Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - A series of lawsuits filed against the car manufacturer Honda are currently pending before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) after a plaintiff filed a motion to transfer the lawsuits into an MDL. The allegations made against Honda claim that an engine defect in the 2015 model of the Honda CR-V causes the vehicle to undergo serious vibrations that can distract drivers. The lawsuits will be ruled upon by the JPML during their October 1 Hearing Session in New York City.
Lawsuits from California, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington are included in the motion to transfer, which was filed July 20 by plaintiff Linda Oakes of California. Plaintiffs have claimed that when they returned the vehicles to the Honda dealerships, the manufacturer was willing to purchase the cars for up to $3,000 less than the plaintiffs had originally paid for the cars. The lawsuits allege that the problems with the engines were at the fault of Honda and that those who purchased the vehicles should not have to suffer financially for a manufacturing error.
The vibrations referenced in the lawsuits occur when the car is in idle as well as in drive, and can be felt in the back and legs of the driver. Some claims say that the vibrations are simply an unwanted distraction and shouldn‘t be an element of a well-built vehicle. Others have claimed that the vibrations have affected them to the point of nausea.
The list price for the 2015 Honda CR-V is $30,000, the price plaintiffs paid for the new cars that are allegedly affected by the vibrations. When the vehicles were returned to the dealerships by plaintiffs, they claimed the mechanics blamed the vibrations on elements such as the alternator shaft and didn‘t treat the problem as a manufacturing problem in the engine. One plaintiff claim that they had the alternator shaft replaced and it had no effect on the vibrations throughout the car. Class member are seeking damages related to their troubles with the manufacturer and its dealing with the vibration problems, as well as attorney fees incurred over the duration of the proceedings.
The motion to transfer the lawsuits into an MDL is made up of six separate federal class actions nationwide. These lawsuits claim that Honda was aware of the vibration issues but chose to sell the vehicles at full market price anyways in hopes of fetching the highest profits possible for the malfunctioning cars. One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits claimed that the mechanics had indicated that the manufacturers were aware of the issues. These same mechanics were not able to remedy the vibrations even after possessing the plaintiff‘s vehicle for over a month.
The plaintiffs are claiming that Honda violated false advertising laws and a series of state unfair competition laws in failing to address the vibration problems and warn consumers of its presence. The lawsuits will be transferred before a single federal judge if the JPML decides to certify the motion to transfer the cases in the multidistrict litigation. The plaintiff that filed the motion to transfer requested that the motion be consolidated in the Central District of California federal court.