Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Canfield v. FCA U.S. LLC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 8, 2019

TIMOTHY CANFIELD, ANDREW CATTANO, JAMES LETT, DENNIS PECK, STEVEN SPRATLEY, SUSAN STEBBINS, and YVETTE TAYLOR, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs.
v.
FCA U.S. LLC, Defendants

          Jeffrey S. Goddess, P. Bradford deLeeuw, Rosenthal, Monhait & Goddess, P.A., Wilmington, DE; Nicholas A. Migliaccio, Jason S. Rathod, Migliaccio & Rathod LLP, Washington, DC - attorneys for Plaintiff

          Kenneth L. Dorsney, Morris James LLP, Wilmington, DE; Kathy A. Wisniewski, Stephen A. D'Aunoy, Thompson Coburn LLP, St. Louis, MO - attorneys for Defendants March 8, 2019 Wilmington, DE

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE:

         Presently before the Court are the objections of Defendant FCA U.S. LLC (“Defendant” or “FCA”) (D.I. 25, “the Objections”) to Magistrate Judge Fallon's Report and Recommendation (D.I. 21, “the Report”). The Report recommended granting-in-part and denying-in-part Defendant's motion to dismiss (D.I. 12) the putative class action First Amended Complaint (D.I. 11) (“the Amended Complaint”) filed by Plaintiffs. The Court has reviewed the Report, Defendant's objections, and Plaintiffs' responses thereto (D.I. 29). The Court considers de novo the objected to portions of the Report and the relevant portions of Defendant's motion to dismiss and Plaintiffs' response to the motion.[1] (See D.I. 12, 13, 17, 18). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's objections are OVERRULED, the Report is ADOPTED and Defendant's motion to dismiss will be GRANTED-IN-PART and DENIED-IN-PART.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On October 12, 2017, Plaintiffs Timothy Canfield, Andrew Cattano, James Lett, Dennis Peck, Steven Spratley, Susan Stebbins, and Yvette Taylor (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed a class action complaint against FCA in the Superior Court of Delaware.[2] (D.I. 1, Ex. A). On December 12, 2017, FCA removed the case to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d)(2), 1441, and 1446 (D.I. 1) and subsequently filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on January 18, 2018 (D.I. 6). On February 1, 2018, Plaintiffs filed the Amended Complaint. (D.I. 11).

         The Amended Complaint alleges that 2010 Jeep Liberty, Chrysler Town & Country, and Dodge Journey vehicles, manufactured by FCA[3] after June 10, 2009 (“Class Vehicles”), [4] are equipped with a defective component - a “copper-bearing aluminum 2000 series metal alloy (“AL2000”) valve stem and nut on vehicles equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (“TPMS”).” (D.I. 11 ¶¶ 1, 8, 24). Plaintiffs allege that this defective component is subject to corrosion and valve stem failure when “exposed to corrosive elements like road salt.” (Id. ¶ 4). Moreover, the Amended Complaint asserts that “[w]hen the valve stem fails, air can be rapidly released from the tire without warning (an “air-out”) and at any speed, a condition akin to a tire blow out.” (Id.). Plaintiffs allege that FCA “actively concealed and/or failed to notify the public of the existence and nature of said defect or of the possible safety issues presented by the defect.” (Id. ¶ 11).

         As the Report summarizes, the Amended Complaint characterizes each of the Plaintiffs as follows:

