Winzler v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc, No. 10-4151 (10th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff-Appellant Arrienne Mae Winzler brought state law claims against Defendant-Appellee Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. (Toyota) on behalf of a proposed nationwide class of 2006 Toyota Corolla and Toyota Corolla Matrix owners and lessees. She alleged that the cars harbored defective "Engine Control Modules" ("ECMs"), making them prone to stall without warning. As relief, she asked for an order requiring Toyota to notify all relevant owners of the defect and then to create and coordinate an equitable fund to pay for repairs. Before addressing whether Plaintiff's class should be certified, the district court held her complaint failed to state a claim and dismissed it under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). As Plaintiff began her appeal, Toyota announced a nationwide recall of 2005-2008 Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars to fix their ECMs. Arguing that these statutory and regulatory processes were exactly the relief sought in Plaintiff's complaint, Toyota asked the Tenth Circuit to find that its recall rendered Plaintiff's case moot. "Because prudential mootness is arguably the narrowest of the many bases Toyota has suggested for dismissal, and because it is sufficient to that task, [the Court has] no need to discuss any of Toyota's other arguments for the same result." The Court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss the case as moot.