This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
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
John D. Sear, Ryan L. Nilsen, Bowman and Brooke LLP, 2600 Fifth Street Tower, 150 South Fifth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for respondent)
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.
D E C I S I O N
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. . . .”
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.
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.
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.
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.
rely on Sheehan v. Monaco Coach Corp.,
No. 04-C-717, 2006 WL 208689 (E.D.
 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.