i. Canfield: In January 2013, Canfield purchased a used 2010 Dodge Journey with 15, 000 miles from an undisclosed dealership in Caro, Michigan. (Id. at ¶ 93). In December 2015, at an undisclosed mileage, Canfield took his vehicle to a Walmart to have a valve stem replaced. (Id. at ¶ 97). In January 2016, at an undisclosed mileage, he took his vehicle to a Belle Tire to have a second valve stem replaced. (Id. at ¶ 98). In both instances, he sought a repair because the “TPMS light flashed on the dashboard, ” alerting him that a tire had low pressure, “before a nearly instantaneous air-out of one of his tires.” (Id. at ¶ 96).
ii. Cattano: In 2010, Cattano purchased a 2010 Jeep Liberty with undisclosed miles from a Chrysler dealership in Summit, New Jersey. (Id. at ¶ 99). On May 23, 2015, Cattano was driving his vehicle on the highway when the TPMS light came on. (Id. at ¶ 102). Almost instantaneously, his right rear tire had an air-out. (Id.). Cattano momentarily lost control of his car, but successfully pulled his vehicle over. (Id.). He observed that the TPMS module was missing, leaving a hole in the tire's sidewall. (Id.). Eventually, on an undisclosed date and at an undisclosed mileage, Cattano took his vehicle to an undisclosed mechanic who recommended replacing and then replaced four valve stems on his vehicle because the TPMS valve stems on his other three tires had begun to crack. (Id. at ¶ 103).
iii. Lett: In March 2010, Lett purchased a new 2010 Chrysler Town & Country with undisclosed miles from a Chrysler dealership in Avon Lake, Ohio. (Id. at ¶ 105). In June 2014, Lett's wife was driving the vehicle when a tire suffered an air-out at an undisclosed mileage. (Id. at ¶ 107). Lett's wife initially lost control of the vehicle, but successfully pulled the vehicle over. (Id.). Upon inspecting the blown out tire, Lett observed a corroded valve stem, which Lett had replaced on an undisclosed date and at an undisclosed mileage. (Id.). In the summer of 2015, Lett replaced four valve stems on his vehicle after observing that three were cracked and one was corroded. (Id. at ¶ 108).
iv. Peck: In approximately June 2010, Peck purchased a new 2010 Dodge Journey with undisclosed miles from a Chrysler dealership in Clinton, Michigan. (Id. at ¶ 109). On March 3, 2015, at an undisclosed mileage, Peck was driving when he heard a loud noise and saw that the vehicle's TPMS warning light had come on. (Id. at ¶ 112). Initially, Peck “felt the car pull to the left, ” but he successfully pulled the vehicle to the side of the road. (Id.). He then observed that the TPMS module was missing and left a hole in the tire. (Id.) As a result, Peck had a tire and TPMS valve stem replaced. (Id. at ¶ 113)
v. Spratley: In an undisclosed month in 2012, Spratley purchased a certified, pre-owned 2010 Chrysler Town & Country with “about 65, 000 miles” from a Chrysler dealership in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Id. at ¶ 114). In early 2015, at an undisclosed mileage, Spratley took his vehicle to an undisclosed mechanic after experiencing a leak in the tire. (Id. at ¶ 117). The mechanic noted two cracked valve stems, which Spratley had replaced. (Id. at ¶¶ 117-118).
vi. Stebbins: In August 2012, Stebbins purchased a used 2010 Dodge Journey with 37, 000 miles from an undisclosed seller in New Jersey. (Id. at ¶ 119). On November 23, 2014, at an undisclosed mileage, Stebbins saw the vehicle's TPMS warning light come on and experienced an air-out of a tire. (Id. at ¶ 122). She momentarily lost control of her vehicle, but successfully pulled the vehicle over. (Id.). Stebbins observed that the TPMS module was missing and left a hole in her tire. (Id.). Stebbins's car was serviced at International Tire and Parts, where she had two tires and three TPMS valve stems replaced. (Id. at ¶ 123).
vii. Taylor: In November 2010, Taylor purchased a used 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan with undisclosed miles from a third-party in Holyoke, Massachusetts. (Id. at ¶ 124). On December 8, 2014, Taylor paid $140.43 for her mechanic at a D.E. Bourque & Sons, Inc. Automotive Service & Sales to investigate her under-inflated tire and replace her leaking TPMS. (Id. at ¶ 128). She returned to her mechanic on February 5, 2015 and paid $134.49 to investigate another under-inflated tire and replace another TPMS. (Id. at ¶ 129). She visited her mechanic again on April 27, 2016 and paid $259.76 for her mechanic to remove and replace TPMS on her rear passenger side and front driver side tires. (Id. at ¶ 130). On all three visits, Taylor's mechanic informed her that the TPMS was corroded and causing her tire to lose air. (Id. at ¶¶ 128-130).

(D.I. 21 at 3-5) (citing D.I. 11).

         On February 15, 2018, FCA filed its current motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). (D.I. 12). Plaintiffs opposed the motion and Magistrate Judge Fallon heard oral argument on May 8, 2018. Magistrate Judge Fallon produced the Report on January 8, 2019. (D.I. 21). On January 22, 2019, FCA filed objections to certain portions of the Report. (D.I. 25). Plaintiffs timely submitted a response to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.