FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HONDA CIVIC HYBRID FUEL ECONOMY CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

The Honda Civic Hybrid Fuel Economy Class Action Settlement will, if finally approved, resolve a lawsuit pending in the Superior Court of Québec in Courtemanche. v. Honda Canada Inc. & al., Court File of the Superior Court of the District of Montreal, Province of Quebec, No. 500-06-000601-126.

These Frequently Asked Questions and answers explain in more detail how the settlement works for members of the Settlement Class, and are provided for your information and convenience only. Your rights and obligations as a member of the Settlement Class are described in detail and are governed by the Settlement Agreement. In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between these Frequently Asked Questions and answers and the proposed Settlement Agreement, the terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreement shall govern.

What is a class action lawsuit?

In a class action, one or more people called “petitioner(s)” sue on behalf of others who form a group and who may have similar claims. The Petitioner must seek authorization of the Court to represent the class members. One leading decision resolves the general similar issues for all of the class members, except for class members who opted out and thereby excluded themselves from the class action. In the present matter, the Petitioner is Ms. Hélène Courtemanche.

What is the Honda Civic Hybrid Fuel Economy Class Action lawsuit about?

The lawsuit involves 2003 through 2009 model year Honda Civic Hybrid vehicles (the “Vehicles”). It is alleged that the fuel economy estimates advertised by Honda Canada Inc. for the Vehicles could not be achieved under normal driving conditions and that the advertisements were, therefore, false or misleading. It is also alleged that the Integrated Motor Assist Battery system in the 2006 through 2008 model year Vehicles (the “IMA Battery”) was defective and that a software product update issued by Honda Canada Inc. on or about August 2010, adversely affected the performance and fuel efficiency of the 2006 through 2008 model year Vehicles.

Honda Canada Inc. does not admit and expressly denies these allegations. The Court has not decided who would win the lawsuit if it went to trial. The lawsuit never went to trial and was never decided on the merits.

Why is the lawsuit being settled?

The parties on both sides decided that a settlement was a better solution than the uncertainty and expense of litigation. The Petitioner and her counsel believe that the proposed Settlement Agreement is fair and reasonable and in the best interests of all the potential members of the Settlement Class.

Why is this a “proposed” Settlement Agreement?

Even though the terms of the Notice have been approved by the Court, the Settlement Agreement is only “proposed” at this point because it still has to be approved by the Court. This step will be the subject of a later Court hearing called a “Final Approval Hearing” which is anticipated to be held on October 30, 2014. At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will make a decision about whether the settlement is fair and reasonable and in the best interests of the potential members of the Settlement Class and whether it should be finally approved. The decision of the Court will become final if no appeal is lodged against it within thirty (30) days. Any change in the date of the Final Approval Hearing will be posted on this website.

Who can be a member of the proposed Settlement Class?

You can be a member of the proposed Settlement Class if:

  • You are a current or former owner or lessee in Canada of a 2003 through 2009 model year Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle; and
  • You are dissatisfied with the fuel economy achieved by your Vehicle; and/or
  • For a model 2006 to 2008, you are dissatisfied with the performance of your IMA Battery and/or the software product update issued by Honda Canada Inc. on or about August 2010; and
  • You do not opt out of the proposed Settlement Agreement.
What is offered under the terms and conditions of the proposed Settlement Agreement?

Under the terms and conditions of the proposed Settlement Agreement, potential members of the Settlement Class may receive four kinds of benefits, which are more fully described in the Notice:

  1. Cash payments

    All members of the proposed Settlement Class who are dissatisfied with the fuel economy they have achieved in their 2003 through 2009 model year Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle may become entitled to receive a Cash Payment of $100.00. Members of the proposed Settlement Class with a 2006 through 2008 model year Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle who are dissatisfied with the performance of the IMA Battery in their vehicle or the software product update issued by Honda on or about August 2010 may become eligible to receive an additional Cash Payment of $100.00.


  2. Redeemable Rebate Certificates

    1. Option A Redeemable Rebate Certificate

      Members of the proposed Settlement Class may become eligible to receive a $1,000.00 rebate certificate on the purchase or lease of a new Honda or Acura vehicle from an authorized Honda or Acura dealer in Canada, after the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final and before the date of expiration on the Option A Rebate Certificate ("Redemption Period"). The Option A Rebate Certificate will be redeemable by mail through the Claims Administrator within twelve (12) months of the date of issuance. To become eligible to receive payment of the $1,000.00 rebate identified in the Option A Rebate Certificate, the member of the proposed Settlement Class will have to (1) sell or trade his or her Class Vehicle in a bona fide arm's length transaction and (2) purchase or lease a new Honda or Acura vehicle from an authorized Honda or Acura dealer in Canada, during the Redemption Period. The Option A Rebate Certificate is non transferable and may only be redeemed by the member of the proposed Settlement Class on or before the expiration date on the face of the certificate.

