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Entries in Honda Civic (3)

Wednesday
May092012

Honda Hybrid MPG Suit Tossed By Judge

Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Los Angeles judge Wednesday overturned a small-claims court ruling against American Honda Motor Co. over the lower-than-advertised gas mileage of its 2006 Civic Hybrid.

Heather Peters had sued for $10,000, the maximum allowed in small-claims court, and had been awarded $9,867 on Feb. 1 after telling the court that her car got 30 miles per gallon (mpg), not the 50 mpg the company advertised, costing her unexpected gas money and resale value.

In overturning the ruling, Superior Court Judge Dudley W. Gray found that while Peters had standing to sue in state court, “federal regulations control the fuel economy ratings posted on vehicles” and ads citing them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates fuel economy, and the Federal Trade Commission governs ads. Honda complied with both agencies’ rules, the judge ruled.

EPA ratings “are for comparison among vehicles,” the ruling said, and ignore “many factors that affect mileage at a given moment.” These include speed, length of trip, weather and air conditioning, it said. “Despite these variables,” the ruling said, “the majority of users report mileage very close to the EPA estimates.”

Regarding Peters’ complaint that Honda used slogans such as “sipping fuel” and “saves money on fuel,” the court said these were “non-actionable sales puffery” and “not specific promises of anything.”

“Of course I’m disappointed,” Peters told ABC News via email. “But I’m still glad that I raised awareness that Honda is no longer the great brand that it used to be. They used to go the extra mile in customer service. Now they go the extra mile fighting customers in court. I guess the moral of the story is, buyer beware — especially of Honda!”

Peters said no further appeal is allowed in small-claims court.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb012012

Woman Wins Small-Claims Suit Against Honda Over Mileage

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Southern California woman has won her case against Honda in small-claims court, where she argued Civic Hybrid cars failed to live up to their advertised mileage.

A Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner on Wednesday awarded Heather Peters $9,867.

Peters sued the American Honda Motor Company for allegedly failing to follow through on its advertisements that Honda Civic Hybrid cars would get 50 miles per gallon.

She said her 2006 Civic Hybrid got 30 mpg.

Peters was seeking damages of $10,000 -- the maximum amount allowed in California small-claims court -- for the extra money she spent, plus the car's lower resale value.

Peters started an online campaign consisting of a website, Twitter account and YouTube channel in order to take her suit viral and spark a "small-claims flash mob" of Civic Hybrid owners, her statement said.

Peters' statement said Honda was close to settling five class-action lawsuits alleging the same false advertising.

The proposed settlements would give each class member $100 to $200, and the plaintiffs' attorneys would get $8.4 million.

A San Diego judge will consider the proposed settlements on March 16, Peters said, adding an earlier proposed settlement had been rejected as unfair to car owners.

Peters opted out of a class action out of frustration with the proposed payout, especially considering the millions plaintiffs' lawyers would get.

Peters' campaign urges Civic owners to follow suit, opting out and suing Honda in small-claims court. Given the number of owners of Civic Hybrids -- approximately 200,000 -- and the $10,000 maximum damages, the wave of small-claims suits could cost Honda $2 billion, Peters said last month.

Honda has tried five times to have Peters' small-claims suit dismissed or the trial postponed until after the date by which class members may opt out of the class action, Peters said.

Honda would not comment on pending litigation, according to several earlier press reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan032012

Woman Sues Honda, Mounts Online Campaign Against Class Actions

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) -- Small-claims court, by definition, is a small-stakes, usually humdrum venue for tenant-landlord disputes and the like. But combined with social media, it could challenge class-action lawsuits as a way consumers can seek redress from companies for allegedly faulty products.

That's what Heather Peters, 46, a Calif. former corporate defense lawyer, thinks. Her view takes center stage Tuesday afternoon in Torrance Small Claims Court, in Torrance, Calif.

Tuesday's trial will consider Peters' suit against American Honda Motor Company for failing to live up to its advertisements that Honda Civic Hybrid cars would get 50 miles per gallon, according to a statement Peters released. Her 2006 Civic Hybrid got 30 m.p.g., she said. She is seeking damages of $10,000 -- the maximum allowed in Calif. small-claims court -- for the extra money she spent plus the car's lower resale value.

Peters has started an online campaign -- consisting of a website, Twitter account and YouTube channel -- in order to take her suit viral and spark a "small-claims flash mob" of Civic Hybrid owners, her statement said.

Peters' statement said Honda was close to settling five class-action lawsuits alleging the same false advertising. The proposed settlements would give each class member $100 to $200, and the plaintiffs' attorneys would get $8.4 million.

A San Diego judge will consider the proposed settlements on March 16, Peters said, adding an earlier proposed settlement had been rejected as unfair to car owners.

Peters had herself opted out of a class action out of frustration with the proposed payout, especially considering the millions plaintiffs' lawyers would get.

Therefore, if she loses her small-claims case, she would get nothing.

"I'm willing to bet $200 I'll do a lot better!" she said in an interview on her way to the trial. She felt "very confident," she said.

Peters' campaign urges Civic owners in these suits to follow suit, opting out and suing Honda in small-claims court. Given the number of owners of Civic Hybrids -- approximately 200,000 -- and the $10,000 maximum damages, the wave of small-claims suits could cost Honda $2 billion, Peters said.

Honda has tried five times to have Peters' small-claims suit dismissed or the trial postponed until after the date by which class members may opt out of the class action, Peters said.

Honda would not comment on pending litigation, according to several press reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio