Honda Vibration Lawsuits Consolidated Into MDL

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A number of lawsuits filed against Honda for the distracting vibration felt in their 2015 CR-V models were transferred into an MDL in the Southern District of Ohio by the JPML.

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - A motion to transfer request filed by plaintiffs alleging that 2015 Honda CR-V models exhibited a noticeable amount of distracting vibration has been transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) into an MDL based in the Southern District of Ohio federal court. The lawsuits claim that Honda, which may have been aware of the vibration issue, was not willing to give customers who purchased the vehicles full refunds even though the vibration issue was present from the time plaintiffs took the vehicles off the sales lot.

The Honda CR-V lawsuits come from a handful of states from around the country, including California, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that shortly after purchasing the Honda CR-V vehicles, they felt a strong vibration in the car that was not natural to the expected driving experience. The vibrations were felt in the back and legs of the driver and could be felt while the car was both in drive and idling.

Upon returning the car to the dealerships, the plaintiffs claim that Honda refused to give them a refund for the problem and began negotiations to buy back the car at $3,000 below its original sales price. The plaintiffs claim that they should have been given a full refund because Honda should have been aware of the issue that affected a large number of new Honda CR-Vs. The original list price of the CR-V was $30,000.

The vibration issues began to build toward litigation as more claims of the problem popped up nationwide. The transfer of the lawsuits into multidistrict litigation is likely to bring up even more cases as the news of the vibration issues spread to others who were affected by the alleged defect.

The lawsuits are claiming that Honda falsely advertised the details of the vehicle and since the vibrations were never mentioned, that defect should entitle plaintiffs to a full refund for their 2015 CR-Vs. When plaintiffs returned the cars to the dealer, the vibrations were blamed on a number of issues that were allegedly not related to design flaws but rather mechanical issues such as a faulty alternator shaft that wouldn‘t have triggered a refund for the customers.

The motion to transfer includes a number of tagalong actions that are likely to be included in the MDL own the line. The cases will be transferred in the Southern District of Ohio federal court before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson. Three plaintiffs supported centralization to the Southern District of Ohio, as well as the plaintiff in one tagalong action. Another plaintiff who opposed centralization all together did concede that if the cases were to be transferred, that the Southern District of Ohio would be their first choice.

The JPML determined that the Southern District of Ohio would best serve all parties as a convenient location for the MDL proceedings and decided to certify the lawsuits based on the common questions of fact all the lawsuits shared. The motion to transfer request was officially transferred on October 9.