business

LA woman takes unique road to sue Honda over mileage

57 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
Login to comment

I bet there are no cars produced by anyone that get the miles claimed.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"Honda could be forced to pay $2 billion in damages. No high-priced lawyers are involved"

Gosh, how much could Honda be forced to pay if high-priced lawyers are involved?

"damages"

Lessee... the woman bought a Honda, a great car that gets better mileage than most cars... what damage?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

See kids ... it pays to be a lawyer. Get back to your books and prepare for a future in the legal business ... Gotta be good, though, 'cause there are already too many idle lawyers hanging around ... including here in Japan.

As for new twists, wonder what new advertising come-ons Honda's ad chiefs are now dreaming up ... ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I LOVE IT! Hope she has what she needs to prevail!

Serrano,

30 vs 50mpg means she is only getting 60% of what she expected, THATS a lot.

I wud like to see more makers taken to task on the BS milage claims.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Not sure if she will have a case.

Are her measurements taken under the same conditions, driving style, etc as the tests?

aka read the fine-print and find out under what conditions the manufacturers measurements were taken, etc.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

GW - What car gets 50 mpg?

If Honda claimed that, OK that was dumb, they should not have claimed that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The lawyer told the reporter the trial lawyers are not in it for the money, I smell something there and is smells like it should be in a diaper. Obvious lie.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Honda's website claims the car gets 44 MPG. I think the lady is confusing another standard that was set upon the auto industry.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It probably does indeed get 44 mpg in tests. Next case!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Over here in Japan, many of the latest Hybrid ads say these things can do some 70 MPG. I imagine traffic is much smoother in LA compared to most urban zones in Japan, and Honda is getting sued for making a comparatively modest claim of 50 MPG? the floodgates are about to..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wud like to see more makers taken to task on the BS milage claims.

The BS is government standards, not manufacturers claims. All makers are required to "lab test" and provide results based on common criteria. That way buyers can compare apples with apples. I'm believing she knows this, and is going to hold Honda to ransom on this, and I expect an out of court settlement with no terms disclosed.

Another money making scam - pretty sick really.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wrong.

To invalidate the claim she will have too proof that it is false, ie take the test under same conditions and provide certified results that differ and proof her claim..

Now not sure how she can do that realistically in small claims court and sans lawyers, etc unless she spends a lot of dough doing so. The Honda employee who will be backed up the corp and their lawyers will ride rough-shot over here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The 2006 Honda Civic's electric motor is only 20 horsepower, whereas the Prius makes 67 horses. You'll have to drive like a grandmother to get even close to 50 MPG.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She is an idiot. Everyone with any brain knows that factory mileage tests are done on ideal conditions round a track at a steady kms. I doubt if there are any cars, hybid or not that can produce the same test results with on the road driving. There are too many variables, driving style, air conditioning, stop and start traffic etc. No manufacturer can guarantee the factory test mileage on normal traffic driving.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

That's correct, it was a lie a sales trick they have to pay, in my opinion a monthly allowance for the whole lifetime of the car that would have to cover the price difference for gas between the real and the falsely stated consummation for the given mileage for each month.

I am not surprised otherwise as Japanese car makers not only falsifying the consummation but the engine replacement, too. E.g a 2500 cc claimed engine hardly have 2300 cc. Even with that, consummation is higher than what they promise.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

replacement = displacement (sorry)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Typical Americans and their lust for legal action. So what if the mileage is out. It is probably based on carrying less weight that the average American?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Typical Americans and their lust for legal action.

It is not like that especially if she is right. If nobody ever does anything, then it gets worse and worse. There is something, called consumer protection law. Otherwise it is not an American thing, Japanese themselves are very litigant and a few other countries as well.

Certainly it's everybody own decision whether they allow to be cheated or not, but I don't think these lawsuits would cause any harm to the consumers, on the contrary, can make the car makers a bit more careful.

They selling cars with fake mileage, faked engine displacement, stuffed full with extras, forced consummation, selling other makers products for nice commission. If no one ever raise their voices it will get worse every year.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

now if only I can sue Apple, Sony and Panasonic for deceiving me with the battery life on all of their products....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

gold digging woman with a lot of time on her hands

5 ( +8 / -3 )

She is an idiot.

That's the one thing she isn't. She's an "ex-lawyer" who knows she can use the system to make a quick and easy buck.

“The sales force said 50 miles per gallon, but they didn’t say if you run your air conditioning and you remain in stop-and-go traffic, you’re going to get 29 to 30 miles per gallon,” she said. “If they did, I would have gotten the regular Civic.”

Yeah, right, she didn't realize air-conditioning uses up more gas!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Munya Times They selling cars with fake mileage, faked engine displacement, stuffed full with extras, forced consummation, selling other makers products for nice commission. If no one ever raise their voices it will get worse every year.

What nonsense. Where do you get selling cars with fake mileage, faked engine displacement ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I drive a hybrid, when you buy one they clearly tell you that your mileage will vary. If I drive mountain roads, I get less mileage than if I were on flat roads. I think it's the same for any car.....varying mileage with the way you drive (lead foot or not), mountainous roads, road conditions etc is an issue with any vehicle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They selling cars with fake mileage, faked engine displacement, stuffed full with extras, forced consummation,

Classic! That would definitely make an interesting small claims court case!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We all know the USA is the land of opportunity. Suing companies and individuals is a national sport. Oh, the lady just bought her first car? Ex-lawyer, dumb enough to not know automobiles return different mileages depending on driving conditions and the weight of the foot/boot on the accelerator and brake pedal? Pathetic or suspicious? Or both? What is it really these consumers and lawyers are after?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How was she driving? The ideal milage can only be achieved if one drives below 2000 RPM at all times. If you drive from 0 Km/H to 100 Km/H in 20 seconds as some do, there is no way one would even come half way to the ideal milage per gallon. Eco driving will on the other hand achieve the expected millage per gallon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Peters said she would have never purchased the car if she had known that.

“The sales force said 50 miles per gallon, but they didn’t say if you run your air conditioning and you remain in stop-and-go traffic, you’re going to get 29 to 30 miles per gallon,” she said. “If they did, I would have gotten the regular Civic.”

But this is the case with every car, not just hybrids. all kinds of things affect the miles per gallon. Her ignorance of this, if that is what is, is hopefully not a valid legal argument. But eventually, this will (or should) all depend on what exactly Honda said in their advertising, or what a Honda representative told her directly. Was she told that the car would get 50mpg regardless of how it is driven? I doubt it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OUt of all the cars I've had in my lifetime, I've NEVER had one that got the mileage it had med. This is great & i hope she wins & it does open the floodgates. Maybe this false advertising will stop. car manufacturers seem like the only ones who get away with it. per say .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Lend me that car, lady, and I will get it on 50 MPG...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Are her measurements taken under the same conditions, driving style, etc as the tests?

I fail to see how her measurements are relevant.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It"S ME

Not sure if she will have a case.

Are her measurements taken under the same conditions, driving style, etc as the tests?

aka read the fine-print and find out under what conditions the manufacturers measurements were taken, etc.

AND

VicMOsaka

She is an idiot. Everyone with any brain knows that factory mileage tests are done on ideal conditions round a track at a steady kms. I doubt if there are any cars, hybid or not that can produce the same test results with on the road driving. There are too many variables, driving style, air conditioning, stop and start traffic etc. No manufacturer can guarantee the factory test mileage on normal traffic driving.

Both spot on, idiots who think they can drive any where and any way they like and expect to get the same results that were achieved under controlled conditions in a pristine enviroment.

The public are basically dumb thats what manufactureres and sales people make a living off, not only those who are building and selling cars but all things.

This lady would be the type to try to sue the company who made her iron if her blouise got scorched, and claim the lady in the ad on TV didnt scorch hers thats why she bought that particular iron, oh well you get the picture.

Tell her to go take a running jump, and NEXT PLEASE !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She is an idiot. Everyone with any brain knows that factory mileage tests are done on ideal conditions round a track at a steady kms.

