FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JACKSON COUNTY The Honorable Jack
R. Grate, Jr., Judge
C. Wilson, Judge
Hurst, on behalf of a class of similarly situated plaintiffs
("Plaintiffs"), sued Nissan North America, Inc.
("Nissan") for violations of sections 407.010 to
407.130,  commonly known as the Missouri
Merchandising Practices Act ("MMPA"), based on
alleged misrepresentations concerning the dashboards in
certain Nissan Infinity FX vehicles. Following a jury trial,
the trial court entered judgment requiring Nissan to pay $2,
000 in damages to each class member identified in a claims
process and $1.9 million in attorney fees. Nissan appealed.
This Court granted transfer and has jurisdiction. Mo. Const.
art. V, § 10. For the reasons set forth below, the
judgment in favor of Plaintiffs is reversed and this Court
enters judgment for Nissan.
facts, taken in the light most favorable to the judgment, are
as follows. Nissan manufactures a brand of automobiles under
the name Infinity. Beginning in 2003, Nissan manufactured the
two models at issue in this case, the Infiniti FX35 and FX45
(collectively, the "FX vehicles"). Approximately
118, 000 FX vehicles were sold nationwide. Beginning in 2005,
Nissan began receiving complaints that the dashboards in the
FX vehicles were defective in that, when exposed to heat and
humidity, many of the dashboards deformed or
"bubbled." Nissan changed dashboard suppliers, but
the defect persisted. Nissan changed suppliers again, and the
number of defective dashboards dropped to 0.2 percent. When
offering the FX vehicles for sale, Nissan provided a warranty
covering defective parts, including but not limited to the
dashboards. Nissan extended the length of this warranty with
respect to the defective dashboards and, ultimately, replaced
more than 45, 000 dashboards without cost to the vehicle
preliminary litigation concerning class certification,
see Hope v. Nissan North Am., Inc., 353 S.W.3d 68
(Mo. App. 2011), the trial court certified a class for trial
consisting of those who purchased FX vehicles in Missouri
through the Nissan distribution system with the original
manufacturer's dashboard. This class proceeded to trial
solely on the theory that Nissan made affirmative
misrepresentations in advertising the FX vehicles. The
alleged misrepresentations included statements in various
promotional materials to the effect that:
• The FX is a "premium" vehicle and a
"leader in style."
• "Since its introduction, the FX has been a leader
• The FX "embodies the Infiniti philosophy of
combining design and performance in one luxurious
• The FX has a "High Tech Interior Accentuated with
• The FX encompasses "the comfort and amenities of
a luxury car."
• The FX provides a "unique blend of uncompromising
style and luxury."
• The FX provides "features that are both elegant
• The FX has "[a]n ergonomically designed,
sport-inspired cockpit [that] embraces the driver and
elevates the ...