Statement from American Honda Motor Co., Inc., regarding the resolution of the January 3rd small claims trial in Torrance, CA
American Honda intends to appeal the decision in Peters v. American Honda due to the substantial factual and legal errors reflected in the written decision.
We regret that Ms. Peters is unhappy with the reported mileage for her particular driving experience. However, it is clearly pointed out on the federally required window label that accompanied her car that mileage will vary depending upon a number of factors including options, driving conditions, driving habits and vehicle condition. Those factors affect gas mileage for every car on the road today, hybrid or not. American Honda's advertising regarding fuel economy of Civic Hybrids was accurate when the vehicles were sold and remains accurate today.
There are a number of points of disagreement with the ruling, but the court stated in error that advertising EPA fuel economy estimates is misleading unless the advertising also explains the effects of stop-and-go driving and the use of air conditioning. In fact, federal law does not permit states or state courts to impose additional requirements of this kind. Thus, a Honda advertisement that accurately referenced EPA mileage estimates, truthfully stated that a driver can get "up to 50 mpg" and carefully noted that mileage will vary is not misleading as a matter of law.
American Honda is proud of the fuel saving capability of the Honda Civic Hybrid and is grateful to the many hybrid owners who have written to let us know how pleased they have been in achieving 50 mpg or more in real world driving conditions. In fact, Honda presented evidence of those customer letters in court to help demonstrate the real world capability of the vehicle. Our customers should rest assured that Honda will continue to pursue cutting-edge technologies and strategies to enhance their ability to achieve high levels of fuel efficiency in all of our products.
In conclusion and with all due respect to the court, American Honda believes that the judgment in this case is a radical and unprecedented departure from California and federal law, and, as stated above, we intend to vigorously appeal this decision.
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