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Avedisian v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 8, 2014

ANI AVEDISIAN aka ANI ACEVEDO, individually, and on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff,
v.
MERCEDES-BENZ USA, LLC, Defendant

Page 1072

For Ani Avedisian, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals also known as Ani Acevedo, Plaintiff: Robert L Starr, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Robert L Starr, Woodland Hills, CA; Adam Morris Rose, Robert Starr Law Offices, Woodland Hills, CA; Stephen M Harris, Knapp Petersen and Clarke, Glendale, CA.

For Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, Defendant: Eric J Knapp, Matthew J Kemner, Troy M Yoshino, Chad A Stegeman, Carroll Burdick and McDonough LLP, San Francisco, CA.

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AMENDED ORDER RE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [129]

DOLLY M. GEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC's (" MBUSA" ) motion for summary judgment. [Doc. # 129.] A hearing on this motion was held on September 5, 2014. Having duly considered the parties' written submissions and oral argument, the Court now GRANTS Defendant's motion.

I.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

As it must on this motion for summary judgment, the Court sets forth the material facts and views all reasonable inferences to be drawn from them in the light most favorable to Plaintiff Ani Avedisian, the

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non-moving party. The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted. [1]

A. The Vehicle's Purchase, Repair, and Operational History

This action concerns Plaintiff's allegations that she, her husband, and other passengers in her 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS 500 received cuts from the peeling chrome trim on certain interior car components, such as the gear shifter and cup holder (" Chrome Defect" ). Plaintiff purchased her car used on May 17, 2009. (Defendant's Responses and Objections to Plaintiff's Statement of Genuine Disputes (" D's Responses" ) ¶ 2; see Declaration of Troy M. Yoshino (" Yoshino Decl." ) ¶ 13, Exh. K (" May 17, 2009 Purchase Agreement" ).) At the time of the purchase, the vehicle was over four years old with over 45,000 miles on it, and its New Vehicle Limited Warranty had expired. (D's Responses ¶ 3; see Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. A (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 40:10-14, 42:5-7, 137:8-138:25); Yoshino Decl. ¶ 13, Exh. K (" May 17, 2009 Purchase Agreement" ).) Plaintiff did not review MBUSA advertising materials or brochures about the CLS prior to or at the time she purchased the vehicle. ( See Declaration of Stephen M. Harris (" Harris Decl." ) ¶ 10, Exh. 9 (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 34:21-36:14).) Instead, she looked at the Kelley Blue Book and dealership websites to compare prices. ( Id.)

Plaintiff was the primary driver of the vehicle from May 2009 until approximately January 2011, at which time Plaintiff's husband became the primary driver of the vehicle. (D's Responses ¶ 6; see Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. A (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 55:2-22).) Plaintiff does not recall ever taking it into a Mercedes-Benz dealership to repair any of the interior chrome trim pieces during the time she was the primary driver of the vehicle, though she may have mentioned the problem once during a dealership visit. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. A (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 126:5-127:8).) Plaintiff testified that if there had been an issue with the chrome trim, she would have taken it into the dealership. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. A (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 39:25-40:7).)

Plaintiff's husband took the vehicle into the Mercedes-Benz dealership on or around February 3, 2011 to repair the chrome trim on the gear shifter and the cup holder, but ultimately declined the repair. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. A (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 12:21-13:8, 15:7-10, 126:5-127:8); Yoshino Decl. ¶ 4, Exh. B (Juan Acevedo Depo. at 207:20-208:12, 221:8-222:7).) The repair order documenting this visit is the earliest written record of a request to repair the chrome trim in Plaintiff's vehicle. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 5, Exh. C (" Feb. 8, 2011 and Mar. 14, 2011 Repair Orders" ).) Plaintiff's husband insists, however, that he brought the vehicle to the dealership to complain about the

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chrome trim pieces as early as July 2010. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 4, Exh. B (Juan Acevedo Depo. at 214:14-24).) Plaintiff's husband took the vehicle into the dealership again on or around March 7, 2011 to request a price quote to replace the gear shifter and cup holder. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 4, Exh. B (Juan Acevedo Depo. at 217:9-218:5); Yoshino Decl. ¶ 5, Exh. C (" Feb. 8, 2011 and Mar. 14, 2011 Repair Orders" ).) He received a quote but again declined the repair.

Plaintiff did not replace the cup holder in the vehicle until on or around March 23, 2012. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. A (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 135:10-12).) Plaintiff never repaired or replaced the gear shifter. ( See Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. A (Ani Acevedo Depo. at 143:15-19).) Plaintiff and her husband eventually drove the vehicle for approximately 4.5 years and around 65,000 miles. (D's Responses ¶ 13; see Yoshino Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. B (Juan Acevedo Depo. at 241:9-23, 242:7-15, 243:15-244:1; Yoshino Decl. ¶ 13, Exh. K (" May 17, 2009 Purchase Agreement" ); Yoshino Decl. ¶ 11, Exh. I (" Photos from Nov. 12, 2013 Inspection" ).) Moreover, Plaintiff's husband stated that if he had felt any " life-threatening" risk to his personal safety he would not have driven the vehicle, but " if it's just going to cut [his] finger," then he would have driven the car, and he " did [] for a couple of years." ( See Harris Decl. ΒΆ 13, Exh. 12 (Juan Acevedo ...


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