Honda Civic hybrid owners may get as much as $200 in cash to settle claims that the car's fuel economy was wrongly advertised, according to a tentative ruling by a U.S. Superior Court judge in California to approve a settlement. A report by the Associated Press stated that between $100 and $200 will be given to the owners of around 200,000 Honda Civics from model years 2003 through 2009.
They will also get a rebate toward the purchase of a new Honda. In addition, the AP said that Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor approved $8.5 million in plaintiff attorney fees under the ruling issued last Thursday. In this tentative ruling, Taylor said that the plaintiffs would prefer to get more and that Honda prefers to not pay anything at all.
News about the class-action settlement was heard across the nation last January when 46-year-old Heather Peters of Los Angeles filed a $10,000 lawsuit against Honda in small-claims court in Torrance, Calif., which is where American Honda is based. Peters filed a claim that her 2006 Civic Hybrid didn’t achieve gasoline mileage expectations and the court ruled that she should get a $9,867 award.
The court said that Honda negligently misled Peters when it claimed that her hybrid would offer as high as 50 miles per gallon. Honda has appealed this case. Peters withdrew from the class-action settlement entered in September 2011 so that she could seek a bigger damage award.
The original class-action suit in 2007 asserted that the Civic's mpg didn’t reach expectations, similar to how Peters described her case. Honda has admitted that the battery used on the 2006-08 Civic Hybrids could “deteriorate and eventually fail" earlier than estimated. This makes it rely on the gasoline engine more, affecting its fuel economy.