- Feb. 9, 2012 -
Consumers that purchased or leased a Honda Civic Hybrid model year 2003 through 2009 are automatically members of the Settlement Class in the Class Action lawsuit against American Honda Motor Company. This settlement can severely impact (remove) a consumer’s right to file a lawsuit against Honda over their vehicle if they do not ‘opt-out’ of the Class.
The most important question is: Which owners of Honda Civic Hybrids should consider ‘opting-out’
of the ‘class’, and using the ‘lemon law’ instead? The answer lies in the owner’s problems with the vehicle (repeated trips back to the dealer for warranty repairs), and their equity in the vehicle. Equity is the amount of money the consumer has had to put towards buying/financing/
leasing the vehicle. This includes down-payment/
lease inception, value from a trade-in, and all the monthly payments (which include interest-paid)
that have been made by the consumer on their vehicle loan/lease. This, for most consumers is a very sizeable sum of money, running into the thousands – or tens of thousands. Adding to this is that the automobile manufacturer must pay off any existing loan/lease balance in a lemon law case/lawsuit. So, in short – almost everyone should take advantage of ‘opting-out’
of the class while they still can!
Consumers should know that timing is of the essence to ‘opt-out’. The cut-off date for postmarking the ‘opt-out’ letter a consumer sends is February 11th, 2012 . Why is it so important to ‘consider opting-out’? To answer this question, we must take a general overview of what you would get it you stay ‘in’ the class vs. ‘opting-out’
. Staying ‘in’ the ‘class’ gets you $100, a video on how to drive your hybrid, and a voucher for a discount on a future Honda purchase. Great for Honda - not so great for the consumer. By remaining ‘in’ the ‘class’, the owner still has the same battery deterioration/
fuel mileage decrease issues as a result of the “IMA Software Update”. What does the consumer get if they ‘opt-out’ of the ‘class’? The vehicle owner regains control of their legal rights, and gives them the ability to contact a lemon law attorney to bring a lemon law lawsuit against American Honda to buyback (repurchase)
their Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle. Of course their vehicle would need to meet lemon law criteria for the state in which they acquired the car and had repairs to the hybrid system performed. Automobile lemon law attorneys almost always offer a free evaluation of the merits of the claim to consumers. Lemon Law attorneys for all 50 states who provide free evaluations can be found at http:"//www.LemonLawsUSA.com
If a consumer ‘opts-out’
and pursues their states ‘lemon law’ through a lemon law attorney, they stand the potential to receive a buyback of their Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle, and a refund of their monies. In some cases other types of settlements are possible, such as a substantial cash payout and the ability to retain the vehicle. Information on the Civic Hybrid Class Action Settlement can be found here: http://www.hchsettlement.com/Portals/0/Documents/3094_HCH...
, and here: http://www.hchsettlement.com/
Consumers who would like more information and insight on what may be happening with their vehicle’s hybrid battery system can read this article, which investigates the Honda Civic battery deterioration issue, and about the battery system itself can be found at: bit.ly/
Consumers across the nation have been crying ‘foul’ on Honda’s responsiveness and ‘fix’ (software update) to their Civic Hybrids. Consumers need to know that they can fight the big car companies, and do not have to cave-in to minimal payout’s that Class Action Lawsuit settlements typically deliver.
Randy Sottile is a recognized Lemon Law Auto Expert, and has worked on over 11,000 lemon law cases. His website is: www.lemonlawautoexpert.com.
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