She is not an idiot I think. Just pretending to be one. Pretending there is no internet with this info here http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml

Pretending racing from light to light has no influence on fuel economy. She is an ex-lawyer. Ex or not, she must have learned something. Wants to take on Honda, a company that has surprised and shocked the USA automobile industry and taken a huge share of their market starting in the 1960s? Huh. Who does she work for now? Is this more Japan bashing? Honda should demand video proof of her driving perhaps?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I noted that the claim was that the mileage got worse over time. Would you buy a car if you knew that over time it would be using 20-30% more gas?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"If I prevail and get $10,000"

She would have to drive 250,000 miles to spend $10,000 more in gasoline at 30mpg than at 50mpg.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I could understand and agree with those of you who say she is wrong in suing and should expect a mileage variance under different driving conditions, but a 20 mpg difference is entirely too much. Varying by as much as 10 mpg I can see, but 20? That's too much and should be challenged. I hope she wins.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

the problem is that the companies themselves are conducting the road tests in the most pristine conditions i.e straight, flat roads, no stop-go traffic, dry roads, etc.. the type of driving that happens probably less than 1% of the time. Or as stated before, only report the results from this particular type of test. While technically correct, the MPG they present will more than likely not be attainable in everyday driving

That being said, modern cars have the means to give you an avg km/liter (mpg) used on the info panel. So if you are thinking of buying a vehicle, take that car out for a test drive for like an hour and try to drive it how you anticipate you would, majority highway driving, city driving, etc.. this will undoubtedly give you a better indication of your fuel use. And as the car ages and the KM's start adding up, its efficiency will start to drop.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wow, seems like a lot of posters dont mind being BSed by manufacturers, you all must be turning Japanese & just taking it.

If she thinks she has a case I say go for it, there is far far too much BS & lies in advertising/marketing, why shudnt people make a stand, sounds to me like many here have been in Japan so long they are starting to think like the locals do too much of the time, shouganai, it aint just for the Japanese, ne!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@hworta269,

Honda's website claims the car gets 44 MPG. I think the lady is confusing another standard that was set upon the auto industry.

Great info! Now tell us what the website said BACK IN 2006 WHEN SHE BOUGHT THE CAR.

Torrance is a suburb of L.A. and therefore has hot summers. You don't buy a car in California and not use the air conditioner. Honda posted the federally mandated sticker on their cars, but that sticker is next to useless as the auto industry lobbied Congress heavily to ensure the law requiring the label was watered-down. One of those watered-down rules allowed car manufacturers to test using the absolute ideal conditions (level road, no wind, no accessories in use), and to prominently display the "highway" mileage while de-emphasizing the "city" mileage.

Here's how this lady's car model was tested (pre-2008 test procedure):

Two separate fuel economy tests simulate city driving and highway driving: the "city" driving program or Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule or (UDDS) is defined in 40 C.F.R. 86 App I and consists of starting with a cold engine and making 23 stops over a period of 31 minutes for an average speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) and with a top speed of 56 mph (90 km/h).

The "highway" program or Highway Fuel Economy Driving Schedule (HWFET) is defined in 40 C.F.R. 600 App I and uses a warmed-up engine and makes no stops, averaging 48 mph (77 km/h) with a top speed of 60 mph (97 km/h) over a 10-mile (16 km) distance. The measurements are then adjusted downward by 10% (city) and 22% (highway) to more accurately reflect real-world results.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_economy_in_automobiles#EPA_testing_procedure_through_2007)

You'll note that these are dynanometer tests. The car never even MAKES it to a road!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This suit highlights the fact that federal laws in the US have not been updated to include suitable measurement methods for hybrid cars. Fuel efficiency is not measured on an empty track at constant speeds as someone wrote above, but in a lab under controlled conditions defined by law. Those include a speed profile, which ideally should represent a typical use case. BTW, the profiles differ between different countries, so you cannot directly compare mileages between the US and Japan. Additional electrical power consumers like heating, car entertainment etc are generally not included, while since 2008 there is at least one test cycle with air conditioning. What works reasonably well (whatever you want to call reasonable in this context...) to compare fuel-only cars, fails for hybrid cars. There is no requirement about battery charge, which allows car makers to start the test cycle with a fully charged battery. Furthermore, for fuel-only cars gas mileage hardly changes over the lifetime of the car, at least when properly serviced, while the batteries in hybrid cars loose capacity and hence the electrical motor can be used less and less. Most probably Honda, like other makers of hybrid cars, has fully used these loopholes for marketing purposes, fostering the hybrid car hype.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This horrible twit should try sue the EPA which is entirely upon which the "sales force" claims were based. Honda does not provide EPA ratings nor does any auto maker. These are entirely provided by the EPA. The test that the ever dopey EPA perform were not especially good and they actually changed the measurement and ratings for the same vehicles one or two years after. Any fool knows that a car salesman has the right to specs and that obviously includes the published EPA mileage rating.

