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Honda Wins Battle Over MPG Claims

Honda Civic Hybrid image

Honda has officially won the reversal of a small-claims-court loss to a California woman who dropped out of a class-action lawsuit and pursued her own claim that the company overstated the fuel mileage of its Civic Hybrid. Although the automaker won the court battle and successfully fended off other potential legal woes, its reputation has certainly taken a hit.

Earlier this year, a small-claims court in California ordered Honda to pay Civic Hybrid owner Heather Peters $9,867.19 for falsely advertising 50 miles per gallon in the city and on the highway. Honda successfully appealed her win after hiring a national law firm with more than 800 lawyers on staff. Needless to say, Peters was incredibly disappointed by the decision.

“It’s a sad day when regulations designed to protect consumers are used against them. I’m certain that the EPA and FTC never intended to shield Honda from liability for advertising claims that a court of law determined to be false.”

Although Peters was originally involved in a class-action lawsuit against Honda, she decided to take on the automaker on her own in small-claims-court. Her win in February led to nearly 1,700 Honda owners opting out of the class-action lawsuit. Honda said it had no other choice than to advertise the figures estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Of course I’m disappointed, but I’m still glad that I raised awareness that Honda is no longer the great brand that it used to be. They used to go the extra mile in customer service, now the go the extra mile fighting customers in court. I guess the moral of the story is buyer beware – especially of Honda!”

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