Acura HandsFreeLink Defect
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.
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