Honda loses law suit due to low Civic Hybrid gas mileage
A former attorney and owner of a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid by the name of Heather Peters has won the law suit that she filed against the Japanese automaker due to misleading gas mileage. The decision was taken a few days ago at the Torrance Small Claims Court in California when Douglas Carnaham, the Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner ruled that the car maker has misled Heather into believing that her car could reach a gas mileage of 50 mpg.
The woman said that she wasn’t able to get more than 42 mpg with the Civic Hybrid and what’s even worse is that after Honda did a software update for improving the battery life, the gas mileage dropped under the 30 mpg mark.
After she noticed this, she decided that instead of handling this problem through a class-action law suit which would have resulted into high paychecks for the legal terms involved, she should take the case to the small claims court. By going down this road, under the Californian law for small claims court, lawyers are banned so Honda didn’t have the opportunity to bring its big-shot lawyers. It was a smart move for Heather because she had a lot more chances of winning in comparison to standing against wealthy corporations.
There were three hours of testimony over two days which lead to the longest case in the history of Torrance Small Claims Court, with the Japanese company attempting to prove that the car had no issues in providing the gas mileage promised. Carnaham did not take into account the eight-inch pile of letters that came from satisfied Civic Hybrid owners which Honda brought. The other defense that Honda brought was that the car had only a 42 mpg mileage (at best) due to how Heather drove and maintained the vehicle.
Honda lost and now has to pay the woman $9,857 in damages. However, it’s not that simple because under the Californian law, the Japanese company has the right to ask that the trial be heard again in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. If this will happen, Honda will be able to bring its A game thanks to its best lawyers.
Heather Peters said that she is now determined to help other owners of the Honda Civic Hybrid who are unhappy about the gas mileage. She said that she’s heard from more than 500 unsatisfied owners of the car and she now wants to reactivate her license again for helping these customers take legal actions against Honda.
Source: Green Car Reports