Honda Sued Over Fuel-Economy Claims

2006-civic-hybrid
The automaker known for its high-mileage vehicles is being sued for not delivering advertised fuel-economy figures. Honda is being taken to California small-claims court by an owner of a 2006 Civic Hybrid, according to USA Today.

Former corporate attorney Heather Peters is circumventing an ongoing class-action suit against Honda that alleges similar claims. The pending lawsuit involves owners of 2002-09 Civic Hybrids and could net each one $100 to $200. Peters’ individual lawsuit, however, could pay her as much as $10,000.

In the lawsuit, Peters alleges her Civic Hybrid never delivered the fuel-economy figures publicized by Honda. She says it initially got 20% less than the 49/51 mpg city/highway rating advertised on the Civic Hybrid’s window sticker. She also alleges that a deteriorating battery and software update only worsened the car’s performance.

Peters bought the car for $25,400 and is seeking compensation for the premium she paid over the gas version, the extra gas her Civic Hybrid has been using since she bought it and its depreciated resale value. In the lawsuit, she contends that Honda owes her a total of $122,112.

The judge has not yet ruled on the lawsuit.

Honda Goes to Small-Claims Trial Over Gas Mileage Claims (USA Today)

Comments 

Ben

Owning a 2007 of the same vehicle I'm puzzled by this claim. In 07 the mileage ratings were reduced to 41/45. For the first 3 years my civic achieved 45 1/2 mpg...I keep detailed records. Since the software update I'm getting around 43 mpg. With any car, mileage depends on how you drive it and your routes. If I cruse around at 45 mph without stop lights I can achieve well north of 50 mpg. If I drive around town making a lot of stops and allowing the motor to cool in between trips I'll get 35-40 mpg. Not sure the gas version of the civic could ever achieve those numbers. Seems frivolous and a bad precedent.

JM

Leave it to California to hear a case like this. Honda used the EPA's estimate for their vehicle. The rest of the lawsuit is garbage. In fact, the whole thing is; there is a reason that they say "your actual mpg will vary" on every single sticker.

Amuro Ray

Folks, there were more to this story.

This new lawsuit is in a way, an extension of a class action lawsuit. I don't know if Honda has admitted guilt on that one or anyone, but the settlement (or verdict) was that Honda pay millions of dollars to the plaintiffs. Unfortunately, attorneys got most of those millions, with the owners getting vouchers for about $100-$200 each.

Owners can choose whether to accept those vouchers or not, and if not, either file another class action lawsuit, or go to small claims courts, which are cheaper and faster to recoup money.

Allistar

shes not going to get $100,000 in compensation for lost benefits. She is beyond cynical. She will be lucky to get $10,000. Reminds me of the mcdonalds lawsuit. These manufacturing companies make more than many over a lifetime. $10,000 is just a drop in the bucket for them. Honda will spend more on attorneys than what your suing for. Your going to need a team of lawyers. Your stupidity will have national spotlight and you will be humilated. Go home now and dont cry haha!

skippydog

Under no possible circumstances should she be owed more than the purchase price of the car. At best, she should be reimbursed the difference between what she paid for the hybrid vs. the gas LESS the gas saving.

Mike

In small claims court, rewards are usually limited up to $12,000 depending on the jurisdiction.

Lance

If you guys had read the article carefully it clearly stated that she could only win up to $10,000 which I assume is the limit on small claims in California. She is going to have to prove her case in front of a judge to win so I assume she collected some pretty good evidence.

Don't know how she came up with the huge amount unless she drives like 100,000 miles a year or something. All attorneys come up with big amounts and negotiate down. Lot easier than negotiating up LOL.

Also, in small claims court you don't need an attorney to represent you.

@Ben
It's great that your car is operating as it should. She is not suing about your car, she is suing about hers. Maybe, if Honda had addressed her problems and made sure her car was operating correctly this could have been avoided. Then again, she just may be a lawsuit happy bi*** that figures she can piggy back on the merits of the other lawsuit and get more money. Not enough in the article to really tell the difference.

Amuro Ray

Folks, web search this incident. This lawsuit is a sequel. Honda has already settled (or penalized) in the class action, but the amount going toward the litigants were about $100-$200, vs the millions of dollars the case attorneys (representing the litigants) were getting.

FYI - the litigant in this case is an attorney herself. I don't think that she'll have issues establishing her case (to a more than 50% chance in a small claim) in front of the judge.

S June

I wish Peters sucess. A win will show that our Government has pushed these cars based on exaggerated claims. Amuro Ray has made good points. Let the car owner get some money for these hyped mileage claims instead of the class-action attorneys.

Adam

Just to note- there are no lawyers involved in small claims court cases, therefore no attorney fees for either party.

