Court to Continue Hearing for Honda Civic Hybrid Lawsuit

By Jacob Brown | January 12, 2012
Heather Peters wanted a court to decide whether Honda defrauded her into buying a Civic Hybrid that never achieved anything close to its rated fuel economy. Instead, all she got was a continuation.
Scheduled to reconvene Jan. 25, Peters' case was extended by Commissioner Doug Carnahan because he felt there might be a statute of limitations conflict, as the car in question is a 2006 model and California has a four-year limit. However, Peters claims that under the legal theory of "equitable tolling," the class action lawsuit filed outside of Peters' own case has given her argument new life.
"I am confident that I will prevail on the questions raised in the Court's order," she said in a release on her website,
We first reported the story of Peters' lawsuit against Honda in small claims court last week, as she had asked for $10,000 from the automaker for selling her a car that barely achieved half of the projected 50-mpg figure Honda claimed it would get. In her hearing, she cited a computer reflash in 2008 that made the car rely more heavily on its gas engine to help protect the integrity of the battery, lowering the fuel economy of her Civic Hybrid to a similar number to a standard Civic. However, the Civic Hybrid cost almost $10,000 more than a comparable Civic LX. With more time for both parties to prepare their arguments, this hearing has plenty at stake, especially for Honda. Peters estimates that if all of the 200,000 Civic Hybrid owners affected were to sue in small claims court, it could potentially cost Honda upward of $2 billion. Under the pending class action suit, Honda is scheduled to pay each litigant just $100 to $200 and provide a $1000 discount on the purchase of a new Honda.
Sources: Don't Settle With Honda, Associated Press via Business Week