A handful of Honda Civic Hybrid owners are suing the automaker over claims that the gas-electric hybrid's mileage reaches 49 miles per gallon in the city and 51 miles per gallon on the highway. The class action lawsuit claims that after almost 6,000 miles of driving, the Honda Civic Hybrid averaged 32 miles per gallon in city and highway driving, far from the advertised claims. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Riverside, California.
The lawsuit claims American Honda Motor Co. misled consumers in its advertisements and on its Web site. The suit points out that while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and automobile window stickers say "mileage will vary," some Honda advertisements read "mileage may vary" suggesting the advertised mileage claims are achievable. A Honda spokesman says the 49/51 figures are EPA numbers, not Honda numbers. Some customers achieve the EPA miles per gallon figures and some do not, as fuel economy performance is a function of conditions, traffic, driving style, load, etc. Last month, Honda announced it would discontinue the hybrid version of the Honda Accord later this year because of lack of sales.