Automotive Class Action Not Restricted to the Specific Vehicle Model Owned by Plaintiff

In Bedi v. BMW of N. Am., LLC, 2016 WL 324950 (D.N.J. Jan. 27, 2016), the court was presented with an increasingly common issue:  BMW argued that the named plaintiff only has standing to represent those members of the class who purchased the very same vehicle model as he did.  The court disagreed:

In this district, a class complaint generally may survive a motion to dismiss on products a lead plaintiff did not purchase, so long as: (1) the basis for each of the claims is the same, (2) the products are closely related, and (3) the defendants are the same. Eberhart v. LG Elecs. USA, Inc., No. CV 15-1761, 2015 WL 9581752, at *3 (D.N.J. Dec. 30, 2015); In re L’Oreal Wrinkle CreamMktg. & Sales Practices Litig., No. 12-03571, 2013 WL 6450701, at *4 (D.N.J. Dec. 9, 2013); Burke v. Weight Watchers Int’l, Inc., No. 12-6742, 2013 WL 5701489, at *3-4 (D.N.J. Oct. 17, 2013); Stewart v. Smart Balance, Inc., No. 11-6174, 2012 WL 4168584, at *16 (D.N.J. June 26, 2012).
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The alleged misrepresentation in this case is identical across all BMW vehicles included in the class: the use of “TwinPower Turbo” to describe single turbocharger engines. The basis for the claims is thus the same. The products are also closely related, as they are all sold or leased BMW vehicles. For all products, the Defendant is BMW. Plaintiff thus has standing to represent class members across all BMW vehicles with single turbocharger engines identified as “TwinPower Turbo.” The Court therefore declines to dismiss Plaintiff’s class claims against BMW model lines he did not buy.
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Id. at *7 (emphasis added).