      The Claim Form describes the materials to be submitted and is available on this website.

    2. Option B Redeemable Rebate Certificate

      In the alternative to the Option A Rebate Certificate, members of the proposed Settlement Class may become eligible to receive a $500.00 rebate certificate on the purchase or lease of a new Honda or Acura vehicle from an authorized Honda or Acura dealer in Canada, after the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final and before the date of expiration on the Option B Rebate Certificate ("Redemption Period"). The Option B Rebate Certificate will be redeemable by mail through the Claims Administrator within twelve (12) months of the date of issuance. Option B Rebate Certificates are fully transferable and saleable by members of the Settlement Class only and can be redeemed by any transferee subject to the same terms as the member of Settlement Class, provided that transferees may redeem only one (1) certificate. An Option B Rebate Certificate can only be transferred once. The member of the proposed Settlement Class does not need to sell or trade his or her Class Vehicle to claim or redeem his or her $500.00 Option B Rebate Certificate. Option B Rebate Certificates must be redeemed on or before the expiration date on the face of the Option B Rebate Certificate.

      The Claim Form describes the materials to be submitted and is available on this website.
    3. Additional Option B Redeemable Rebate Certificate Available to Members of the Settlement Class with a 2006 through 2008 Model Year Honda Civic Hybrid Vehicle

      Members of the proposed Settlement Class with a 2006 through 2008 HCH may also become eligible to receive an additional fully-transferable $500.00 Option B Rebate Certificate pursuant to the same terms and conditions as the other Option B Rebate Certificates, which can be combined with either an Option A Rebate Certificate or another Option B Rebate Certificate pursuant to the same terms set forth above. Members of the proposed Settlement Class with a 2006 through 2008 HCH claiming more than one Option B Certificate may not transfer both certificates to the same transferee.
  3. Reimbursement of Full Costs of Parts and Labour

    If the IMA Battery in a 2003 through 2006 model year Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle was replaced following the expiration of the operative limited warranty on the IMA Battery of the 2003 through 2006 model years Honda Civic Hybrid Vehicle (1) within the period that a distance of twenty thousand (20,000) additional kilometres was driven or (2) within a period of twelve (12) additional months, whichever came first, but before the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final, the members of the proposed Settlement Class with a 2003 through 2006 model year Honda Civic Hybrid Vehicle will be entitled to reimbursement of full costs of parts and labour as if the operative limited warranty on the IMA Battery warranty had been in effect when the replacement took place.

    The Claim Form describes the materials to be submitted and is available on this website.


  4. Warranty Extension

    When the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final, members of the Settlement Class with a 2006 through 2008 model year Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle will automatically receive an extension of the operative limited warranty on the IMA Battery of their respective 2006 through 2008 model year Honda Civic Hybrid Vehicle, which is still in effect when the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final. The length of the warranty extension will be for 20,000 additional kilometres or 12 additional months, whichever comes first (the “Extended Warranty Period”). If the IMA Battery of a potential member of the proposed Settlement Class with a 2006 through 2008 model year Honda Civic Hybrid Vehicle was replaced during what would have been the Extended Warranty Period, but before the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final, the member will be entitled to reimbursement of costs of parts and labour as if the Extended Warranty Period had been in effect when the replacement took place. To obtain reimbursement of these amounts, the member of the Settlement Class with a Honda Civic Hybrid Vehicle model year 2006 to 2008 shall submit a Claim Form supported by the appropriate documentation, including the proof of payment thereof.

    The Claim Form describes the materials to be submitted and is available on this website.

    In addition, promptly after the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final, Honda Canada Inc. agrees to review all of the future advertising of fuel economy for Honda Civic Hybrid vehicles created by or at the direction of Honda Canada Inc. in order to modify any disclaimer language accompanying the representations of kilometres per litre from "actual mileage may vary" to "actual mileage will vary." Honda Canada Inc. agrees to use the modified language for a period of no fewer than twenty-four months from the date that the proposed Settlement Agreement becomes final.
If I replaced the IMA Battery, what information do I need to include with the Claim Form?

If you are seeking reimbursement of full costs of parts and labour for the replacement of the IMA Battery, you must provide satisfactory documentation, such as invoice, receipt, work order, or comparable similar documents in support of your completed Claim Form.

How do I participate in the proposed Settlement Agreement?

You may be eligible to participate in the proposed Settlement Agreement if you submit to the Claims Administrator a timely and valid Claim Form and the supporting documentation by May 30, 2015. More details are outlined in the Notice.

How and when do I submit my Claim Form?

You must submit your Claim Form by mail to the Claims Administrator along with the supporting documentation. These materials must be delivered to the Claims Administrator by May 30, 2015.

