COMPETITION - False or misleading representations - Defences

Law360 Canada (April 5, 2023, 2:24 PM EDT) -- Appeal by Rebuck, the representative plaintiff, from dismissal of his motion for summary judgment and the granting of Ford’s cross-motion for summary judgment. EnerGuide labels were affixed pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which the Department of Natural Resources (NRCan) entered into with the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, which included Ford Canada. The 2012 Guidelines for Determination and Submission of Fuel Consumption Data for Fuel Consumption Labelling (Guidelines), prescribed the design and content of the EnerGuide labels that had to be affixed by vehicle manufacturers to new vehicles in the 2013 and 2014 model years. When the appellant leased a 2014 Ford Edge SUV, he reviewed the information on the EnerGuide label affixed to the vehicle's window. On a trip to Florida, he noticed that the on-board fuel consumption display was showing only 23 mpg while highway driving. Class counsel discovered that Ford used a 2-Cycle Test prescribed by NRCan for its 2013 and 2014 Canadian vehicles, while using the 5-Cycle Test adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for its American vehicles. At the time the appellant leased his vehicle, the Guidelines required the use of the data from the 2-Cycle Test. The appellant filed a class action alleging breaches of the misleading advertising provisions in the federal Competition Act and provincial consumer protection legislation. The class claimed the EnerGuide labels affixed to Ford's 2013 and 2014 new vehicles and Ford's marketing materials were false or misleading. The action was certified as a class proceeding. After certification, both the appellant and Ford brought competing motions for summary judgment to resolve the matter. The motion judge dismissed the appellant's motion for summary judgment and granted Ford's cross-motion for summary judgment. The result was the dismissal of the class action in its entirety....
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