I love this kind of story. I get so irritated by manufacturers making exaggerated claims about their products. Now, a Southern California woman took Honda to small-claims court and won in a big way.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan ruled Wednesday that the automaker misled Heather Peters about the potential fuel economy of her hybrid car and awarded her $9,867 – much more than the couple hundred dollars cash that a proposed class-action settlement is offering.
“At a bare minimum Honda was aware … that by the time Peters bought her car there were problems with its living up to its advertised mileage,” Carnahan wrote in the judgment.
Honda naturally disagrees with the judgment rendered in the case and plans to appeal the decision.
Peters, a former lawyer, said she is renewing her legal license after a 10-year lapse so she can represent other Honda owners who have the same problems she did. “Wow! Fantastic. I am absolutely thrilled,” she said when The Associated Press informed her of the judge’s decision. “Sometimes big justice comes in small packages. This is a victory for Honda Civic owners everywhere.”
Carnahan included in his 26-page decision a long list of misleading representations by Honda that he said Peters had correctly identified. Among them were that the car would use “amazingly little fuel,” `’provides plenty of horsepower while still sipping fuel,“ and that it would ”save plenty of money on fuel with up to 50 mpg during city driving.”
“Actual performance of plaintiff’s vehicle did not live up to these standards,” he said. Wow, big surprise there... It kind of gives you a warm fuzzy to see a big corporation being told to pay up for misleading advertisements. The question now is how many more Honda customers will take them to court and just how many miles per gallon their car really gets....
Live Long and Prosper...