United States District Court, N.D. New York
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Lawrence E. Kahn, U.S. District Judge.
Brandon Kommer commenced this putative class action against
defendant Ford Motor Company pursuant to New York General
Business Law (“N.Y. G.B.L.”) sections 349 and
350. Dkt. No. 1 (“Complaint”). Presently before
the Court is Ford's motion to dismiss. Dkt. No. 5
(“Motion”); see also Dkt. No. 5-1
(“Memorandum”). Kommer opposes the Motion, Dkt.
No. 8 (“Response”), and Ford filed a reply, Dkt.
No. 9 (“Reply”). For the reasons that follow, the
Court grants Ford's Motion.
October 2015, Kommer purchased a 2015 Ford F-150 XLT Super
Crew truck from New Country Ford in Saratoga Springs, New
York. Compl. ¶ 5. Kommer decided to purchase his truck
after seeing Ford's “Built Ford-Tough”
advertisement on television and the Internet. Id.
¶¶ 22-25. Kommer also saw advertisements for the
new redesigned Ford F-150. Id. ¶ 24.
after Kommer purchased his vehicle, however, he had problems
with its doors and locks. Id. ¶¶ 26-27.
Specifically, the front, rear, driver, and passenger-side
doors would not latch closed and the electric locks would not
open in below-freezing temperatures. Id.
¶¶ 27. Kommer claims that Ford's advertisements
highlighting the F-150s durability and toughness suggest that
the door handles would work in below-freezing temperatures.
Id. ¶ 56. Since the door handles did not work,
Kommer claims the advertisements were misleading.
Id. ¶ 28.
also alleges that Ford knew of the problem with the door
handles but failed to disclose it. Id. ¶¶
29, 34. On April 8, 2015, Ford issued a technical service
bulletin (“TSB”) entitled
“SUPERCAB/SUPERCREW CAB - FROZEN OR INOPERATIVE DOOR
LATCH.” Id. Ex. A. The TSB recognized that the
door latches on some 2015 F-150 trucks did not work in
freezing temperatures, and it outlined steps dealers should
take to address the problem. Id. Plaintiff's
truck-a 2015 F-150 SuperCrew Cab-was listed as an affected
vehicle and was also identified as eligible for repair
“Under Provisions Of New Vehicle Limited Warranty
Coverage.” Id. Despite issuing a TSB, Ford did
not disclose the faulty door handle problem to current or
potential F-150 owners. Id. ¶ 34. Kommer does
not allege that he took his truck to get repaired or that it
was not under warranty.
Allegations Relating To Proposed Class Members
the allegations in the Complaint do not involve
Plaintiff's own experience with his F-150. First, Kommer
discusses a series of online advertisements from Ford's
website. Id. ¶¶ 12-15. Kommer does not
actually say he viewed these advertisements. Id.
Kommer also identifies several comments posted in online
forums where consumers complained about door handles getting
stuck and not opening or unlocking in sub-freezing
temperatures. Id. ¶¶ 17-21. Additionally,
Kommer discusses a second TSB Ford issued on November 18,
2016. Id. Ex. B. This TSB replaced the initial TSB
addressing the inoperative door latches in F-150 trucks.
Id. While the first TSB covered only 2015 F-150s
built before March 25, 2015, the second TSB covered all F-150
models from 2015 to 2017. Id. The second TSB also
listed Plaintiff's car-a 2015 F-150 SuperCrew Cab-as
eligible for repair “Under Provisions Of New Vehicle
Limited Warranty Coverage.” Id.
alleges that the TSBs did not address the faulty door handle
problem and that consumers continued to experience problems
with their door latches. Id. ¶ 43. In support
of this allegation, he points to a consumer who complained in
an online forum that he took his truck to the dealer for
repairs and the dealer failed to fix the problem.
Id. ¶ 44.
filed his Complaint against Ford on March 13, 2017, alleging
violations of N.Y. G.B.L. sections 349 and 350. Id.
¶¶ 55-66. He brings forwards two claims: (1)
Ford's “Built Ford-Tough” advertising was an
affirmative misrepresentation and (2) Ford failed to disclose
to consumer that the F-150 had defective door handles. Kommer
also seeks to represent “himself and a class of
similarly-situated New York consumers who are current or
former owners or lessees of Ford F-150 vehicles for model
years 2015-2017.” Id. ¶ 1. On April 12,
2017, Ford moved to dismiss Kommer's Complaint for
failure to state a claim. Mem. at 9. Ford argues that Kommer
has failed to state a claim under N.Y. G.B.L. sections 340