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Harris v. BMW of North America, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division

October 2, 2019

RODERICK HARRIS, SHAWN WILSON, JOHN MAY, ZHEN LIN, DERRICK DUNLAP, GEORGE WYNN, and ANDREW CARRIER, Plaintiffs,
v.
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          AMOS L. MAZZANT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) or, in the Alternative, to Sever Plaintiffs' Claims Pursuant to Rules 20 and 21 (Dkt. #11).

         The Court, having considered all the pleadings, motions, and relevant evidence, finds that the Defendant's Motion should be DENIED.

         BACKGROUND I.Factual Summary

         Plaintiffs Roderick Harris, Shawn Wilson, John May, Zhen Lin, Derrick Dunlap, George Wynn, and Andrew Carrier (“Plaintiffs”) are Texas residents and purchasers of BMW vehicles. Defendant, BMW of North America, LLC (“Defendant”), is a Delaware limited liability company and the wholesale distributor of BMW vehicles sold in North America. Specifically, Defendant is engaged in the business of importing, assembling, marketing, distributing, and warranting BMW vehicles that are ultimately sold or leased in North America. Defendant does not itself sell or lease BMW vehicles; instead, it leaves the business of selling or leasing BMW vehicles to its network of regional and local BMW dealers.

         Plaintiffs each own a BMW vehicle equipped with a V8, twin-turbocharged engine, referred to as the “N63.” BMW released the N63 in 2008, advertising it as the next generation high performance engine designed for certain BMW vehicles, including 5 series, 6 series, 7 series, X5, and X6 models produced from 2009-2014. Apparently, vehicles equipped with the N63 have experienced a variety of problems since the engine's release in 2008. In particular, purchasers of N63-powered vehicles, including Plaintiffs, claim that the N63 consumes excessive amounts of engine oil, requiring frequent oil changes and engine repairs. And this alleged oil consumption defect, Plaintiffs claim, has diminished the value of their vehicles.

         The amended complaint provided the following details about Plaintiffs and the subject vehicles: Roderick Harris purchased a 2010 BMW 5 Series 550i on October 30, 2013 for $51, 312.80; Shawn Wilson purchased a 2009 BMW 7 Series 750i on January 22, 2013 for $46, 202.80; John May purchased a 2012 BMW X5 XDrive 50i on December 26, 2015 for $51, 607.14; Zhen Lin purchased a 2010 BMW 5 Series 550i[1] on August 11, 2011; Derrick Dunlap purchased a 2014 BMW 5 Series 550i on July 31, 2017 for $45, 810.72; George Wynn purchased a 2013 BMW 7 Series 750i on August 6, 2014 for $78, 776.40; and Andrew Carrier purchased a 2012 BMW 7 series 750i on December 21, 2015 for $44, 974.50.

         Plaintiffs assert multiple grounds for relief. First, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant made and subsequently breached express and implied warranties as to each vehicle. Second, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant's breach of warranty and failure to disclose the engine defects despite having knowledge of the defects constituted deceptive trade practices under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

         Plaintiffs submit that the Court has jurisdiction over the action pursuant to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (“Magnuson Moss”), 15 U.S.C. § 2310; diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332; and supplemental jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

         II. Procedural History

         Plaintiffs filed their original Complaint against both Defendant and Bavarian Motor Works on January 8, 2019 (Dkt. #1). On February 6, 2019, Defendant and Bavarian Motor Works filed a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) or, in the Alternative, to Sever Plaintiffs' Claims Pursuant to Rules 20 and 21 (Dkt. #8). On February 20, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint, in which they made substantially the same allegations as in their original Complaint but listed BMW of North America, LLC as the sole Defendant (Dkt. #10).

         On March 6, 2019, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss asserting substantially the same grounds for dismissal as asserted in its February 6 Motion (Dkt. #11). On March 20, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Response (Dkt. #15). On March 27, 2019, Defendants filed a Reply (Dkt. #16). On May 15, 2019, Plaintiffs filed Notice of Supplemental Authority (Dkt. #17). On May 29, 2019, Defendant filed a Response to Plaintiffs' Notice of Supplemental Authority (Dkt. #19). On August 21, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a second Notice of Supplemental Authority (Dkt. #21). On September 16, 2019, the Court ordered Plaintiffs to submit supplemental briefing regarding Defendant's membership (Dkt. #22). On September 17, 2019, Plaintiffs filed briefing in response to that Order (Dkt. #23).

         LEGAL STANDARD I.12(b)(1)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) authorizes dismissal of a case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction when the district court lacks statutory and constitutional power to adjudicate the case. Home Builders Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998). If a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is filed in conjunction with other Rule 12 motions, the Court will consider the jurisdictional attack under Rule 12(b)(1) before addressing any attack on the legal merits. Ramming v. United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001).

         In deciding the motion, the Court may consider “(1) the complaint alone; (2) the complaint supplemented by the undisputed facts evidenced in the record; or (3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the [C]ourt's resolution of disputed facts.” Lane v. Halliburton, 529 F.3d 548, 557 (5th Cir. 2008) (quoting Barrera-Montenegro v. United States, 74 F.3d 657, 659 (5th Cir. 1996)). The Court will accept as true all well-pleaded allegations set forth in the complaint and construe those allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Truman v. United States, 26 F.3d 592, 594 (5th Cir. 1994). Once a defendant files a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) and challenges jurisdiction, the party invoking jurisdiction has the burden to establish subject matter jurisdiction. See Menchaca v. Chrysler Credit Corp., 613 F.2d 507, 511 (5th Cir. 1980). The Court will grant a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction only if it appears certain that the claimant cannot prove a plausible set of facts to support a claim that would entitle it to relief. Lane, 529 F.3d at 557.

         II. ...


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