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Greg Webb
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Lawsuit Against Honda Over Civic Hybrid Mileage Claims Goes Forward

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The owner of a Honda Civic Hybrid may proceed in a lawsuit against Honda for false advertising. A California appeals court held that, though Federal law prevents some lawsuits over disclosure of fuel economy standards, it does not preempt car manufacturers from being sued over everything they say about fuel efficiency. A trial court had granted summary judgment in favor of Honda on all claims in 2006.

Gaetano Paduano filed suit in 2005, alleging that his 2004 hybrid Civic achieved less than half the advertised city mileage of 47 miles per gallon and highway MPG of 48. Brochures for the vehicle stated that it could be driven like a conventional car and still achieve the advertised mileage. The opinion, however, said that a Honda customer service representative told Paduano that they had received a “high number of complaints about customers not receiving the posted and advertised mileage,” and that both Honda and Toyota had approached the EPA to change the mileage rating.

The federal preemption rule does not apply in this suit because the issue is on Honda’s claim that the car can be driven like a conventional vehicle and still gets the advertised mileage, the Fourth District Court of Appeals wrote.