Nightly News   |  February 03, 2012

Honda settlement may spur new lawsuit

Heather Peters, who sued Honda because her Civic hybrid didn’t get the gas mileage advertised, has been awarded nearly $10,000. But the legal action isn’t over yet.  NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we've been reporting on the woman who sued honda over the claim her civic hybrid would get 50 miles per gallon . she says her mileage was nowhere near that and she wasn't willing to accept a small class action settlement honda was proposing. she won in small claims court , but that's not the end of the story. here is nbc's kristen dahlgren.

>> reporter: when heather peters' 2006 honda civic hybrid didn't get the 50 miles per gallon she expected, the former lawyer opted out of a class action settlement and took honda to small claims court .

>> there are no lawyers. you get 15 minutes , half hour to kell your story in plain english . it's easy.

>> reporter: the judge agreed with peters in. a 26-page decision he cited a list of what he called misleading representations by honda . among them the car would use amazingly little fuel. peters was awarded close to $10,000, much more than $200 she would have gotten in the class action settlement.

>> wow! it was fantastic. i couldn't be happier. it was a victory for all honda civic owners.

>> reporter: in tampa, florida, jeffrey says he'll file a small claim against honda , too.

>> soon as i seen heather fought honda herself and was successful, i thought, i'm a pretty good talker. i think i'm going to give it a shot, too

>> reporter: heather says she will share her evidence online.

>> if every single litigant out there decided to bring a small claims court action, it could be very expensive for the corporate defendant.

>> reporter: while it may seem like a win for the little guy, this isn't over in. a statement, honda says it will appeal in. that courtroom, there will be lawyers.

>> i fully expect they are going to try and squash me like a bug.

>> reporter: honda insists act ul mileage depends on a number of factors, including how you drive. peters says now she's even thorough driven.

>> i really think all of us standing up together, we are really going to get heard.

>> reporter: a small claims win that could have huge implications. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles .