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Judge rules Honda overstated hybrid fuel economy

Heather Peters won a suit in small claims court against Honda, claiming the company misled her through fraudulent advertising into buying a Civic Hybrid.


A judge in California awarded $9,867 to a woman who sued Honda in small claims court, with the complaint that her Civic Hybrid did not achieve the fuel economy advertised by Honda.

A class action lawsuit against Honda is currently being argued over the Civic Hybrid's fuel economy advertising. But Heather Peters decided to bring her own suit over the issue in small claims court.

Honda based its advertising on the EPA test figure, which estimated 50 mpg for the Civic Hybrid in the city. Peters argued that her 2006 Civic Hybrid achieved much less than the advertised mileage.

The Judge cited a number of Honda's advertised claims about the Civic Hybrid's fuel economy in his decision. According to an Associated Press article, his decision took Honda to task over phrases such as buyers saving "plenty of money on fuel with up to 50 mpg during city driving."

Honda plans on appealing the decision.

It is common practice for automakers to advertise EPA test cycle numbers for their vehicles. Automakers and vehicle owners who feel their cars are not performing at the advertised fuel economy will be watching the outcome of this possibly precedent-setting suit.

(Source: Associated Press)