How will I know that my Claim Form has been received and will be processed?

Once your Claim Form is received, the Claims Administrator will review your Claim Form and will notify you of any missing information required to process your claim.

What if the Claim Form I submitted is incorrect?

The Claims Administrator will give you the opportunity to cure any defects in your Claim Form.

Do I have to participate in the proposed Settlement Agreement?

No. If you do not wish to participate in the proposed Settlement Agreement, you have two options:

  1. You can do nothing

    If you do nothing, you will give up your right to sue over the issues raised in the lawsuit and will not receive any benefits under the proposed Settlement Agreement.
  2. You can opt out of the Settlement Agreement

    If you would like to opt out of the proposed Settlement Agreement and preserve your individual right to sue, you must submit a written request to opt out that includes: (a) your name, address, telephone number and e-mail; and (b) the model year and vehicle identification number (VIN) of your Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle. All requests to opt out must also contain a signed statement that: “I hereby elect to opt of the Honda Civic Hybrid Fuel Economy Class Action, do not wish to be a member of the Settlement Class, and elect to be excluded from any judgment entered pursuant to the settlement in Courtemanche. v. Honda Canada Inc. & al., Court File No. 500-06-000601-126.” All requests to opt out must be sent by pre-paid mail, courier or fax to BOTH the Claims Administrator and to the Clerk of the Superior Court of Québec no later than December 29, 2014.

Can I tell the Court what I think about the proposed Settlement Agreement?

Yes. If you are a member of the proposed Settlement Class and do not opt out of the class action, you have the right to object to the proposed Settlement Agreement or any of its terms. Any objection must be in writing and must be served to the parties’ lawyers no later than October 8, 2014. The procedure for doing so is outlined on page 6 of the Notice.

Will I still have the right to bring an individual lawsuit about fuel economy advertising concerning my 2003 through 2009 model year Honda Civic Hybrid or the IMA Battery in my 2006 through 2008 model year Honda Civic Hybrid if I participate in the proposed Settlement Agreement?

No. The proposed Settlement Agreement provides for a “release” of all claims relating to (a) the fuel economy advertisement for 2003 through 2009 model year Honda Civic Hybrid vehicles and (b) the IMA Battery and (c) the software product update of 2006 through 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid vehicles. This means you would not be able to sue over for any monetary losses you might incur or already have incurred as a result of the released claims.

Does filing an objection exclude me from the settlement?

No. If you object to the proposed Settlement Agreement, and it is approved, you will still receive the benefits from any settlement approved by the Court.

Will I have to pay fees to the lawyers representing the class in the lawsuit?

No. Under the proposed Settlement Agreement, Honda has agreed to pay a nominative amount for the fees and expenses of the lawyers for the Petitioner, subject to court approval. But if you hire a lawyer to help you, you will do so at your own expense.

When can I expect to receive the benefits to which I would be entitled?

Assuming that the Court approves the proposed Settlement Agreement on October 30, 2014 and that no one files an appeal and assuming that you have provided all supporting documentation:

-if you are seeking a cash payment(s) and/or a redeemable rebate certificate(s), you can expect to have your approved claim processed and receive these benefits starting January 2015;

-if you are entitled to an extension of the warranty on the IMA Battery of your Honda Civic Hybrid vehicle, this benefit will be granted to you automatically; and/or

-if you are seeking reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for full costs of parts and labour for the replacement of the IMA Battery in your Honda Civic Hybrid Vehicle, you can expect to have your approved claim processed and receive reimbursement sometime after December 29, 2014.

Once you receive the benefits you can no longer opt out of the settlement.

Do I have to go to the Final Approval Hearing?

No. Unless you object to the proposed Settlement Agreement or unless you opt out of the class action, as a member of the Settlement Class, you will be represented at the Final Approval Hearing by Class Counsel. However, you may still attend if you wish.

What if I have other questions about the proposed Settlement Agreement or my claim?

You can find information on this website, www.hchsettlement.ca. You can also contact the Claims Administrator by calling toll free 844-888-5605, or by writing to:

Honda Canada Inc.
180 Honda Blvd.
Markham, ON L6C 0H9
E-mail: CivicHybrid@ch.honda.com
Fax: (905)888-4454
Attn: Customer Relations, Honda Civic Hybrid Class Action Settlement


DISCLAIMERS

Please do not contact the Court with questions about this settlement. All callers will be directed to this website. If you have questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and the other information posted here. You may also contact the Claims Administrator by calling 844-888-5605, or by writing to:

Honda Canada Inc.
180 Honda Blvd.
Markham, ON L6C 0H9
E-mail: CivicHybrid@ch.honda.com
Fax: (905)888-4454
Attn: Customer Relations, Honda Civic Hybrid Class Action Settlement