United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. CAMPBELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Paul and Ma Riza Dickerson purchased a Dodge Ram truck from
Defendant Superstition Springs MID LLC, covered by a limited
warranty administered by Defendant NWAN Incorporated.
Plaintiffs allege that Defendants voided the warranty in
violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
(“MMWA” or the “Act”), 15 U.S.C.
§ 2301, et seq. Defendants have filed motions
to dismiss Plaintiffs' amended complaint pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6). Docs. 31, 32. The motions are fully briefed (Docs.
41, 42), and oral argument will not aid the Court's
decision. For reasons stated below, the Court will grant
NWAN's motion and deny Superstition's.
amended complaint alleges that on October 3, 2015, they
purchased a 2007 Dodge Ram truck from Superstition. Doc. 16
¶ 14. They were induced to make the purchase and pay a
higher price than they otherwise would have because
Superstition provided a “Warranty Forever”
limited powertrain warranty (the “Warranty”).
Id. ¶¶ 16-17. When Plaintiffs purchased
the vehicle, they received a one-page declaration and a
one-page “Acknowledgment of Service Requirements”
regarding the Warranty. Id. ¶¶ 18, 35;
Doc. 16-1 at 2, 14. Both documents identify Ma Riza Dickerson
as the customer and Superstition as the selling dealership.
Doc. 16-1 at 2, 14. Paul Dickerson and an authorized
Superstition representative signed both documents.
Id.; Doc. 16 ¶¶ 18, 35. The Declaration
contains a section titled “Maintenance Requirements,
” which states:
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO THE CUSTOMER
YOU must have the SELLING DEALER perform all maintenance on
YOUR VEHICLE as outlined in the General Provisions section of
this LIMITED WARRANTY. In the event YOU choose to have YOUR
VEHICLE serviced by a REPAIR FACILITY other than the SELLING
DEALER, each service must be preauthorized by calling the
ADMINISTRATOR in advance of the service being completed.
Failure to preauthorize each service performed outside of the
SELLING DEALER will void this LIMITED WARRANTY.
Doc. 16-1 at 2. The Declaration also contains a section
titled “Repair Authorization” that states:
“YOU are required to have the VEHICLE repaired at the
dealership listed above or to obtain authorization prior to
beginning any repairs to be performed by another REPAIR
FACILITY.” Id. The Acknowledgment similarly
provides: “In the event I choose to have my maintenance
performed by a repair facility outside of the dealership
listed above, I understand that each service visit must be
pre-authorized prior to the service visit by contacting the
Administrator at 1-800-810-8458.” Id. at 14.
weeks after the purchase, Plaintiffs received additional
information about the Warranty by mail. Doc. 16 ¶¶
19-20; Doc. 16-1 at 4-7. The first page of the mailed
information is identical to the Declaration. See
Doc. 16-1 at 2, 4. The remaining three pages define certain
terms used in the Declaration, and provide more detailed
information about the Warranty. Doc. 16-1 at 5-7.
“Selling Dealer” is defined as “the dealer
identified on the [Declaration], which is obligated to
perform under this [Warranty].” Doc. 16-1 at 5.
“Administrator” means NWAN. Id.
separate agreement between NWAN and Superstition, NWAN agreed
to administer the “Warranty Forever” warranties
that Superstition provided to its customers. Doc. 16
¶¶ 24, 26. That agreement provides that NWAN
creates the forms provided to customers and processes
customer claims and pre-authorizations, Superstition pays
NWAN a fee, and NWAN reimburses Superstition for any covered
repairs it performs. Id. ¶¶ 22, 25, 27.
the date of purchase through April 2016, Plaintiffs performed
necessary non-covered maintenance and repairs on the truck at
facilities other than Superstition, but did not seek
pre-authorization. Id. ¶ 41. Mr. Dickerson, a
retired mechanic, performed at least one repair on the truck
himself. Id. In April 2016, Plaintiffs filed a claim
with NWAN for transmission repairs covered by the Warranty.
Id. ¶ 38. NWAN denied the claim “as the
contract is voided for failure to follow the maintenance
requirements of the agreement.” Id. ¶ 39;
Doc. 16-1 at 16.
allege that the Warranty's preauthorization requirement
“is burdensome and coercive and devised to effectively
require that the dealer perform all maintenance and
services.” Doc. 16 ¶ 34. Plaintiffs further assert
that the requirement violates the MMWA's anti-tying
provision, 15 U.S.C. § 2302(c). Id.
¶¶ 45-48. Based on these allegations, Plaintiffs
bring a MMWA claim against NWAN and Superstition, and a claim
for intentional interference with contract against NWAN.
Id. ¶¶ 51-63.
successful motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) must show
either that the complaint lacks a cognizable legal theory or
fails to allege facts sufficient to support its theory.
Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d
696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). A complaint that sets forth a
cognizable legal theory will survive a motion to dismiss as
long as it contains “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim has
facial plausibility when “the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “The plausibility
standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,
' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id.