J

It takes the right driver to deliver the rated mileage.

My gas powered Civic had achieved a maximum of 47.5 mpg on a specific trip.

In other words, she is an idiot.

Lance

@Adam

Wrong. Attorneys aren't required but either side can be represented if desired. Usually large companies have local attorneys on retainer or short term contract to handle cases in small claims court. They often settle before it gets to court because the bill for the attorneys is often more than the suit demand. They don't like to send employees to court for fear of them possibly saying something that may cost the company a lot more in the future.

Someone

If she thinks there is a problem with the way the car's fuel milage is rated, then she should go to the EPA. Car manufacturers don't create the EPA tests. They might design their cars to perform better on the tests than in real life, but that has more to do with how the EPA measures fuel milage standards and less to do with the auto makers. Honda will probably only settle because it is cheaper and will make the lawsuits go away faster.

A Clabby

What's strange, though, is the way every few years the Honda Civics' have lower mpg than the older models. The original models were more efficient in 1984. If the EPA's testing methods have changed, that would be an explanation; but otherwise, I've petitioned Honda to at least investigate making these older, more efficient car models again. Add your signature here.
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-honda-to-re-manufacture-the-older-higher-mpg-honda-civic

J

Clabby,

Weight is the major blame. Also more power is another culprit.

chubby

What makes you an expert, and who are you to call a woman with a law degree an idiot? And no one believes you bs about exceeding hybrid mileage with a stock civic.

Derrick G

@Lance

To clarify, you can have an attorney do any work on the case for you that you wish. But the attorney CANNOT appear with you in court.

Lance

@Derrick G

Are you sure that applies in every state? These are state small claims courts and I believe they may have different rules in many cases as the allowable amounts are certainly different.

Regardless, the comment was that no attorneys are involved so no attorney fees which was not necessarily correct.

Derrick G

To clarify, I'm talking only about California. That typical, but some states may allow an attorney.

Amuro Ray

Yes, you can bring an attorney, or has the attorney to represent you utterly, in small claims court. Only a few states prohibit an attorney to represent the litigant(s) or assist the litigant(s) during the proceeding.

It is kinda a coincidence that the litigant in this lawsuit is an attorney herself. Thus, she is NOT represented by her own professional; she is represented as just a regular citizen...with an advantage, sort of :)

You can see more here:
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/small-claims-court-faq-29071-10.html

Derrick G

That's good to know. That means that while we might see a flood of these suits in CA, they likely won't be seen nationwide.

Kim R

I hope she gets every single penny she's asking for ! I bought an '07 Fit, and it's a piece of S**t on 4 wheels ! The sticker said 33-35 MPG. Yeah, right ! I'm average about 26 mpg. I've only gotten 30 MPG one time, and that was ALL highway driving ! Honda doesn't care, and won't help me out, but damn if their dealers aren't always sending me letters to ask if i will sell that piece of s**t back to them..so they can re-sell it and make more money off of it. I wish the lawsuit included my model, for real. While i'm grateful to have a car, i hate that piece of s**t. Every single car i've ever bought has been a Honda, but after this, i'll never, ever, EVER buy another Honda again in this lifetime or the next. Believe me..just as i used to praise Honda, i now tell everyone who will listen NOT TO BUY A HONDA !!

J

Chubby,

Who made you think that I am not smarter than she is?
Which is exactly what you criticized me for.
Trolls...

mike

As a tech for Honda for the better part of 20yrs.the best thing anyone can do to get the max mpg is properly maintain the vech and keep engine rpm under 3000 rpm at all times and do not idle engine excessively. If u accelerate hard and brake late this will eat up fuel very fast and hence you will get poor mileage.

chubby

J, the woman just won $10k in court in this case. Thats how i know she's smarter than you. Much smarter.

Cheryl Pass

I think it's false advertisement if the sticker price saysn the car will get 32 mpg and it only gets 24. Why even have mpg's as a selling point ? I have a 2011 Equinox 4 cy. that advertised 32 mpg and only get 24 mpg driving conservatively on the hwy. I bought this vehicle especially for the mpgs. I had a 2006 Equinox all wheel drive 6 cylinder that got the same mpg with more go juice and AWD. If the government is going to mandate mpg posting then it needs to be more accurate for the consumers sake.

no happy Chevy owner

I bought a 2012 Chevy equinox for the same reason and Cheryl Pass.. it stated it will give me 28/32 and the best i get is 23.2 if i drive on the highway.. they got to do something about these false claims. I love the car but hate the false gas mileage it stated.. I rather sue them and get my money back!

Steve

I have a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. I average 33-34 miles per gallon yes Honda Deserves to be sued!

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