Honda Odyssey Class Action Lawsuit
The Honda Odyssey class action lawsuit alleges that American Honda Motor Company (NASDAQ: HMC) knew about the defective torque converters on the Odyssey as long ago as 2021, yet has not corrected the defect and, in fact, continues to actively conceal the defect from Honda customers.
Honda is currently selling the Odyssey with the option of a new CVT transmission. A representative of HON told an attorney of the class action lawsuit that the company has “no plans” to change the existing transmission or to retrofit a new CVT into the Odyssey. The statements directly contradict HON’s claim that it has sold the Odyssey with the CVT.
Honda Odyssey Class Action Lawsuit
According to the Honda Odyssey Class Action Lawsuit, the company failed to warn the Honda Odyssey customers of the potential defect and continue to hide the defect from them through various means. For example, HON created a safety brochure that warned of the “backside impact” of the CVT with the Odyssey, and the Honda Odyssey was marketed as a powerful car that “superior class.”
The CVT is not a super powerful car and does not have the special handling ability to outperform a Honda Odyssey in a straight line test. Yet, Honda has used the CVT in various segments of its advertising. In fact, the Honda Odyssey has been advertised as having the ability to travel up to seven miles per gallon of fuel in the “real world” when it does not have the CVT.
The class-action lawsuit further charges that HON misrepresented the strength of the Odyssey, the high fuel economy it could achieve, and the reliability of the CVT.
When the Odyssey was launched in the U.S. in late 2021, it featured the CVT as an option, which made it very popular among consumers. However, the CVT was not considered to be strong enough to allow the Odyssey to be classified as a “truck.”
In fact, the Odyssey was not certified to be a truck in the United States by the American Automobile Association (AAA). HON knew the Odyssey was not strong enough to meet the specifications required by federal law, but did not take the initiative to inform drivers of the Odyssey’s limitations.
If the class action lawsuit is true, HON should have been more careful with the marketing of the Honda Odyssey.
According to the complaint, HON should have informed Honda drivers of the CVT’s limitations, the dangers of driving the CVT, and the need to put any CVT through a thorough emissions inspection prior to being allowed to take it on the road. It should have also provided information about how drivers could avoid paying hefty fines if they were caught driving a Honda Odyssey illegally.
All of these facts would have changed the way drivers perceived the Honda Odyssey. If HON did not tell drivers about the Odyssey’s poor emissions ratings, or about the Odyssey’s size and lack of passenger space, these would have been issues for drivers to consider before taking the vehicle on the road. If HON did inform drivers of the legal risks involved with driving a Honda Odyssey, this could have indirectly helped to lower the Honda Odyssey Class Action Lawsuit.
The Class Action Lawsuit further claims that HON failed to provide any consumer reports regarding the performance of their product, or warnings that their product’s performance may vary from consumer reports.
HON also allegedly failed to conduct testing to prove the safety of their infotainment system or its infotainment features, and did not conduct any testing on their Odyssey’s safety features during the last three years prior to the sale of the Odyssey.
Despite all of this, HON allegedly sold over twelve hundred Odyssey units between 2021. While this seems like an awfully large amount of infotainment systems to sell so quickly, there is no telling if all of the drivers that buying these units experienced any problems. It’s also hard to know if there were problems with the devices after consumers took them home.
Despite these problems, the Honda Odyssey Class Action Lawsuit remains valid and may go to trial.
Should the plaintiffs win their case in the courts, they can potentially recoup damages for the injuries suffered as a result of the negligent actions of HON. Should HON be able to show that it is not at fault for the Odyssey’s defective performance, or that the plaintiffs had no cause for injury as a result of the Odyssey’s operation, the district court may dismiss the case altogether, however the plaintiff would still have to prove that there was a violation of the HON manufacturer’s warranty.