A California man shocked that his Honda Civic Hybrid’s gas efficiency didn’t match EPA estimates has decided to file a class action suit against Honda for false advertising. John True spent an extra $7,000 on the hybrid model after seeing advertisements that claimed average city fuel efficiency of 49 mpg. True was horrified to discover that after 6,000 miles of driving, he only averaged 32 mpg.
The lawsuit claims American Honda Motor Co. has misled consumers in its advertisements and on its Web site. The suit notes that while the Environmental Protection Agency and automobile window stickers say “mileage will vary,” some Honda advertisements read “mileage may vary.” That implies that it’s possible to get the mileage advertised, said William H. Anderson, a Washington, D.C., attorney for True.
If John True did any research before plopping down the extra $7,000, he would have known that the EPA estimates are rarely accurate; Consumer Reports found that the actual performance of the Honda Civic Hybrid was 26 mpg, 46% below the EPA estimates. The EPA tests are based on outdated standards that always present overly optimistic estimates. The test will be tweaked to simulate realistic driving conditions starting with the 2008 model year.