Honda wins appeal of small-claims hybrid judgment over mileage claim


LOS ANGELES–A judge overturned a nearly US$10,000 small claims judgment against American Honda Motor Co. that was won by a car owner who said the automaker misre1presented that her hybrid Civic could get 50 miles per gallon (21 kilometers per liter), according to a ruling released Wednesday.

Superior Court Judge Dudley W. Gray II ruled Tuesday on Honda’s appeal of a court commissioner’s award of US$9,867 to Heather Peters. Gray’s ruling found, among other things, that Peters had standing to bring the case in state court, but it’s actually federal regulations that govern fuel economy ratings and related advertising claims.

Peters had opted out of a class-action settlement giving some 200,000 owners between US$100 and US$200 each, plus a rebate if they buy a new Honda. She elected instead to sue the automaker on her own.