Acura HandsFreeLink Defect

DEFENDANT NAME: American Honda Motor Company Inc.
STOCK SYMBOL:
CASE NUMBER: 16-cv-04507
CASE NAME:
COURT: U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
PRACTICE AREA:
STATUS:
CLASS PERIOD:
LEAD PLAINTIFF DEADLINE:
DATE FILED: 06/22/16
COURT LOCATION:
KEY ATTORNEYS:

CASE UPDATE

We are pleased to share that on March 26, 2018, Judge Jon S. Tigar denied the majority of arguments made by American Honda Motor Inc. in their Motion to Dismiss. Judge Tigar’s order represents a victory for consumers. Judge Tigar explains in his order that Plaintiffs sufficiently allege a defect within Honda’s exclusive knowledge, and that Honda withheld information from Plaintiffs, so a large number of Plaintiffs’ consumer protection and warranty claims can now move forward.

A status conference is scheduled for the end of the month. Plaintiffs are excited to move past the motion to dismiss stage and begin exchanging discovery in earnest. We look forward to building on the momentum of this recent win by undertaking robust discovery in the next few months and moving for class certification later this year.

Own an Acura with HandsFreeLink?

Lawsuit filed for battery-draining defect.

Owners of Acura vehicles featuring the HandsFreeLink Bluetooth phone-pairing system are suing the automaker for a battery-draining defect that has plagued owners since at least 2005 despite Honda knowing about the issue, according to Hagens Berman.

The lawsuit cites complaints to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration detailing the defect’s safety hazard to drivers, including accounts of vehicles unexpectedly stalling during high speeds, and sudden, complete electrical failure.

ABOUT THE DEFECT

The class-action lawsuit states that Honda’s HandsFreeLink feature will get stuck on even if not in use and even after the car is turned off. Once stuck, the unit creates a constant “parasitic” drain on the electric system, leading to drained and dead batteries, recurring battery replacement and premature failure of other essential electric components such as alternators.

“Acura owners are faced with the choice of expensive replacement of the HandsFreeLink™ unit (in excess of $1000.00), with no promise that the replacement also will not get stuck ‘on,’ or disabling the HandsFreeLink™ system by disconnecting the HandsFreeLink™ unit from the car,” the complaint states. “Despite knowing about the issue with its HandsFreeLink™ since at least 2005, Honda has merely issued internal Service Bulletins to its dealers over the years, notifying only the dealers about the problem, but offering no meaningful solution, warranty coverage or recall.”

The complaint states that in its rush to become the first automaker to offer hands-free calling with its HandsFreeLink system starting with 2004 model year Acura vehicles, Honda failed to ensure the unit would reliably switch off, and also failed to adequately notify owners of the issue or remedy the problem. 

your consumer rights

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for vehicle owners related to the defect and an injunctive order to end Honda’s concealment of the defect and denial of warranty coverage for repairs related to the HandsFreeLink defect. 

Acura owners are not only out the cost of potential replacement, the suit states. According to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, owners find themselves with cars that are less valuable than comparable cars with properly functioning hands-free phone-pairing systems.

TOP AUTO LITIGATION FIRM

Hagens Berman is one of the most successful auto litigation law firms in the U.S. and is presently leading nationwide cases against Volkswagen, GM, Mercedes and Fiat Chrysler for use of diesel emissions-cheating software. Our firm’s independent research outpaces even government agencies, and we are the only firm dedicating its own resources to uncovering new instances of fraud. Hagens Berman has also taken on other automakers on behalf of consumers throughout the United States for safety defects and negligence, and your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in automotive consumer law.

NO COST TO YOU

There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this lawsuit. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the class' legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.


Hagens Berman purchases advertisements on search engines, social media sites and other websites. Transmission of the information contained or available through this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you seek legal advice or representation by Hagens Berman, you must first enter a formal agreement. All information contained in any transmission is confidential and Hagens Berman agrees to protect information against unauthorized use, publication or disclosure. This site is regulated by the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct.

Back to all cases

Case videos

Case Gallery

Case Timeline

03/26/18: CASE UPDATE

We are pleased to share that on March 26, 2018, Judge Jon S. Tigar denied the majority of arguments made by American Honda Motor Inc. in their Motion to Dismiss. Judge Tigar’s order represents a victory for consumers. Judge Tigar explains in his order that Plaintiffs sufficiently allege a defect within Honda’s exclusive knowledge, and that Honda withheld information from Plaintiffs, so a large number of Plaintiffs’ consumer protection and warranty claims can now move forward.

A status conference is scheduled for the end of the month. Plaintiffs are excited to move past the motion to dismiss stage and begin exchanging discovery in earnest. We look forward to building on the momentum of this recent win by undertaking robust discovery in the next few months and moving for class certification later this year.

11/01/17: Case Update

Plaintiffs filed the second amended complaint in July of  2017. Honda moved to dismiss certain counts in plaintiffs' second amended complaint in August 2017, and plaintiffs opposed this motion in October. We are hopeful that Judge Tigar will rule on this motion in the near future. In the interim, the parties continue to discuss the status of discovery and resolve certain discovery disputes. 

05/17/17: Case Update

Judge Jon S. Tigar, of the Northern District of California, recently denied (download Judge Tigar's Order) in large part Honda’s requests to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims—representing a big win for consumers. In doing so, Judge Tigar found it was plausible that the HandsFree Link defect posed a safety risk because drained batteries could cause the car to stop unexpectedly on the road. He also found that plaintiffs have adequately plead that Acura/Honda knew about the relationship between the HandsFree Link and drained batteries as early as 2005, but withheld this information from consumers. With this decision, a large number of Plaintiffs’ claims are allowed to continue.

Plaintiffs anticipate filing an amended complaint by July 2017, which will update some of the allegations at issue, and are  eager to move forward with the discovery process in order to build on the momentum of this recent win.

Related News