United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
WAYNE W. YETTER, Plaintiff,
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON
THE PLEADINGS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND RE: DKT. NO. 12
H. GTOH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Wayne Yetter (“Plaintiff”) brings suit against
Defendant Ford Motor Company (“Defendant”) for
claims arising from Plaintiff's purchase of a vehicle
manufactured by Defendant. Before the Court is
Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings. Having
considered the parties' submissions, the relevant law,
and the record in this case, the Court GRANTS Defendant's
motion for judgment on the pleadings with leave to amend.
resides in Salinas, California. ECF No. 1-3
(“Compl.”), ¶ 2. Defendant Ford is a vehicle
manufacturer incorporated in Delaware. Id. ¶ 3.
On June 30, 2008, Plaintiff purchased a new 2008 Ford Super
Duty F-350 truck from Salinas Valley Ford, an authorized
dealer of Defendant's vehicles. Id. ¶¶
9, 56. Plaintiff paid $56, 673 for the vehicle. Compl., Ex.
alleges that the vehicle that Defendant manufactured and that
Plaintiff purchased contains a defective engine. Id.
¶¶ 10, 13. Navistar supplied a 6.4 liter engine for
Ford's Super Duty trucks for model year 2008 to 2010.
Id. ¶ 15. Ford claimed that the 6.4 liter
engine “had ‘been tested the equivalent of 10
million miles on road and in the lab, helping ensure
excellent long-term durability.'” Id.
Plaintiff alleges that in reality, the 6.4 liter engine
“is plagued by numerous problems and safety
concerns.” Id. ¶ 17. For example, the
engine loses power while in operation and is subject to
overheating. Id. ¶ 19. Other defects
“result in premature engine failure and require
expensive repairs, including premature engine
replacement.” Id. ¶ 20.
alleges that Ford alerted automotive technicians about
“several defects common to the 6.4L Engine.”
Id. ¶ 29. Ford also issued two different recall
notices in March 26, 2007 for Super Duty trucks for other
defects not related to the engine, including an
“excessive temperature defect” and a
“wiring defect.” Id. ¶ 30. However,
Ford has never developed a plan to identify and eliminate
“the root cause of defects to the 6.4L Engines, ”
nor has Ford implemented a recall of the engines.
Id. ¶ 46. Instead, Ford instructed its dealers
to undertake repairs that “misled customers to believe
that the underlying problem had been fixed, when in fact the
symptom likely would reoccur on a later date.”
Id. ¶ 47.
read promotional materials and viewed Ford advertisements
that represented that the Super Duty F-350 had
“best-in-class towing power and engine
reliability.” Id. ¶¶ 53-54. Before
Plaintiff purchased the vehicle on June 30, 2008, a
salesperson at Salinas Valley Ford “verbally
represented to Plaintiff that the Super Duty F-350 was better
and improved over prior Ford models, and specifically, that
the new 6.4L Engine was a newly designed higher performing
and better engine [sic] than the previous 6.0 Liter
PowerStroke Engine.” Id.
delivered the vehicle to “an authorized Ford repair
facility” for various repairs on multiple occasions,
including on January 15, 2009; July 9, 2009; March 4, 2010;
December 7, 2010; January 5, 2011; October 3, 2011; April 30,
2012; October 27, 2012; and January 25, 2016. Id.
¶¶ 59-67. On each occasion, the technician at the
repair facility informed Plaintiff “that the Vehicle
had been repaired and was safe to drive.” Id.
of Plaintiff's repairs concerned the engine. On December
7, 2010, Plaintiff complained “that the check engine
and wrench light were on and that the vehicle lacked
power.” Id. ¶ 62. Again, on October 3,
2011, “Plaintiff complained that the check engine light
was on” and “that the engine had an exhause [sic]
leak.” Id. ¶ 64. On October 27, 2012,
“Plaintiff complained that the vehicle displayed the
message ‘reduced engine power.'” Id.
January 17, 2019, Plaintiff filed a complaint against
Defendant in California Superior Court for the County of
Monterey. ECF No. 1-3 (“Compl.”). Plaintiff's
complaint alleges five causes of action: (1) breach of
express warranty under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
(“Song-Beverly Act”), id. ¶¶
83-97; (2) breach of implied warranty under the Song-Beverly
Act, id. ¶¶ 98-108; (3) fraudulent
concealment, id. ¶¶ 109-119; (4)
fraudulent inducement - intentional misrepresentation,
id. ¶¶ 120-129; and (5) fraudulent
inducement - negligent misrepresentation, id.
¶¶ 130-145. Plaintiff also alleges that “all
statute of limitations periods are tolled by the discovery
rule and the doctrine of fraudulent concealment.”
Id. ¶ 69.
January 31, 2019, in state court, Defendant filed an answer
to Plaintiff's complaint. ECF No. 1-3, Ex. B. On February
19, 2019, Defendant removed the case to federal court. ECF
March 14, 2019, Defendant filed the instant motion for
judgment on the pleadings. ECF No. 12 (“Mot.”).
On March 28, 2019, Plaintiff filed his opposition, ECF No. 14
(“Opp.”), and on April 3, 2019, Defendant filed
its reply. ECF No. 15 (“Reply”).
Rule 12(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). “Judgment on the pleadings is
properly granted when, accepting all factual allegations in
the complaint as true, there is no issue of material fact in
dispute, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Chavez v. United States, 683
F.3d 1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 2012) (brackets and internal
quotation marks omitted). Like a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), a motion under Rule 12(c) challenges the legal
sufficiency of the claims asserted in the complaint. See
Id. Indeed, a Rule 12(c) motion is “functionally
identical” to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, and courts apply
the “same standard.” Dworkin v. Hustler
Magazine, Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989)
(explaining that the “principal difference”
between Rule 12(b)(6) and Rule 12(c) “is the timing of
filing”); see also U.S. ex rel. Cafasso v. Gen.
Dynamics C4 Sys., 637 F.3d 1047, 1054 n.4 (9th Cir.
on the pleadings should thus be entered when a complaint does
not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability
requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id.
(internal quotation marks omitted). For purposes of ruling on
a Rule 12(c) motion, the Court “accept[s] factual
allegations in the complaint as true and construe[s] the
pleadings in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party.” Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins.
Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008).