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Paydar v. Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 19, 2019

REZA PAYDAR; LIGHTSTYLE AUTOMATED SYSTEMS, INC., Plaintiffs,
v.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER NORTH AMERICA, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF No. 17]

          HON .CYNTHIA BASHANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In 2016, Plaintiffs purchased a new Range Rover from Defendant. Plaintiffs allege that soon after the purchase, the vehicle began exhibiting serious mechanical issues that Defendant was unable to resolve. After requesting revocation of the sale, which Defendant refused, Plaintiffs filed claims for breach of warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2301-2312, and California's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (“Song-Beverly”), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1790-1795.

         Defendant moves for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' claims under Song-Beverly. (ECF No. 17.) Defendant argues that Plaintiffs cannot bring claims under the Act because the Range Rover is not a “new motor vehicle” as defined by Song-Beverly. In Plaintiff Reza Paydar's case, Defendant argues that the Range Rover is indisputably not covered by Song-Beverly because Mr. Paydar used the vehicle for primarily business purposes. As for Plaintiff Lightstyle Automated Systems, Inc. (“Lightstyle”), Defendant argues that the Range Rover is not covered by Song-Beverly because Lightstyle currently owns more than five vehicles registered in California. Accordingly, the Court considers whether there is an issue of material fact as to: (1) Mr. Paydar's use of the Range Rover, and (2) the number of vehicles registered in Lightstyle's name during the relevant time period.

         The Court finds the motion suitable for determination on the papers submitted and without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78(b); Civ. L.R. 7.1(d)(1). For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Defendant's motion for partial summary judgment.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Reza Paydar is the sole owner and president of Plaintiff Lightstyle, a business that designs and distributes lighting for residential and commercial properties. (Joint Statement of Undisputed Facts (“JSUF”) 2:20-23, ECF No. 21.)

         On October 1, 2016, Plaintiffs purchased a new 2016 Land Rover Range Rover from Land Rover San Diego for $128, 003.40. (Id. 2:24-3:7.) The sales contract for the vehicle lists Lightstyle as the buyer and Mr. Paydar as the co-buyer. (Id. 2:24-27.) Mr. Paydar filled out a purchase form when he bought the Range Rover, and he left unchecked a box that signals whether the vehicle is being purchased for business use. (Id. 12:15-22.)

         The Range Rover is registered to Mr. Paydar and Lightstyle, at Lightstyle's business address. (Id. 5:5-10.) Mr. Paydar has two other vehicles registered in his name with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”), (id. 7:13-16, 9:15-19), and Lightstyle has nine other vehicles registered in its name with the California DMV, (id. 6:27-7:1). The Range Rover and the nine other vehicles registered to Lightstyle are all listed on Lightstyle's 2016 Federal Tax Return's Depreciation Schedule.[1] (Id. 9:23-25.)

         Mr. Paydar testified the Range Rover is his primary day-to-day vehicle. (JSUF 6:2- 5.) He testified that he drives the Range Rover to work meetings, to visit his parents, to attend weddings, and to go to the movies. (Id. 6:6-8, 13:7-10.) Mr. Paydar also testified that Lightstyle employees occasionally drive the Range Rover to and from the repair shop or to get gas. (Id. 6:15-18.)

         After purchasing the Range Rover, Mr. Paydar brought the vehicle to the dealership for repair on at least nine occasions. (Id. 12:9-12.) Eventually, on November 26, 2018, Plaintiffs commenced this action in San Diego County Superior Court. (Compl., ECF No. 1-1.) Plaintiffs each bring two claims under the Song-Beverly Act and two claims under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. (Id. ¶¶ 20-50.) All causes of action arise out of Plaintiffs' purchase of the allegedly defective Range Rover. (Id.)

         Defendant removed the action to this Court based on federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367, diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, and supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367. (Notice of Removal ¶¶ 7-28, ECF No. 1.) Defendant now moves for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' claims under Song-Beverly. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 17-1.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense-or the part of each claim or defense-on which summary judgment is sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Summary judgment is appropriate where the moving party demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. Id.; see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). A fact is material when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is genuine if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id. at 248.

         A party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. The moving party can satisfy this burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence that negates an essential element of the nonmoving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 322-23. ‚ÄúDisputes over irrelevant or unnecessary ...


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