Breaking: Court Awards Peters $9,867 in Small Claims Hearing Against Honda

By Jacob Brown | February 01, 2012
The Los Angeles small claims court has awarded 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid owner Heather Peters $9,867 against American Honda in a case stemming from her car's inability to achieve numbers anywhere close to the EPA estimates. Starting last November, Peters filed a claim against Honda after her car failed to achieve more than 29 to 30 mpg on average. At the time of its 2006 purchase, Honda claimed the car would be able to get as much as 50 mpg. A class action settlement over the same issue offers Honda Civic Hybrid owners between $100 to $200, plus a $1,000 voucher toward the purchase of a new Honda or Acura vehicle. Peters claims her car's fuel economy took a nosedive after an irreversible service bulletin performed in 2010, forcing her hybrid to rely more on the gas engine than the electric motor, thus using significantly more fuel. Her evidence, brought forth in a Jan. 3 hearing and Jan. 25 continuation, introduced the fact that Honda had the ability to lower its fuel economy ratings below its EPA ratings if it knew it couldn't achieve such figures.
"I am absolutely thrilled at the reports that I won, even though I won't see the actual judgment until it comes in the mail," Peters said in a statement. "It's a victory for Civic Hybrid owners everywhere!" When asked for comment, Honda's Chris Martin said Honda was preparing a statement. It is unknown, but widely assumed, that Honda will try to appeal the judgment. In California's small claims court system, litigants are to appear without counsel and are eligible to receive up to $10,000. With 200,000 Honda Civic Hybrid owners that are part of the class action suit, there now appears to be an option for those unhappy with the settlement. They have until Feb. 11 to opt out of the class action, with awards that could range from $2500 to $15,000 in courtrooms across the nation. Check out our past coverage leading up to this decision. Civic Duty: We Weigh In on One Woman’s Small Claims Lawsuit Against Honda - Jan. 4, 2012 Court to Continue Hearing for Honda Civic Hybrid Lawsuit - Jan. 12, 2012 Woman’s Lawsuit Against Honda Continues; Honda Shows Up This Time…Sort Of - Jan. 26, 2012