Young v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (Majority and Concurrence)Annotate this Case
Duane Young bought a new 2014 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with a limited package of additional features from a dealership in Burlington, Washington. Young paid about $36,000 for the truck. At the time Young was researching his purchase, the Toyota website, Toyota’s advertising and the "Monroney label" incorrectly asserted that the vehicle had an outside temperature display on the rearview mirror along with some other displays. Some of the displays had been moved to the dashboard, but the outside temperature display was no longer available. A Toyota Tacoma truck with the colors and features Young wanted was not available in Eugene, Oregon, where he lived. Young called dealerships in Washington and Oregon until he found what he wanted in Burlington. He negotiated the purchase over the phone, paid a deposit, and, on October 30, 2013, flew to Burlington to pick up his truck. Shortly before Young flew to Burlington, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. (Toyota) realized that its advertising was incorrect and that some 2014 Toyota Tacoma trucks had been shipped with an incorrect Monroney label. Before the error was corrected, 147 vehicles, including three in Washington State, were sold with the representation that they had the enhanced rearview mirror with the temperature display when they did not. After realizing its mistake, Toyota offered $100 compensation to each consumer who had purchased a truck without the advertised feature. Young declined that offer and several others, including an offer to replace the display with aftermarket equipment. After the parties were unable to negotiate a satisfactory resolution, Young brought a CPA suit against Toyota, and after a two day bench trial, judgment was rendered in Toyota's favor. The judge concluded Young had failed to prove the first element of his CPA claim because he had not shown Toyota’s false statements of fact about the vehicle had the capacity to deceive a substantial portion of the public. The judge also found, among other things, that Young had failed to prove public interest; causation; injury; or that Toyota had violated the automobile dealers practices act. Finding no reversible error in the trial court's judgment, the Washington Supreme Court affirmed.