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Mahler v. Kia Motors America

United States District Court, D. Oregon

April 24, 2018

ROBERT EVANS MAHLER, Plaintiff,
v.
KIA MOTORS AMERICA, DOES 1-10, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL J. MCSHANE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant KIA Motors America alleging violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, The complaint also alleges that KIA was negligent. Defendant KIA moves under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) to dismiss Plaintiff's claims with regards to the FTCA, ADA, and negligent claims. Defendant also moves to dismiss the remaining Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

         For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion to dismiss (ECF No. 9) is GRANTED. Plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff purchased a new 2011 KIA Sorento vehicle with a “Slap Shift” automatic transmission. Compl. ¶ 7. Plaintiff's new vehicle was covered by a 10 year or 100, 000 mile warranty. Id. ¶ 8. Plaintiff began to experience issues with this Sorento's cruise control, the driver's outside door handle, the climate control knobs and emergency button, and the transmission. Plaintiff reported these issues to “KIA Dealerships on or before expiry of KIA's 100, 000 mile and 10 year warranty.” Id. ¶s 7, 10, 12.

         After the mileage on Plaintiff's Sorento exceeded 100, 000 miles, Plaintiff sent two demand letters to KIA Motors America. Id. ¶ 9. The first demand letter, dated September 7, 2017, states: “The model year for my Sorento is 2011. The mileage is about 103, 500. With less mileage, the full warranty would be valid to the year 2021; approximately another 3 1/2 years.” Id. Ex. 1. Both demand letters report that Plaintiff communicated with ‘KIA customer service representative “Heather” regarding [his] Sorento' and that he would like a phone call response. See id. Ex.'s 1 & 2. KIA did not respond to either demand letter. Compl. ¶ 11. Plaintiff alleges that KIA representative “Heather” called his home on October 31, 2017[1], at 5:30 a.m. leaving a voicemail message inquiring about his Sorento. Id. ¶ 13.

         Plaintiff has advanced osteoarthritis, left-sided hemiplegia, and left and right knee implant prosthetics. Id. ¶3.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter that “state[s] a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is plausible on its face when the factual allegations allow the court to infer the defendant's liability based on the alleged conduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). The factual allegations must present more than “the mere possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 678.

         While considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all allegations of material fact as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Burgert v. Lokelani Bernice Pauahi Bishop Trust, 200 F.3d 661, 663 (9th Cir. 2000). However, the Court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). If the complaint is dismissed, leave to amend should be granted unless the court “determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.” Doe v. United States, 58 F.3d 494, 497 (9th Cir. 1995) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

         Plaintiff's first claim for relief alleges violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warrant Act. Compl. ¶s 32-43. For this court to have jurisdiction over a Magnuson-Moss claim, the amount in controversy must meet or exceed $50, 000, exclusive of costs and interests. See 15 U.S.C. § 2310(d)(3)(B). To determine the amount in controversy, the court looks to the pleadings. Kelly v. Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc., 377 F.3d 1034, 1037-38 (9th Cir. 2004) (“If it ‘appear[s] to a legal certainty that the claim' cannot meet the statutory threshold, the suit should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.”); see also Crum v. Circus Circus Enters., 231 F.3d 1129, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000).

         Here, Plaintiff's prayer seeks compensatory damages of $29, 734.32 and economic damages of $5, 125. See Compl. Because the combined damages sought of $34, 859.32, exclusive of punitive damages[2], is below the $50, 000 jurisdictional threshold under 15 U.S.C. ยง 2310(d)(3)(B), this court lacks original jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claim for ...


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