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TomTom Shakes Off Suit Alleging ‘Lifetime’ Map Updates Deception

July 18, 2022, 2:30 PM

TomTom North America Inc. defeated a proposed class action alleging it deceptively promised “lifetime” map updates on some GPS devices, as a federal court said a New York man failed to detail how consumers would be deceived or show he was affected.

Francis McVetty alleged that TomTom’s marketing representations of lifetime map and traffic updates were illusory given undisclosed caveats that the “lifetime” wasn’t merely the lifetime of the device, but the amount of time TomTom chose to support it. The company discontinued lifetime updates for some devices in 2018, he alleged.

The first iteration of his complaint was dismissed as deficient by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, but McVetty was allowed to replead.

This time, though, Judge Nelson S. Román wouldn’t let McVetty reroute.

Like the original complaint, McVetty’s amended version didn’t provide the “entire context” of the label on which he relied when purchasing his device, the judge said July 15.

Without the context, his allegations of deception are only conclusory and don’t raise viable claims under New York’s consumer protection laws, Román said.

McVetty “points to nothing that could discredit” TomTom’s use of the word, the court said. This is particularly so because McVetty admits that his device continues to have map updates available, it said. That concession contradicts his allegations that TomTom misled him, the court said.

McVetty filed a similar suit against Garmin USA Inc., which was voluntarily dismissed.

Sheehan & Associates PC represented McVetty. Baker & Hostetler LLP represented TomTom.

The case is McVetty v. TomTom N. Am., Inc., S.D.N.Y., No. 19 Civ. 4908, 7/15/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com