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Honda Settles in Class Action Lawsuit Over Inaccurate Odometers

February 21, 2007

Honda is notifying 6 million owners of Hondas and Acuras that they are entitled to warranty extensions and, in some cases, payments because odometers in their vehicles rolled up miles too fast, USA Today reports. Odometer inaccuracy made warranties expire too soon and hit some lease customers with excess-mileage penalties. James Holmes of Henderson, Texas, a lawyer in the lawsuit that prompted Honda's settlement suspects odometers are deliberately set fast to help automakers trim warranty costs. But the car companies say they're just following an industrywide standard that allows variation in odometer accuracy by a few percent. The Society of Automotive Engineers' voluntary standard is plus or minus 4 percent, or no more than 4 miles high or low in every 100 miles. Honda says its odometers were accurate to within 3.75 percent on the high side and 1 percent on the low side, within the SAE standard. But it says it will extend the warranty mileage 5 percent and will pay lease-mileage penalties due to fast odometers, at least $6 million just for overcharges on vehicles leased directly from Honda, according to USA Today. Starting with '07 models, Honda tightened its odometer accuracy and centered in on 0 percent, according to a spokesman. A U.S. district court in Texas will likely accept the settlement this summer, Holmes says.
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