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David Greene v. Bmw of North America

November 28, 2012

DAVID GREENE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William J. Martini, U.S.D.J.:

OPINION

Plaintiff David Greene brings this putative class action on behalf of owners and lessees of BMW automobiles equipped with Potenza Run Flat Tires ("Run Flats" or "the Tires"). Alleging that Run Flats develop dangerous sidewall bubbles-but not alleging damage to his car or injury to himself-Greene seeks upwards of $5 million on behalf of himself and his putative class for, inter alia, fraud and breach of warranty. He also seeks fees on behalf of his attorneys. Defendants Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC, Bridgestone Americas Inc. (together "Bridgestone"), and BMW of North America ("BMW") (together "Defendants") move to dismiss and to strike Greene's class allegations.*fn1 This opinion considers only BMW's motion; Bridgestone's motion is addressed separately. There was no oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78(b). For the reasons set forth below, BMW's motion to dismiss is GRANTED. Its motion to strike Greene's class allegations is DENIED as moot.

I.BACKGROUND*fn2

On March 17, 2010, Greene leased a 2010 BMW 335i Convertible with Run

Flats from Paul Miller BMW. Compl. ¶¶ 2-3, ECF No. 1. The Run Flats were guaranteed by a limited manufacturer's warranty (the "Bridgestone Warranty" or "the Warranty"), which provided for free replacements "during the first twenty-five percent of tread wear or within twelve months from the date of purchase . . . whichever occurs first." Bridgestone Warranty 30; ECF No. 1-1.

Apparently, Greene's 335i came with two BMW documents that reference tires. The BMW "Tire Warranty" states as follows:

Your vehicle's tires are covered by a warranty from the Tire Manufacturer . . . Refer to the respective tire warranty brochure for the terms and conditions of your tire warranty . . .

BMW of North America, LLC, makes every effort to provide the most current coverage information of each tire manufacturer. We recommend contacting or visiting the specific website of the specific tire manufacturer, to ensure that the most current tire coverage is being applied.

BMW Tire Warranty 1, ECF No. 1-1. The second BMW document that refers to tires is the BMW N.A. Service and Warranty Information Manual (the "BMW Manual"). BMW Manual, ECF No. 14-2. The Manual's "Tire Warranty Statement" provides:

Tires are warranted by their respective manufacturer as detailed in the applicable tire manufacturer's warranty statements. Instructions for proper tire care and maintenance are contained in the Owner's Manual. Should you experience difficulty in obtaining warranty service from a tire manufacturer, your authorized BMW center will assist you in resolving the difficulty.

BMW Manual 41.

respective

Within six months of his lease, Greene noticed a bubble in his left-rear tire. Compl. ¶ 4. Over the next year, as his mileage increased to 13,800, Greene discovered two bubbles in his right-front tire. Id. ¶ 3, 5. "[R]epresentatives" of "numerous BMW dealerships throughout the State of New Jersey" said that he "was [in] a dangerous situation and that he should immediately replace" his Tires. Id. ¶ 6. Unidentified individuals at "BMW" (likely BMW dealerships, not the Defendant, BMW of North America) explained that bubbling before 14,000 miles was a "normal problem for this type of tire." Id. at ¶¶ 48-49.

After Paul Miller BMW "callously" declined an invitation to "remedy the defects" in Greene's tires, Greene proceeded to purchase a replacement set of the same Run Flats on ebay. Id. ¶¶ 8, 9. He then brought claims sounding in state and federal law against BMW and Bridgestone. As Greene and Bridgestone are citizens of different states, and as Greene seeks more than $5 million on behalf of himself and his putative class, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"). 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2)(A); see also McGee v. Cont. Tire North America, No. ...


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