United States District Court, District of Alaska
In Borgman v. Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, 2022 WL 13918852 (D. Alaska 2022), the district court
held that a boat manufacturer’s alleged failure to comply with a limited warranty, while potentially
a breach of contract, did not constitute an unfair trade practice under the Alaska Unfair Trade
Practices Act (UTPA). (Id. at *15). Plaintiff boat owners purchased a new boat from an authorized
Yamaha dealer in Washington which came with a limited warranty providing that boat owners
must notify an authorized Yamaha dealer within ten days of discovery of an issue. (Id. at *1).
When the boat leaked and cavitated heavily upon use back in Alaska, the boat owners sought repair
from Anchorage Yamaha. (Id. at *2). Anchorage Yamaha was not an authorized Yamaha dealer
under the Marine Products and Motorized Recreational Products Act (MPA), but nevertheless it
unsuccessfully attempted to repair the boat over the course of a year. (Id. at *4–7). The boat owners
sued, alleging that Yamaha Motor Corp. violated the UTPA in breaching its limited warranty by
failing to repair the owners’ boat. (Id. at *4). Both parties moved for summary judgment. (Id.).
The court found that, while there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether Yamaha’s
failure to comply with its limited warranty amounted to a breach of contract, no reasonable jury
would find Yamaha’s conduct sufficient for a violation of the UTPA. (Id. at *11). Because Alaskan
courts have held that the UTPA requires a breach of contract to involve inequitable assertion of
power or egregious conduct to amount to an unfair trade practice, the court reasoned that failing
to repair a boat, without more, involved neither of those conditions and thus is not an unfair trade
practice. (Id.). Granting Yamaha’s motion for summary judgment on the boat owners’ UTPA
claim, the district court held that a boat manufacturer’s alleged failure to comply with a limited
warranty was not an unfair trade practice under the UTPA. (Id. at *15).