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Kiluk v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Third Division

December 12, 2019

Justin KILUK, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
MERCEDES-BENZ USA, LLC, Defendant and Appellant,

         [256 Cal.Rptr.3d 485] Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court of Orange County, Melissa R. McCormick, Judge. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. No. 30-2016-00866822)

Page 335

         COUNSEL

         Universal & Shannon, Jon D. Universal and James P. Mayo, Sacramento, for Defendant and Appellant.

         Rosner Barry & Babbitt, Hallen D. Rosner and Arlyn L. Escalante, San Diego; Consumer Law Experts, Jessica Anvar and Michael M. Ouziel for Plaintiff and Respondent.

          OPINION

         IKOLA, J.

Page 336

          The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (Civ. Code, � 1790 et seq.; the Song-Beverly Act) provides enhanced remedies to consumers who buy new consumer goods accompanied by a manufacturer’s express warranty.[1] (� 1793.2.) It also provides for an implied warranty of merchantability. (� � 1791.1, subd. (c), 1792.) The same protections generally apply to sale of used goods accompanied by an express warranty, except that the distributor or retail seller is bound, as opposed to the manufacturer, and the duration of the implied warranty of merchantability is much shorter. (� 1795.5.)

         This case involves the sale of a certified preowned Mercedes Benz that still had a portion of the new vehicle warranty remaining, and which was accompanied by an additional used vehicle warranty issued by the manufacturer. An uncurable defect manifested after the expiration of the new vehicle warranty, but during the duration of the used vehicle warranty. Mercedes Benz refused to repurchase the vehicle, and the plaintiff sued. A jury found Mercedes Benz liable under the Song-Beverly Act for breach of both the express warranty and the implied warranty of merchantability, and, pursuant to the stipulation of the parties as to the amount of damage, awarded the same compensatory damages on both causes of action. The court entered judgment

Page 337

on the jury’s special verdict after striking the damages for breach of the implied warranty, presumably to avoid a double recovery.[2] Mercedes Benz appealed.

         [256 Cal.Rptr.3d 486] We conclude the jury’s verdict on the breach of express warranty was sound. Although the Song-Beverly Act generally binds only distributors and retail sellers in the sale of used goods, we conclude Mercedes Benz stepped into that role by issuing an express warranty on the sale of a used vehicle. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment.

          FACTS

          In May 2014 plaintiff Justin Kiluk bought a certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz vehicle for an out-the-door price of $121,922.23. The vehicle had 9,568 miles on it. It was purchased from ...


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