In Mazza v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., — F.3d —-, 2012 WL 89176 (9th Cir. 2012), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed certification of a nationwide class against Honda, holding that the consumer protection laws of each state were different, were important, and should be applied to each of their own residents’ claims.
Honda appeals the district court’s decision to certify a nationwide class of all consumers who purchased or leased Acura RLs equipped with a Collision Mitigation Braking System (“CMBS”) during a 3 year period under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3). Plaintiffs allege that certain advertisements misrepresented the characteristics of the CMBS and omitted material information on its limitations. The complaint states four claims under California Law. Honda contends: (1) that Plaintiffs failed to satisfy Rule 23(a)(2)’s commonality requirement; (2) that common issues of law do not predominate because there are material differences between California law and the consumer protection laws of the 43 other jurisdictions in which class members purchased or leased their Acura RLs; (3) that common issues of fact do not predominate because resolution of these claims requires an individualized inquiry into whether consumers were exposed to, and actually relied on, various advertisements; and (4) that some members of the proposed class lack Article III standing because they were not injured. ¶ . . . California has a constitutionally sufficient aggregation of contacts to the claims of each putative class member in this case because Honda’s corporate headquarters, the advertising agency that produced the allegedly fraudulent misrepresentations, and one fifth of the proposed class members are located in California. See Clothesrigger, Inc. v. GTE Corp., 191 Cal.App.3d 605, 236 Cal.Rptr. 605, 612–13 (Cal.Ct.App.1987). Honda does not dispute that there are sufficient contacts in this sense, but contends that the district court misapplied the three-step governmental interest test and erroneously concluded that California law could be applied to the whole class.FN2 We agree, and hold that the district court abused its discretion in certifying a class under California law that contained class members who purchased or leased their car in different jurisdictions with materially different consumer protection laws. ¶ . . . Under the facts and circumstances of this case, we hold that each class member’s consumer protection claim should be governed by the consumer protection laws of the jurisdiction in which the transaction took place. Accordingly, we vacate the district court’s class certification order and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. We express no view whether on remand it would be correct to certify a smaller class containing only those who purchased or leased Acura RLs in California, or to certify a class with members more broadly but with subclasses for class members in different states, with different jury instruction for materially different bodies of state law. See, e.g., In re Computer Memories Sec. Litig., 111 F.R.D. 675, 685–86 (N.D.Cal.1986).