I’ll tell you, I don’t know how good your odds would be if you sued the maker of your car because you felt it didn’t meet the EPA mileage estimate, but this lady in SoCal appears to have a good shot.
I’ll tell you, Honda Civic Hybrid owners, The System wants you to take some worthless $100 coupon or whatever to compensate you for Honda messing up. The System doesn’t want you opting out of the national class action settlement.
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Choose or lose, Honda owners.
Normally a small claims case is just that – small – in fact, barely an annoyance to large corporations because damages are limited. However, one small claims case pending in the Los Angeles area is certain to get a lot of attention because it will be going to trial just when approximately 200,000 Honda Civic Hybrid owners are opening their mailboxes to find notices of a proposed class action settlement where the Honda owners would get no more than $200 cash and the lawyers would get $8.474 million!
One disappointed Honda Civic Hybrid owner in California who got wind of the tiny settlement offer in advance chose to opt-out of the class and paid $75 to file a small claims case instead. The trial was set for January 3rd, six weeks before the 200,000 Civic owners are set to decide if they want to stick with the class action or file their own suits which can often be done quickly and cheaply without lawyers. (Think Judge Judy where regular people get up and give a 15 minute version of their complaint in plain English and then get a decision from the court). This case will be one of the first under the new 2012 law allowing individuals to sue for up to $10,000 in small claims court in California.
Honda has attempted four different legal maneuvers to postpone the trial until after the deadline had passed for Hybrid owners to opt-out of the class action, but the Judge said “no” all four times and the trial will proceed as originally scheduled on January 3rd. If the Plaintiff in that case wins and gets awarded thousands of dollars in damages, then Honda will have a lot of explaining to do to justify paying other Hybrid owners just enough to cover a few tanks of gas instead of replacing the defective hybrid batteries at $3,000 a pop – roughly $600,000,000.00!”