Editor/Reporter - CheersamdGears.com
December 28, 2011
Heather Peters is angry with Honda. Her 2006 Civic Hybrid doesn't get its claimed EPA fuel economy and she isn't satisfied with a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement that would give lawyers $8.5 million while Civic owners would get as little as $100 and rebate coupons for the purchase of a new vehicle.
She could take Honda to court. But with Honda's army of lawyers, she wouldn't have a chance.
But, Peters has found a way to get a chance and keep Honda's lawyers out of the proceedings. On January 3 she'll take her case to Small Claims Court in Torrance, California and ask for the maximum compensation ($10,000) to compensate her for spending much more on gasoline than expected.
You might be wondering why going to Small Claims Court helps Peters avoids the army of lawyers. Well, California Small Claims Court law states parties must represent themselves and cannot use an attorney. That means Peters can deal with Honda directly.
Peters isn't stopping here though. She has started a website called DontSettleWithHonda.org and an Twitter account, DontSettleWithHonda giving owners a link to state-by-state instructions for filing these lawsuits.
"I want them to know they can file in Small Claims Court and that it is not so scary," Peters told the LA Times.
Some people are calling Peters’ plan a game-changer, not only for the automotive industry but for all large corporations in the U.S.
“This could create a lot of problems in the industry,” said Aaron Jacoby, a defense attorney at the Arent Fox law firm in Los Angeles who also heads the automotive industry group.
Not every state affords the same luxury as California's Small Claims Courts. But the efforts by Peters could prove costly and troublesome to automakers it it succeeds.
Source: LA Times