Honda forced to cough up $9,867 over hybrid mileage claims

Last month, we reported that Southern California resident Heather Peters had filed a suit against Honda in small claims court.

Peters claimed Honda had misled her and other owners about the fuel economy the 2006 hybrid Civic Honda was supposedly capable of achieving: 50 miles per gallon.

According to Peters, while the vehicle promised as much as 50MPG in city driving, the best economy she was ever able to attain was in the low 30 mile per gallon range.

For its part, Honda insisted the 50 MPG figure was rated by the EPA during thorough testing.

The case was heard by Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan, who issued a 26-page decision earlier this week. Interestingly enough, Peters didn’t attempt to dispute Honda’s reasoning for using the 50MPG claim, but rather, chose to focus on the fact that the car manufacturer had splashed the dubious statistic across multiple marketing campaigns.

Peters also alleged Honda was fully aware the car wasn’t capable of achieving 50MPG in real world driving. Carnahan ultimately agreed with Peters and awarded the plaintiff a cool $9,867.

“At a bare minimum Honda was aware … that by the time Peters bought her car there were problems with its living up to its advertised mileage,” Carnahan wrote in the judgment.

The nearly $10,000 award granted to Peters was earmarked for money spent on fuel, the cost of the battery in the vehicle, and a projected decrease in value.

When notified of the judge’s decision Peters said, “Wow! Fantastic. I am absolutely thrilled. Sometimes big justice comes in small packages. This is a victory for Honda Civic owners everywhere.”

However, Peters’ joy may be short-lived, as Honda has already confirmed it plans to appeal the decision. The case is set to move out of small claims court, where the vehicle manufacturer will be permitted to field a massive legal team. TG Daily will keep you posted on further developments.