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Greene v. Davidson

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 7, 2019

GREENE
v.
HARLEY DAVIDSON

          Present: The Honorable R. GARY KLAUSNER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) Order Re: Plaintiffs Motion to Remand (DE 17)

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On June 11, 2019, Matthew D. Greene ("Plaintiff7) filed a putative class action complaint against Harley-Davidson Motor Company Operations, Inc. ("HDMCOI"), Harley-Davidson, Inc. ("HDI"), and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc. ("HDMCI") (collectively, "Defendants") in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Riverside. Plaintiff alleges the following claims: (1) false advertising in violation of California Business & Professions Code §§ 17500 et seq.; (2) violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"), California Civil Code §§ 1770 et seq.; (3) breach of express warranty in violation of California Commercial Code § 2313(1)(A); (4) negligent misrepresentation in violation of California Civil Code §§ 1572, 1709, and 1710; (5) fraud and deceit in violation of California Civil Code §§ 1572, 1709, and 1710; (6) quasi-contract/unjust enrichment; (7) aiding and abetting in violation of common law and/or California Vehicle Code § 11700.3; and (8) unfair competition in violation of California Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq.

         On August 28, 2019, HDMCOI removed the action to federal court. HDMCOFs notice of removal asserts that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d)(2), (5)(B), (6).

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs Amended Motion to Remand ("Motion"). For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs Motion.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiffs Complaint

         In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the following:

         In 2015, Plaintiff was interested in buying a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Before making his purchase, Plaintiff researched the features and pricing of particular motorcycles by reviewing Defendants' website, catalogs, and brochures. Plaintiff also reviewed the motorcycle price hang tags attached to new motorcycles at the Riverside Harley-Davidson ("RHD") dealership. Defendants' advertising represented that the manufacturer suggested retail prices ("MSRP") "exclude dealer setup, taxes, title and licensing and are subject to change." (Compl. ¶ 17, Ex. A, ECF No. 1-3.) Plaintiff therefore anticipated that any Harley-Davidson dealer would impose a dealer setup charge.

         On June 13, 2015, Plaintiff purchased a motorcycle at the RHD dealership for $23, 799.63. Consistent with Defendants' advertising, the motorcycles on display at RHD had price hang tags which stated that the price does not include freight and dealer setup. The total price of Plaintiff s motorcycle included a $1, 399 charge for freight and "prep," of which it was later determined that $964 was for dealer prep, and $435 was for freight.

         Although Plaintiff did not know it at the time. Defendants reimbursed RHD for performing dealer setup, which meant that Defendants' advertised MSRP prices actually included dealer setup. RHD did not perform any additional "prep" tasks which would warrant an additional dealer setup charge.

         On August 23, 2017, more than two years after Plaintiffs purchase. Defendants began disclosing that "Harley-Davidson reimburses dealers for performing manufacturer-specified pre-delivery inspection and setup tasks." (Compl. ¶ 24.) Had Plaintiff known this when he purchased his motorcycle in 2015, he would not have agreed to pay the "prep" charge.

         B. The ...


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