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Paduano v. American Honda Co.

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20009
Nos. No. D050112, (Cal. App. 4th Dist., 01/12/2009)

A California appellate court affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an automobile manufacturer that was sued for breach of warranty and deceptive advertising with regard to a hybrid vehicle's fuel efficiency. An individual who purchased the manufacturer's hybrid vehicle was displeased with his purchase because the fuel efficiency was approximately half of what was disclosed on the federally mandated new car label. After the manufacturer refused to buy the hybrid back from him, he filed suit. The trial court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer on the purchaser's warranty claims. But there remain triable issues of material fact as to whether certain of the manufacturer's advertising claims were false and/or misleading. In addition, the purchaser's deceptive and/or misleading advertising claims are not preempted by federal law regarding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimates. The lower court, therefore, erred in dismissing these claims on summary judgment.