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Sounds too good to be true? Well if you’re a racer the news is probably music to your ears. Recognizing how popular the Civic Si has become in motorsport circles, particularly road racing, Honda Racing displayed a 2012 body-in-white Civic Si at SEMA last year and is now offering them up for $3500 a piece.
Following on from a practice used by other automakers, the body-in-white program is available exclusively to bona fide racers, and enables them to get a basic shell along with suspension, differential, brakes and a toe strap. It’s then up to them to add the rest such as the engine, gearbox, roll cage, instruments, seat, harness and other necessary equipment.
A California judge tentatively approved a settlement that would award between $100 and $200 to Honda Civic hybrid owners who joined the suit filed because of inflated gas milage claims by the Japanese automaker. The decisions also credits those owners with a voucher toward purchasing a new Honda.
Judge Timothy Taylor did not, however, agree with the claims by members of the suit who believed they should receive more money in light of Peters’ $9,867 judgment. Instead, he said settlements are about compromise.
“No doubt plaintiffs would have loved to have gotten more; certainly their counsel had every incentive to get as much as possible. … Honda undoubtedly has many arrows left in its quiver, and certainly would have preferred to pay nothing,” he wrote.
The settlement is for owners of Honda Civic hybrids spanning the 2003-09 model years and includes $8 million in plaintiff attorney fees, which is stirring controversy among some of the Civic owners who feel shorted.
As for Peters, Honda vowed to appeal the the small claims decision that landed in her favor, though news has yet to surface on progress in the case.
[Source: Detroit News]
Peters, a former LA attorney, believed that Honda negligently misled Civic Hybrid owners with fuel economy claims of 50 miles per gallon (the best mileage she claims she ever achieved was 42 mpg and following a software update, this dropped to around 30 mpg). When she got wind, that, in terms of a settlement for the issue, Honda was prepared to pay around $100 in rebate coupons towards the purchase of a new vehicle for Civic Hybrid customers, while it’s trial lawyers earned some $8.5 million, she filed suit.
Given her background, Peters chose to take the case to Small Claims Court, knowing full well that under California law, Honda would be unable to bring in a team of highly paid lawyers to defend its position.
Now, we’ve heard that Peters successfully won her court case and has been awarded damages of $9,867.19 (the maximum amount allowed in small claims court is $10,000). The outcome of this case could have a major impact on class action suits and cases handled through Small Claims Court, since it illustrates that well-informed plaintiffs have every chance of being vindicated in their disputes against large corporations.
However, despite winning her case, there are those who believe Peters might have a hard time collecting the money; Honda says it disagrees with the ruling that it negligently misled Peters over fuel economy claims and is now taking the case to the LA County Superior Court, where its highly paid legal team are permitted to challenge the Small Claims verdict.
Nonetheless, Peters says she isn’t done and wants other Civic Hybrid owners to file similar claims to her own, believing that, by facing multiple Small Claims suits in the state of California, Honda will have a multi-front legal battle on its hands, rendering it difficult if not impossible to mount a successful counter attack. Peters also says she’ll reactivate her state law license so she can represent other Civic Hybrid owners in court.
[Source: LA Times]
While it hasn’t exactly caught on with mainstream truck buyers, it appears that rumors of the Honda Ridgeline’s imminent demise are nothing but hearsay.
American Honda has now gone officially on the record, stating that such statements are utterly false. On October 4th, 2011, Sage Marie, manager for Honda Truck Planning declared in a statement that ”in no uncertain terms, the reports in the media that we have plans to discontinue the Ridgeline pick-up truck are false.
To the contrary, Ridgeline has a significant role in the Honda line-up and it is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. Ridgeline was developed to meet the needs of our customers. They have told us that it is important to offer a pick-up truck and Honda will remain committed to both the vehicle and the segment. Evidence to that fact is that we have announced the new 2012 Ridgeline will receive fresh styling cues, improved fuel efficiency, and even a new Sport model that promises to attract attention.”
Sage also went on to say that while it is still to early to talk about future plans “I can reassure that [the Ridgeline] will continue to build onto its fundamental strengths, and will remain an important part of the Honda product portfolio.”