AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
A new class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of purchasers of Ford vehicles equipped with the MyFord Touch infotainment system, alleging that vehicles equipped with the systems are plagued with serious defects. News of the filing comes on the same day Ford has admitted its hybrid Fusion and C-Max models do not live up to their bold fuel economy claims.
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]
In the latest update of what has already been a two-year class action lawsuit against BMW, the law office carrying out the suit is insisting that victory is not enough.
The dispute, which centered around faulty high-pressure fuel pumps and waste gates in an estimated 200,000 BMWs with twin turbos, came to an unsuccessful settlement. BMW offered to pay between $50 and $400 or to offer up to $800 in BMW vouchers to each customer and to fix the defect free of charge, a paltry sum that failed to satisfy the Law Offices of Hovanes Margarian, which said the offer asks class members to waive their legal rights without being properly informed.
Instead Margarian is insisting on increasing the penalty paid out by BMW to $1.14 billion, a $72 million increase. The firm is also insisting that the case be reviewed and sub-divided so that affected parties in states with lemon laws call for significant if not total remuneration may enjoy the benefits those laws entail, as well as class members who qualify for larger compensation and those who qualify for smaller awards.
The objection to BMW’s offer is scheduled for March 16.
Click back to AutoGuide for ongoing coverage.
She’s had it with Honda, and Heather Peters, a former lawyer, hopes her unusual legal approach will garner as much as 10 times the cash reward and potentially serious consequences for the company if others follow her lead.
Peters, unlike the hundreds of Civic Hybrid owners who joined class action suits, decided to take Honda to small claims court over her 2006 Civic Hybrid achieving sub-par mileage. The car is said to get 50 mpg, but according to Peters, her car never came close and only managed 30 mpg as the battery wore.
Her choice seemed more attractive after finding out that people taking part in the suit would probably only receive about $200 cash and a $750 to $1000 rebate incentive to buy a new Honda. She aims to be awarded the maximum $10,000 allowed as of 2012 in California small claims court.
While taking the Japanese car giant to court might seem sort of senile, Peters is far from crazy. The first fist in her corner is that she has a legal background, so she will be able to prepare a case better than your average Honda customer. Second, California small claims court doesn’t allow lawyers, so Honda will have to keep their legal crack shots at home. Third, as Richard Cupp Jr., who teaches product liability law at Pepperdine University, told the associated press, ”the judge will have a lot of discretion and the evidentiary standards are relaxed in small claims court.”
It’s true that most people probably won’t have the time, education, or energy to take Peters’ path against Honda. If she succeeds and others choose to take similar action, she estimates that it could cost Honda as much as $2 billion. For now, she’s launched a site to promote her cause: DontSettleWithHona.org.
As for her future car plans, she is willing to trade her Civic for a comparable car with a manual transmission because it’s all she trusts anymore.
Back in 2008, a member of NAGTROC posted that his local Nissan dealer wanted to charge him $20,000 to fix his GT-R’s busted transmission, which broke because he used the launch-control feature with the VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) off. The owner, a Mr. Torres, claimed that as the advertised 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds could only be achieved with the launch control and VDC off, he was within his rights and the part should be fixed by Nissan under warranty.
Nissan refused and even forced owners to sign a form saying that driving with VDC off could void their warranty, unless VDC was turned off in order to get out of mud or snow.
Not satisfied with his situation, Torres took Nissan to court in a class action lawsuit, which was settled in September of last year. The details of that settlement have now been made public.
In it, Nissan denies all fault, stating that, “Nissan denies all the allegations in the lawsuit. More specifically, Nissan denies that there was a design or manufacturing defect, denies misrepresenting the performance capabilities of the 2009 GT-R, and denies that it refused to honor customer warranties for resulting damage without disclosure.”
As a result of the settlement, Nissan is now offering 2009 GT-R owners an upgrade to their transmission software. Nissan will also not deny warranty coverage for those who used their GT-R with the VDC off prior to receiving notice from Nissan. Then, in the best slap-in-the-face you can get from a car company, Nissan tossed in a $75 coupon for owners who sign the paperwork to get the transmission upgrade.
As for Torres, he did manage to come out on top, with Nissan agreeing to pay him a total of $31,500, including $25,000 for the transmission.
Hit the link below to see the documents.