In Honda’s oil consumption case in California, plaintiffs have alleged that the car manufacturer repeatedly violated emissions standards and concealed evidence of these violations. The complaint names Honda as a defendant, and lists five class action lawsuits filed in different court systems. These suits are based on allegations that Honda knowingly sold cars with illegal exhaust systems and intentionally violated California’s Air Pollutant Reduction Program (APR’s). The complaint further alleges that Honda advertised exhaust systems on their cars for consumers to buy but actually installed illegal exhaust systems. This act allegedly constituted sales of deceptive products in violation of the California Fair Deal Act. The complaint further claims that Honda advertised a newer version of their gas-powered Civic without disclosing that the car actually came with an illegal exhaust system.
On May 3, the plaintiffs received a judgment in their Honda oil consumption lawsuit against Honda.
The judge in this case ordered Honda to redesign the exhaust system on their cars so as to comply with the emissions standards set forth by the EPA and to provide refunds to Class Action members who purchased cars with illegal exhausts. The judgment also requires Honda to refrain from manufacturing any new cars until the matter is settled.
One week after receiving the judgment, Honda applied for leave to appeal. On July 7, the appeals court denied Honda’s appeal, stating, “A reasonable person would find it likely that the manufacturer could prevent the vehicle defect from reoccurring.”
The three judges on the panel voted to deny Honda’s appeal. On August 4, the three-judge panel issued its opinion in a detailed report, stating that it was “not convinced that a reasonable person would find it likely that the manufacturer could prevent the vehicle defect from reoccurring.”
In response to the dismissal of the Honda oil consumption lawsuit, attorney Christianheimer stated, “This is obviously a disappointment.
We thought that the complaint had been appropriate and would have been very successful if not for the Circuit Court’s denial of summary judgment. Honda is extremely disappointed with the outcome of this litigation. We will evaluate our next steps after we receive the Circuit Court’s decision.”
Currently, no damages have been awarded in the oil consumption lawsuit against Honda.
There was never a discovery phase to recover damages, and Honda never had to reimburse for the cost of litigating the case. Attorney Christianheimer is currently preparing a motion to dismiss the complaint on the basis that it fails to meet the requirements required under the statute of limitations. He expects the suit to be dismissed at some point during the litigation.
The case has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, but is being tried in federal court in San Bruno, California.
An expert in environmental law, Michael J. Webster has performed extensive research regarding the oil consumption lawsuit against Honda. Mr. Webster contends, “There is no basis for liability for the emissions of HID (high intensity discharge) fuel and that the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] failed to establish that Honda intentionally violated any regulations.” Webster is also of the opinion, “Honda could face serious penalties and consequences for failing to comply with federal regulations.” Currently, according to Mr. Webster, there is no evidence linking Honda to the gas-to-air explosion that occurred near engine failure during flight. The case is currently scheduled for trial sometime within the next two years.