Also there is no perfect way to predict mileage which is entirely variable and driving dependent. Like many current and ex-lawyers, I am certain she is not the least bit bothered by the simplest of facts nor concerned with the slightest show of integrity, so the horrible exploitation of "lax standards" of small claims is what her "case" is all about. If the judge presiding over the "small claims" cases does not throw this out (since it is clearly not an individual case nor a "small" claim) then he or she should be reassigned to a role that bears the burden of no decision bigger than what socks to wear under their robe at the mental hospital.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

... typo... I meant "has the right to cite specs"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gonemad is right, the test is very tightly controlled and doesn't much represent the "real world". The other thing is that the manufacturers often design the cars to give the best possible economy ratings, so transmission upshifts and the fuel mapping are designed with the test in mind. This gives the whole vehicle "fleet" a better fuel economy rating and lets the manufacturer meet US federal targets.

If you look into the fuel economy of hybrid vehicles in any detail you learn that not only does the car cost more initially the battery will degrade and the fuel economy will drop. That means that, for most people, buying a hybrid doesn't make a lot of sense. One possible case would be a lot of stop-and-start driving with a owner that keeps the vehicle for only two years. That uses the battery to drive the car a lot but then gets rid of the car before the mileage drops.

Of course from a financial perspective a hybrid isn't cost effective in the US. The price of fuel is about $3.50 a gallon for "regular" gas. The cost of a hybrid is about $4000 more than a "normal" car. That's a lot of fuel to make up over the life of the car. For most people the numbers don't add up to real savings.

So the lawsuits (both class action and small claims) are by people who couldn't do the math, didn't read the fine print on the window sticker, and thus were fooled by the salespeople. Not sure if that is the basis for a lawsuit but lots of people win lawsuits when the blame falls to their own stupidity.

I note that the lawyers for the class action suit will collect $8.5 million. That's what this is really about, isn't it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet there are no cars produced by anyone that get the miles claimed.

I have a Toyoto Corolla, that believe it or not, gets the mileage claimed (I tracked it for 2 years). It can happen, but I do think some of the hybrid claims are clearly overstating the mileage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gonemad is not entirely right... after the EPA reset the entire method of measurement and rerated every 2008 car (with the same power train hybrid and non-hybrid) of earlier model years, the mileage is more reflective of actual driving. I know RX 450h owners that get the EPA rating without much effort of 30 mpg, and as a complete lead foot I got my own 25.9 MPG over a week of mostly city driving without the slightest concern for efficient driving style, and again this is in a very heavy SUV with 300 hp... and the same driving would have had me in the teens in my 01 TL which peaked 27 mpg on a long trip (doing 80 with the air on).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

An American suing over something. What a surprise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The tests I pointed out above were for 2007 and earlier (this lady's car was a 2006 model). Starting in 2008 the EPA changed the tests to include things that draw more power - like air conditioning. When a hybrid is running on battery, air conditioning is going to suck battery levels like a vampire. Faster battery drain = faster switch over to gasoline = lower MPG.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Typical yank and a lust of legal action.. ''My car is not getting 50mpg, I SUE YOU!!!'' Dumb b*tch your car is 5 years old and your only NOW making a complaint about it? What about the 5 previous years? I wonder what her driving style is like, if her boot was packed with junk, how bad the congestion is. This is LA afterall.

