SAN DIEGO, March 16 (LID) – A California judge approved a $170 million settlement Friday in a class action lawsuit alleging American Honda Motor Co. misled consumers about its Civic hybrid’s fuel efficiency.
The settlement provides owners of about 200,000 Honda Civic hybrids from model years 2003 to 2009 up to $200 each, in addition to a rebate up to $1,500 for purchase of a new Honda or Acura, and an extended warranty on the battery.
Additionally, California Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor in San Diego County awarded $8.5 million in fees to the seven plaintiffs’ attorneys from five law firms that litigated the case.
“Class counsel has a significant track record of successful representation of plaintiffs in class actions over many years,” Taylor wrote of class counsel. “This isn’t their first rodeo. They have pursued these claims for five years, plus.”
The long-running class action attracted widespread attention after an aggrieved Honda customer took her claims to small-claims court in Torrance, Calif., home to Honda’s American headquarters. She won $9,867 in damages.
The woman, Heather Peters, said she filed the small-claims complaint in Los Angeles County after opting out of the proposed class-action settlement because it would provide class members a paltry payout.
Over 1,700 class members opted out of the settlement by the Feb. 11 deadline to do so.
At the time a proposed settlement was announced, American Honda Motor Co. issued a statement, calling the agreement fair.
“We continue to believe that the class action settlement pertaining to the fuel economy of some early-model Civic Hybrid vehicles represents a very good resolution for our customers,” the company said.
The case is Logan and Anita Lockabey, et al. v American Honda Motor Co., No. 37-2010-00087755-CU-BT-CT, Calif. Superior Court (San Diego).
Information on the settlement terms is available at http://hchsettlement.com/Portals/0/Documents/3094_HCH%20Settlement_Notice_v7.pdf.