Honda Settles Class-Action Lawsuit on Civic Hybrid

Posted: December 16, 2009

If you own a 2003 to 2008 model Honda Civic Hybrid, you may be entitled to some cash.

In 2007, 120,000 Civic Hybrid owners -- lead by plaintiffs John True and Gonzalo Delgado -- sued Honda for advertising an EPA-estimated fuel economy not reflective of real-world figures. According to the New York Times, the automaker advertised a city/highway fuel economy of 49/51 mpg -- but the plaintiff’s vehicles only netted an estimated 31 mpg.

To be clear, “The suit stresses it is not challenging the methodology used by the Environmental Protection Agency to predict mileage but says Honda deceived consumers by not making it clear that they were unlikely to achieve the agency’s figures,” adds the NYT.

While Honda recently agreed to a settlement agreement, it admits no wrongdoing -- as it only advertised what the EPA said the Civic Hybrid could net.

According to the terms of the agreement, True and Delgado will walk away with enough money to recoup most of what they paid for their vehicles, but most Civic Hybrid owners will not. Autoblog Green reports: “[T]he Japanese automaker has agreed to settle the case out of court. If approved, owners of 2003-2008 Civic Hybrids will get a voucher worth up to $1,000 to purchase a new Honda or a check for $100 if they can prove they complained to Honda about their car's mileage.”

Unfortunately for affected Civic Hybrid owners, the settlement sounds less like justice and more like a Honda sales-stimulus package.

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