I say throw this case out of the window and just buy her a Happy Meal. 1. it make her happy. 2. She is american so she will like junk food.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Honda doesn't set the MPG rating, the EPA does, or should because they don't test all new vehicles. She's suing the wrong people which leads me to believe that she's just out for some free money, like most Americans. Interesting article on how they figure out a vehicle's MPG.

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-truth-about-epa-city-highway-mpg-estimates

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@GW

Wow, seems like a lot of posters dont mind being BSed by manufacturers, you all must be turning Japanese & just taking it.

I think it is the other way around in this case. Most people I know, understand completely what the numbers are (i.e. not what you wil get in real life), and are just not gullible enough to be sucked in. This woman on the other hand, is either daft, or just very scheming (I'm assuming the latter). The fact is that ALL manufacturers use the same system to quote the numebrs so if fuel efficiency is your measure, then you can choose the most cost effective and fuel efficient car to suit your budget. Nothing to do with being Japanese I think, just common sense?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gyouza,

clearly common sense is involved in all this & everyone knows manufacturers BS & that we need to factor it. Clearly hybrid cars arent worth the $$ but there are lots on the road here in Japan(ie many are buying BS hook line & sinker or have more $$ than brains). What I was surprised about is how many gaijin here seem to be totally ok with the BS systems now in place.

Again I realize most people who use their noodles can figure things out but I dont see a problem with this woman kinda taking it to the man so to speak, wudnt it be nice if she won a small victory & something good came of it, instead I see many here are fine with the crap as it is now, thats why I tossed out the turning Japanese bit, knew that wud raise a few hackles & a few rightfully so imo.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wudnt it be nice if she won a small victory & something good came of it

Hear what you are saying, but in all likeliness, if she won, it would open floodgates for copycat lawsuits that drain makers reserves and end up in manufacturers needing to raise prices. :(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@GW, "clearly hybrid cars aren't worth the $$" is a simple minded statement. Depends on the hybrid and the application and there are many other advantages apart from cruising range and fuel efficiency that are seldom considered by the car rags that mostly look only at the number of years of operation for a "payback" at a given assumption of a future cost of gas. Nothing good would come from any form of "victory" from this foolish and self-indulgent mental midget of a twit that is encouraging the misuse of small claims courts for grand theft. Hopefully the small claims judge will have a big enough brain to dismiss, and the class action is also bogus unless it's filed against the EPA. Perhaps someone can sue GM for an out of warranty lemon that does not run at all on the grounds that the broken down heap no longer achieves the promised fuel efficiency promised by the EPA. That would be no more nor any less stupid than this twit's crusade against Honda.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I dont see a problem with this woman kinda taking it to the man so to speak, wudnt it be nice if she won a small victory & something good came of it, instead I see many here are fine with the crap as it is now, thats why I tossed out the turning Japanese bit, knew that wud raise a few hackles & a few rightfully so imo.

This is clearly a frivolous case, an attempt to make a quick buck and the reason a lot of people don't like it is because, in the end, it is joe public who foots the bill with things like higher insurance premiums, higher prices and (if this case sets a precedent and eventually costs Honda $2 billion) a loss of jobs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

eric,

my little rant isnt targeted at Honda its more at any company that uses BS in marketing & sales & gets away with it, it isnt right.

As for hybrids I realize for most now they dont make economic sense but you have to start somewhere & go from there & hopefully they will turn that corner sooner rather than later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

billyshears,

i dont see anything frivolous about it, I see you have no problem with big business screwing consumers for PROFIT, but consumers shudnt rock the boat, call it like it is........... to hell with that man!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I havent read all the other comments above me so i might be repeating what others said but...

As much as i don't agree with this "Sue everyone, get what you can" mentality in the west because we all eventually pay for it, the only thing that these companies do listen to is money. If they are giving false claims at sale then they should lose the case, pay loads of money and stop BSing from here on out. When they say it gets 50mpg that should be an average not a maximum! They should say "30-50MPG". Where do you draw the line? "If you push it downhill, you'll get an infinite number of miles to the gallon!! Give us your money quick!"

I know its less money but internet companies are the same: "40,000Mps Broadband!(probably)Sign up now!!" and then when you sign up and get it up and running you have to wait ten minutes for a youtube video to buffer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Digging for gold..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites