One day in November 2017, plaintiff Sheryl Tenzyk started her 2016 Honda Civic, then went back into her house to get something. When she came out, she found that her car had rolled down her driveway, across the street, and into a neighbor’s yard. On the way, it hit a cable pole and damaged its bumper. The complaint for this class action claims that Honda knew about the defect in the car that made it prone to roll away but did nothing to correct it.
The class for this action is all persons who bought or leased a model year 2016 to 2018 Honda Civic with a CVT transmission in the US. A New York State subclass has also been proposed.
Honda in this case refers to American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda North America, which the complaint says is responsible for selling the car with the defect.
That rollaway incident, the complaint says, cost plaintiff Tenzyk $700 in bumper repairs. But that was not the end of it. The complaint says the car had another rollaway incident some months later, in May 2018, when it rolled into a different space in a parking lot.
This time, Tenzyk called Honda to ask why her car was rolling away when it she’d put it in park. While the company assigned a representative to her case, the complaint says, the person never got in touch with her and simply sent her a letter closing the case.
In July, Tenzyk called her Honda dealer and told a service technician about the rollaways. According to the complaint, he told her that nothing was wrong with the vehicle and that the incidents had been caused by “user error.” The service technician did not suggest she bring the car in to be inspected or repaired.
The other plaintiff in this case, Larry Allen had a similar rollaway incident with his 2017 Honda Civic in December 2017.
According to the complaint, when drivers put the vehicle in park, it may in fact be in another gear, with the drivers unable to know this before they get out of the car. The complaint says that the vehicles do not give the drivers notice and do not activate the automatic electric parking brake.
In both cases, the complaint said, Honda knew about the defect at the time the cars were sold but did not fix it or warn customers. The complaint quotes reports of similar incidents from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) website.
Honda did recall 350,000 vehicles in 2016, but the complaint claims that the company’s fix did not adequately address the problem and that the defect still exists in 2017 and even 2018 models. It claims that Honda has breached warranties and violated New York State laws as well.