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Honda Hybrid Litigation

Practice: Consumer Protection
Phase: Current

On March 16, 2012, San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy B. Taylor granted final approval to a comprehensive settlement that resolves false advertising claims initially brought in a California federal court in 2007 as well as consumer claims first filed by Chimicles & Tikellis in August 2010 alleging that a July 2010 Honda software update to the Integrated Motor Assist (“IMA”) battery system negatively impacted the fuel economy and performance of the MY 2006-2008 Honda Civic Hybrids. The false advertising claims, brought under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), Cal. Bus. & Pro. Code § 17200, et seq., False Advertising Law (“FAL”), Bus. & Pro. Code § 17500, et seq., the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), Cal. Civil Code § 1750, et seq., and for common law Unjust Enrichment, allege that Honda advertised and marketed the Civic Hybrid in a disingenuous way, with inaccurate representations of fuel economy that the car simply did not achieve under normal driving conditions.

All persons who purchased or leased a Honda Civic Hybrid  model year 2003 through 2009 in the United States are included in the Settlement Class. The settlement resolves all of the claims in all of the above-described lawsuits, and supersedes a prior proposed settlement for which notice was mailed in October 2009. The settlement, valued by the court at approximately $170 million, entitles all class members to cash, cash equivalent, and additional non-cash benefits that are summarized in the tables below (for a full description of the settlement benefits, please visit www.hchsettlement.com).

Cash and Cash Equivalent Settlement Benefits

Eligible Class Members

Cash

Rebate Certificates (redeemable on the purchase of any new Honda or Acura vehicle)

MY 2003 – 2009
Settlement Class Members who are dissatisfied with the fuel economy of their HCH

$100

$500 (fully transferable)

–OR–

$1000 (non-transferable)

*MY 2006 – 2008
Settlement Class Members who received the Software Update and remain dissatisfied with the HCH

Additional $100

Additional $500 fully transferable rebate certificate

* MY 2006-2008 Settlement Class Members electing ADR Dispute Resolution (described below) will not receive these additional benefits

Additional Settlement Benefits

MY 2003 – 2008
Settlement Class Members

IMA Warranty Extension: These Settlement Class Members will receive a 12 Month/12,000 mile extension on the original IMA Battery Warranty, plus reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses on IMA repairs or replacements made during what would have been the extended warranty period.

MY 2003 – 2009
Settlement Class Members

Fuel Economy Video: All Settlement Class Members will be entitled to a video prepared and produced by Honda describing ways to maximize and optimize vehicle fuel economy.

MY 2006 – 2008
Settlement Class Members who received the Software Update and remain dissatisfied with the HCH

ADR Dispute Resolution: In lieu of the Additional Cash and Rebate Certificates available for MY 2006-2008 Settlement Class Members, these Settlement Class Members may instead elect to participate in a binding dispute resolution program (“ADR”) administered by Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (“JAMS”). Eligible Settlement Class Members choosing this option will be required to pay $250 towards JAMS’ mediation fees, but all other fees due to JAMS will be paid by Honda. There is no limit to the amount of damages that a MY 2006-2008 Settlement Class Member may seek in the ADR process.

UPDATE: The Effective Date of the Settlement was delayed five months by a single appeal filed on behalf of several class members. That appeal was voluntarily withdrawn on October 19, 2012, which became the Effective Date of the Settlement. As a result, the deadline for submitting claim forms and supporting materials is April 19, 2013. Claim forms are available on the settlement website at www.hchsettlement.com.  It should be noted that if any class member entered into a transaction or replaced an IMA battery while the appeal was pending and the Effective Date was delayed (i.e., between May 15 and October 19, 2012), you should still submit a proof of claim to the Claims Administrator (with a copy to Class Counsel) to seek your settlement benefits.

Claim Forms: Settlement Class Members may complete and submit their claim Forms to the Settlement Administrator. Claim Forms and other information is available on the settlement website at www.hchsettlement.com. Claim Forms may be submitted up through April 19, 2013.

 


Attorneys for this case:

Nicholas E. Chimicles
Alison Gabe Gushue

361 West Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041 | Phone: 610-642-8500
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