Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses Honda of Selling Acura RDX with Infotainment Defect
LOS ANGELES – Owners of 2019 and 2020 Acura RDX vehicles today filed a class-action lawsuit against Honda alleging the automaker knowingly sold vehicles equipped with defective infotainment systems which it refuses to fix, according to Hagens Berman.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California states the defect renders many of the infotainment system features – including safety-related systems such as the backup camera – inoperable and frequently freezes or crashes entirely. Owners also report regular failure of the car’s Bluetooth connection to Android and Apple phones. The defect has manifested in the vehicles almost immediately after consumers leave the dealership in their new RDX, and owners have vocally taken to online forums and reported the defect to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
“This poses a safety risk because when the system malfunctions, unexpected audio or video errors can cause the driver to become distracted,” the suit states.
“Honda and its dealers fail to take responsibility for a clearly broken technology component in the affected Acura RDX vehicles,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing Acura owners in the class action. “We intend to hold Honda fully accountable for ignoring this serious defect and for failing to deliver on its promises to consumers.”
Attorneys say that Honda knew about the defect through various sources including pre-release design, manufacturing and testing data; warranty claims data; consumer complaints made directly to Honda and those collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and/or posted on public online forums; testing done in response to those complaints and aggregate data; and complaints from authorized dealers.
Acura RDX owners have voiced frustration concerning the defective infotainment system:
- “Enjoyed it while I had it, but after driving less than 25 miles and owning for under 3 hours, the Infotainment center flashed between the home screen and ‘touchpad is not available.’"
- "I regard this as a safety and driver distraction issue that can lead to collisions."
- “Almost EVERY single day I have an issue with this infotainment system. Radio unavailable. Tuner not found, Messages shriek. Yesterday it was ‘Device not connected’ which I have had before."
- "The whole screen freezes on a regular basis... It’s very distracting as its totally unexpected. I usually try to play with it trying to get it to work again...NOT SAFE."
The lawsuit against Honda seeks both monetary reimbursement for those who purchased or leased an affected Acura RDX, and seeks action from the court barring Honda from continuing to sell vehicles with the defective infotainment system.
The affected Acura models were also slated to include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity as standard features. Honda released promotional materials to dealers touting the features, yet when sales began in 2018 only Apple CarPlay was available. After a year of empty promises from the automaker, owners and lessees are still waiting to receive the feature Honda promised, according to the lawsuit.
The suit’s named plaintiffs from 12 states report the infotainment system sporadically freezing, shutting off and becoming inoperative while driving. Plaintiffs with Android phones are left with glitch-riddled workarounds just to listen to music in their vehicles: “…Defendant’s promise to release Android Auto ‘soon’ was an important consideration for him in choosing to purchase the Vehicle. It has been 10 months since Plaintiff Banh purchased the Vehicle and still no software update has been released containing Android Auto. Plaintiff Banh has been forced to use an adaptor, USB stick, and MP3 player to listen to music. But the Vehicle’s infotainment system often has trouble identifying these sources during start up, which causes the screen to display ‘initializing … not found.’ The problem can sometimes be resolved by unplugging and then re-plugging the source. But even then, the system’s Bluetooth connection frequently drops during telephone calls.”
The plaintiffs in the case state that had they been aware of the faulty infotainment system and lack of Android Auto software in the affected Acura models they purchased, they either would not have paid as much for them, or would not have bought them at all.
Find out more about the class-action lawsuit against Honda on behalf of Acura RDX owners.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with nine offices across the country. The firm’s tenacious drive for plaintiffs’ rights has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” and MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.