Honda Offers $500 to Previous Hybrid Owners ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Honda Offers $500 to Previous Hybrid Owners

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Honda Offers $500 to Previous Hybrid Owners

Honda is offering a $500 rebate to 2003-2007 hybrid Civic owners as the result of a lawsuit against it. A Honda Civic Hybrid owner from California was upset he was not achieving the mpg numbers 'promised' him and brought a lawsuit against Honda.

At the time, I thought it was a ridiculous lawsuit, given Honda doesn't make the claims. Cars are rated by the EPA.

But as part of a settlement (Source: Reuters), Honda will now offer $500 in rebates or $100 in cash for previous Civic Hybrid owners if they are willing to buy a new hybrid from Honda.

MPGs are determined by the driving conditions, the tire pressure, the road conditions, the oil changes, whether you have the windows open or closed, turn the air conditioner on, what you have in the trunk, what speed you are driving, if it's windy out, etc... For someone to bring a suit against a car company because they advertised, legally, the fuel economy numbers as set by the EPA... I don't know what to think.

The EPA adjusted the fuel economy numbers of all cars a short time ago, when they realized their testing was setting too high a standard for all cars. Hybrids mpg numbers fell more than other cars, but then, they had farther to fall than most cars. Hypermilers were achieving higher than the ratings then, and they're still doing it now.

I can't agree with the writers conclusions more (see the Reuters article I linked to above). Plug-in hybrid car makers had better start being careful about the numbers they throw out. The 230 mpg claimed by GM for the Volt is ridiculous on the face of it and dangerous in the short and long term. If anyone goes into a dealership expecting to get 230 mpg with the car they drive out with, GM is in for a lot of trouble.

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