Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Peters v. American Honda Motor Co.

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20100
Nos. 11S002156, (Super. Ct. Cal., 05/08/2012) (Gray, J.)

A California court overturned a small claims court's grant of damages in favor of a woman who filed suit against an automobile manufacturer for making fraudulent claims about her hybrid car's fuel economy and performance. The manufacturer's fuel economy ratings were obtained using the test method mandated by EPA, its advertising of those ratings comply with FTC regulations, and the majority of users of the car report mileage very close to the EPA estimates. In addition, a technician, using "normal" driving procedures, achieved an average of close to 50 miles per gallon in the same vehicle. And the manufacturer's use of advertising slogans such as "sipping fuel" or "amazingly little fuel" are non-actionable sales puffery. They are not specific promises of anything. The court, therefore, found in favor of the manufacturer.