Honda Civic Hybrid Lawsuit: Did the Auto Giant Lie on MPG?

  @http://twitter.com/#!/MichaelBillera on January 25 2012 4:26 PM

Heather Peters, a Honda hybrid car owner, has brought the auto giant to court claiming the car has failed to deliver the promised mileage. The judge presiding over the case is seeking more information before he allows the complaint to proceed.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Canahan is inquiring about the technicalities of the filing, such as the possibility of a statue-of-limitations on the case. The Associated Press reported that the judge has asked for more legal arguments and scheduled another session of the trial in Torrance, Calif., the location of the U.S. headquarters for Honda.

Peters, a former lawyer, opted out of a class-action lawsuit involving thousands of Honda owners. Peters alleges that her 2006 Civic hybrid does not deliver the posted 50-mpg rating. Instead, she says it only achieves about 30 mpg because of problems involving the car's battery. She is seeking $10,000 in damages.

Peters acknowledge the legal argument that the statute of limitations could only last from one to four years. However, she said once she filed the class action suit that stops the ticking of the clock under a legal theory and argument known as equitable tolling, reported the Associated Press.

The original class-action suit in 2007 claimed that the Civic's mpg fell short, similar to the way Peters described her case.

Peters, however, went the small-claims route. She said that if everyone opted for small-claims cases and won it could cost Honda about $2 billion, reported the Associated Press.

A Honda engineer was in court during on Jan. 3, and provided information about how the driving habits of the owner can affect the car's mpg results.

Peters created a Web site called www.dontsettlewithhonda.org to rally other Civic owners who feel wronged by Honda. She encourages them to opt out of the class action settlement.

Of you own a Honda Civic 'Hybrid' you will receive notice of a proposed class action settlement shortly, she wrote on her Web site. It is not enough and you do not have to accept it! She claims that individuals who accept the suit will only receive $100 to $200. Peters also created a petition to urge state and federal attorneys general to object to the unfair settlement. So far, 171 people have the signed the petition. She also lists several books that teaches people how to win small claims cases in various states.

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