This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).








Christopher Bretheim, et al.,





Monaco Coach Corporation, d/b/a Holiday Rambler,

a Delaware corporation qualified to transact business in

the State of Minnesota,



HWH Corporation, a Montana corporation

qualified to transact business in the State of Minnesota,




Filed December 12, 2006


Toussaint, Chief Judge


Chisago County District Court

File No. CV-05-511



Todd E. Gadtke, Hauer, Fargione, Love, Landy & McEllistrem, P.A., 5901 South Cedar Lake Road, Minneapolis, MN 55416 (for appellants)


John D. Sear, Ryan L. Nilsen, Bowman and Brooke LLP, 2600 Fifth Street Tower, 150 South Fifth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for respondent)



            Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Lansing, Judge; and Kalitowski, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

Appellants Christopher and Regina Bretheim purchased a motor home made by respondent Monaco Coach Corporation and carrying a limited warranty.  They brought this action against respondent, claiming only “violation of 15 U.S.C. Section 2301 et seq. (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act)” and seeking revocation of their acceptance of the motor home, a full refund of the purchase price, damages for loss of use, and litigation fees and costs.  Respondent moved successfully for summary judgment dismissing the action on the ground that appellants had no claim under Magnuson-Moss.  Because we see no error of law, we affirm.


            On an appeal from summary judgment, this court asks whether there are any genuine issues of material fact and whether the district court erroneously applied the law.  State by Cooper v. French, 460 N.W.2d 2, 4 (Minn. 1990). When a case is dismissed, as this one was, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, “the only question before us is whether the complaint sets forth a legally sufficient claim for relief.”  Haas v. Daimlerchrysler Corp., 611 N.W.2d 382, 383 (Minn. App. 2000).  If the material facts are not in dispute, this court does not defer to the district court’s application of the law.  Hubred v. Control Data Corp., 442 N.W.2d 308, 310 (Minn. 1989).

            Appellants challenge the summary judgment, arguing that they have a right of action under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301-12 (2000), and, in the alternative, that, by seeking remedies available under state law, they are actually making state law claims.

1.         Magnuson-Moss Claim

Magnuson-Moss provides that “a consumer who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under this chapter, or under a written warranty, implied warranty, or service contract, may bring suit for damages and other legal and equitable relief. . . .”  Id. § 2310(d)(1).  In their answers to respondent’s interrogatories, appellants stated unequivocally that they were not asserting claims for breach of warranty or breach of contract; a letter from respondent’s attorney to appellants’ attorney confirmed that this was appellants’ position.

            Therefore, because appellants were not asserting noncompliance with any obligation under a warranty or contract, they necessarily brought their Magnuson-Moss claim as “consumer[s] who [were] damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under [Magnuson-Moss].”  But respondent did not fail to comply with any obligation under Magnuson-Moss: its only obligation was to designate its warranty as limited, and it met this obligation.  See id. §§ 2303(a) (providing distinction between full and limited warranties); 2304 (setting out standards for full warranty).

Magnuson-Moss imposes obligations only when a product is protected by a full warranty.  See Haas, 611 N.W.2d at 385 (manufacturer that “conspicuously designated its warranty a limited warranty” did not violate Magnuson-Moss by limiting warranty in manner prohibited by Magnuson-Moss).  Federal caselaw provides a more comprehensive treatment of this issue.  See, e.g., Gilbert v. Monaco Coach Corp., 352 F. Supp. 2d 1323 (N.D. Ga. 2004).

Section 2304 of [Magnuson-Moss] sets out the federal minimum standards for warranties, which include requiring the warrantor to both remedy the consumer product within a reasonable amount of time and allow the consumer to elect a refund or replacement if the warrantor is unable to repair the product after having a reasonable number of attempts to do so. 15 U.S.C. § 2304.  Plaintiffs rely on this section of [Magnuson-Moss] in making out their claim.  However, this section only applies to full warranties and the warranty at issue in this case is a limited warranty.  Section 2303(a)(2) states that if a written warranty fails to meet the standards set forth under § 2304, then the warranty must be conspicuously labeled as “limited.”  15 U.S.C. § 2303.  Therefore, failure of a written warranty to abide by §2304 does not mean that the written warranty violates the statute; rather, it means that the written warranty must be conspicuously labeled “limited.”  The written warranty at issue here is so labeled.  Therefore, the minimum standards provision does not apply to the warranty at issue in this case.


Id. at 1330 (emphasis added) (citations omitted); see also Schimmer v. Jaguar Cars, Inc., 384 F.3d 402, 405 (7th Cir. 2004) (“Section 2304 of [Magnuson-Moss] imposes minimum federal warranty standards for ‘full warranties’ and provides remedies for their breach. . . . [Here, the] warranty is a ‘limited’ one not subject to § 2304 and thus not subject to [Magnuson-Moss’s]  substantive remedies. . . .”).[1]

            Appellants’ complaint alleged that they were entitled to remedies because respondent had violated Magnuson-Moss.  But respondent’s warranty was clearly labeled “limited” and therefore not subject to Magnuson-Moss.  Appellants failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted; their case was properly dismissed.[2]

2.         Remedies

            In their complaint, appellants sought, among other remedies, revocation of acceptance.  They argue that, because revocation of acceptance “is a theory under the Minnesota Uniform Commercial Code[,]” they “alleged a state law remedy in their Complaint.”  But appellants did not seek revocation of acceptance under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC); they sought it only under Magnuson-Moss.  They offer no support for the view that seeking a UCC remedy, under any theory, equates to making a complaint under the UCC.

Appellants also argue that, because 15 U.S.C. § 2310(d)(1) does not require consumers of products with limited warranties to bring suit under state law, that requirement should not be read into the statute.  But appellants cite no case in which a consumer of a product with a limited warranty recovered without bringing an action under state law.  The cases on which appellants relied before the district court, Murphy v. Mallard Coach Co., 582  N.Y.S.2d 528 (N.Y. App. Div. 1992), Gochey v. Bombardier, Inc., 572 A.2d 921 (Vt. 1990), and Ventura v. Ford Motor Corp., 433 A.2d 801 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1981), all involved revocation of acceptance based on state law warranty claims.  Appellants firmly and repeatedly asserted that they were not making state law warranty claims.  Appellants failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.


[1] Appellants rely on Sheehan v. Monaco Coach Corp., No. 04-C-717, 2006 WL 208689 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 25, 2006).  But the Sheehan court distinguished appellants’ case on the ground that “the Sheehans have alleged a breach of warranty claim under [Magnuson-Moss], and Monaco has not produced any evidence showing that the Sheehans are instead solely seeking relief under the substantive provisions of [Magnuson-Moss] (as the defendant did in Bretheim).”  Id. at *6 n.2.

[2] Because Magnuson-Moss does not apply to products with limited warranties,  appellants’ argument that they can pursue their revocation-of-acceptance claim under Magnuson-Moss because that claim is separate from breach of warranty is without merit.