Car Owner Spurns Lawyers, Takes On Honda Herself

She's going to small-claims court over hybrid mileage
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2011 4:05 PM CST
File photo of a Honda Civic hybrid.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Los Angeles Times says it has the potential to become a "small-claims flash mob"—and a major headache for the auto industry along with attorneys looking for a fat payday: A California woman is spurning a proposed class-action settlement and instead taking Honda to small-claims court because her 2006 Civic hybrid hasn't performed as advertised. Under state rules, she won't have to go up against a team of high-powered lawyers. It will be her against a company representative who is not an attorney.

Even worse for Honda—and other companies who might get hit with a similar legal attack—Heather Peters is educating Honda owners across the country how to do the same via her website. Under the proposed class-action deal, Honda would pay most owners of '03-'09 Civic hybrids $100 each and give them rebate coupons for another purchase, all because some models haven't come close to the promised 50mpg. Attorneys involved with the settlement would get about $8.5 million, notes the LAT. Peters wants Honda owners to reject the deal (it still needs final approval from a judge) and instead go the small-claims route. (Read more small claims court stories.)

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