the problem and directed its dealers to provide deceptive, false, or misleading explanations for the failure to provide warranty coverage and reimbursement." (Compl. ¶ 7). Finally, the Complaint alleges that other 2004 Rio owners have experienced similar engine problems and that Kia has refused to perform the necessary engine repairs under the Warranty. (Compl. ¶¶ 5-6).

Plaintiff filed a class action complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey on October 4, 2010. The Complaint alleges three causes of action: (1) "Breach of Express Warranty;" (2) "Fraud and Violation of Consumer Fraud Act;" and (3) "Violation of Magnuson-Moss Act" ("MMWA"). In November 2010, Defendant removed the matter to this Court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4 (codified in scattered sections of 28 U.S.C.). On December 15, 2010, Defendant moved to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).

II. STANDARD

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court may dismiss an action for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. With a motion to dismiss, "courts accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (internal quotations omitted). In other words, a complaint survives a motion to dismiss if it contains sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

In making that determination, a court must conduct a two-part analysis. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009); Fowler, 578 F.3d at 210-11. First, a court must separate factual allegations from legal conclusions. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. Second, a court must determine whether the factual allegations are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a "plausible claim for relief." Id. at 1950. Determining plausibility is a "context-specific task" that requires the court to "draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. A complaint cannot survive where a court can only infer that a claim is merely possible rather than plausible. See id.

III. DISCUSSION

A.Plaintiff's Breach of Express Warranty Claim

Count I of the Complaint asserts a claim for "Breach of Express Warranty" under New Jersey law. Plaintiff alleges that Kia "provided an express warranty to plaintiff and members of the class," but that Kia "breached its express warrant[y] by failing to cover the cost of required repairs within the term[s] of the warranty." (Compl. Count I ΒΆ 2). Kia argues that the Complaint fails to state a cause of action because the Complaint fails to allege "the terms of the warranty, its scope, or whether it was still in ...


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