United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO STATE COURT
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an automobile “Lemon Law” case brought under
California law. Defendants removed. Plaintiff seeks remand.
The crux is whether an in-state defendant was fraudulently
joined. Finding recovery against the in-state defendant is
possible, the motion to remand is Granted.
purchased a Ford F-250 pickup truck in May 2014 from
defendant Gosch Ford Temecula. The truck came covered by a
three-year/36, 000-mile express bumper-to-bumper warranty and
a five-year/60, 000-mile powertrain warranty (First Amd.
Compl. ¶ 8).
the warranty period, multiple defects developed. In June
2014, plaintiff brought the truck to Gosch over excessive
wobble while driving. Gosch's technicians measured the
truck's tires, noted their good condition, and sent
plaintiff on his way (id. ¶ 14).
returned less than a month later with an illuminated
check-engine light. Gosch technicians ran diagnostic tests,
including a scan for fault codes that indicated an
exhaust-gas-temperature sensor failure. Using the repair
procedure outlined in a Ford technical service bulletin, a
technician replaced the sensor. During the visit, plaintiff
repeated his excessive wobble concerns (id. at
a routine maintenance visit in October 2014, Gosch replaced
“exhaust emission control” parts, according to
records from the visit. No. further notes were made
(id. ¶ 16).
months later, plaintiff brought the truck in over excessive
wobble for the third time. On this visit, Gosch technicians
identified the wobble issue as a repeat concern, contacted
Ford's technical hotline, and replaced the truck's
tires (id. ¶ 17).
later, still within a year of purchase, the engine cranked,
but failed to start. Plaintiff towed his truck back to Gosch.
The technicians ran diagnostic tests and determined that the
complete fuel system needed replacement. The technicians also
reprogrammed the power control module and programmed new
fuel-injector related codes (id. ¶ 18). Gosch
represented that the truck had been repaired when plaintiff
picked it up.
returned three more times. In April 2016, the primary
radiator needed replacement following a coolant leak. In
January 2018, the check-engine light illuminated, the camera
ceased to work, and the coolant tanks needed flushing. In
September 2018, the check-engine light came back on and Gosh
technicians performed further repairs involving the exhaust
system, as prescribed by a different technical service
bulletin. Gosch continued to tell plaintiff the issues were
repaired (id. ¶ 19, 20, 21).
however, plaintiff learned that a part installed in his
truck, the Ford CP4 high-pressure fuel-injection pump,
suffered a common defect that leads to various problems, such
as deposits of metal shavings and debris in the fuel
injection system, sudden engine failure, no start, and rough
running (id. ¶¶ 49, 65). When he learned
of defendants' wrongful conduct in February 2019,
plaintiff requested that defendants repurchase or replace the
vehicle. Defendants refused (id. ¶ 65).
September 12, 2019, plaintiff filed this action in state
court claiming various violations of California's
Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Against Gosch, plaintiff
alleged only a breach of the implied warranty of
merchantability under the Song-Beverly Act. All defendants
removed. Plaintiff filed the first amended complaint on
now moves for remand. This order follows full briefing,
extended oral argument, and supplemental briefing ...