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Heslop v. Ford Motor Company

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

July 11, 2019

KELLY HESLOP, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO REMAND RE: DKT. NO. 13

          LUCY H. KOH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiffs Kelly Heslop and Garin Heslop (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) bring this lawsuit against Defendants Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) and Lake Elsinore Ford (“Lake Elsinore”) (collectively, “Defendants”) for claims arising from Ford's sale of an allegedly defective vehicle. Before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion to remand. Having considered the parties' submissions, the relevant law, and the record in this case, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion to remand.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiffs are residents of Riverside County, California. ECF No. 1-1, Ex. B (“Compl.”), at ¶ 2. Defendant Ford (also referred to in the Complaint as FMC) is a Delaware corporation operating in California that designs, manufactures, and sells automobiles. Id. at ¶ 4. Defendant Lake Elsinore sells, services, and repairs automobiles in Riverside County, California. Id. at ¶ 5.

         Plaintiffs allege that on or about October 24, 2012, Plaintiffs purchased from Defendant Lake Elsinore a 2013 Ford F-150 (“Vehicle”) “manufactured and or distributed by Defendant FMC.” Id. at ¶ 8. When Plaintiffs purchased the Vehicle, Defendant Ford provided Plaintiffs with express written warranties including a “3 year/36, 000 mile express bumper to bumper warranty [and] ¶ 5 year/60, 000 mile powertrain warranty which, inter alia, covers the engine and transmission.” Id. at ¶ 9.

         Those warranties provided that if “a defect developed with the Vehicle during the warranty period, Plaintiffs could deliver the Vehicle for repair services to Defendant's representative and the Vehicle would be repaired.” Id. Plaintiffs allege that during the warranty period, the Vehicle developed defects related to the Vehicle's navigation system, Bluetooth, transmission, brakes, check engine light, steering system, air conditioning, and many other components of the Vehicle. Id. at ¶ 10. However, “Defendant and its representatives in this state have been unable to service or repair the Vehicle to conform to the applicable express warranties after a reasonable number of opportunities.” Id. at ¶ 11. Plaintiffs allege that when Plaintiffs presented the Vehicle to Defendant Ford's representative, “Defendant and its representative failed to commence the service or repairs within a reasonable time and failed to service or repair the Vehicle so as to conform to the applicable warranties within 30 days.” Id. at ¶ 18.

         As to Defendant Lake Elsinore, Plaintiffs allege that “the sale of the Vehicle was accompanied by Defendant's implied warranty of merchantability.” Id. at ¶ 30. Plaintiffs allege that both Defendants have breached the implied warranty. Id. ¶ 33.

         B. Procedural History

         On February 6, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their complaint against Defendants in California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara. Compl. at 1. On February 15, 2019, Plaintiffs served their complaint on Defendants. ECF No. 1 at 2.

         Plaintiffs' complaint includes six causes of action: (1) violation of California Civil Code § 1793.2(d) against Defendant Ford, Compl. at ¶¶ 8-16; (2) violation of California Civil Code § 1793.2(b) against Defendant Ford, id. at ¶¶ 17-21; (3) violation of California Civil Code § 1793.2(a)(3) against Defendant Ford, id. at ¶¶ 22-24; (4) breach of express written warranty in violation of California Civil Code §§ 1791.2(a), 1794 against Defendant Ford, id. at ¶¶ 25-28; (5) breach of the implied warranty of merchantability in violation of California Civil Code §§ 1791.1, 1794 against both Defendants, id. at ¶¶ 29-33; and (6) fraud by omission against Defendant Ford. Id. at ¶¶ 34-46.

         Plaintiffs allege that any applicable statutes of limitation are subject to “equitable tolling, class action tolling (e.g. American Pipe rule), the discovery rule, fraudulent concealment rule, equitable estoppel, equitable tolling and/or repair rule.” Id. at ¶ 7.

         On March 18, 2019, Defendants removed Plaintiffs' complaint to federal court. ECF No. 1. Defendants' notice of removal states that the Court has diversity jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' complaint. Id. at 3. Although Plaintiffs and Defendant Lake Elsinore are all citizens of California, Defendants state that Plaintiffs fraudulently joined Defendant Lake Elsinore, such that diversity jurisdiction is not defeated. Id. at 7-9.

         On April 17, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the instant motion to remand. ECF No. 13 (“Mot.”). On May 1, 2019, Defendants filed their opposition, ECF No. 15 (“Opp.”), and on February 1, 2019, ...


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