Another trial court denial of class certification was reversed in Medrano v. Honda of North Hollywood (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 89, a consumer case involving the sale of new and used Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha motorcycles, allegedly in violation of sections 11712.5 and 24014 of California’s Vehicle Code, which require sellers to attach a label, or “hang tag”, setting forth the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the motorcycle and defendant’s added charges.
The class representative brought claims under California’s Unfair Business Practices Act and its Consumer Legal Remedies Act, seeking injunctive and restitutionary relief. The trial court denied class certification on the grounds that dealers are not obligated to attach hang tags unless they are supplied by the manufacturer, the sales agreement plaintiff signed set forth the dealer-added costs, putting her on notice of those costs, and the class was not ascertainable because defendant’s records did not indicate which motorcycles had hang tags attached and which did not.
Citing well-worn authorities, the Court of Appeal rejected each of the three bases. The defenses on the merits were not grounds for denial of certification, and on the ascertainability issue, a class is ascertainable if it identifies a group of unnamed plaintiffs by describing a set of common characteristics sufficient to allow a member of that group to identify himself or herself as having a right to recover based on the description. Bartold v. Glendale Federal Bank (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 816, 828. Therefore, the order denying certification was reversed, and on remand, the trial court is directed to certify the class.