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Honda CR-V EX, EX-L, and Touring Defective Screen Class Action

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Honda Display Screen

How important is the proper operation of a display screen in a vehicle? Very, says the complaint for this class action. It alleges that the screens in American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s CR-V EX, EX-L, and Touring models malfunctions in ways that cause driver distraction, particularly at night, and prevent operation of certain features, like navigation. 

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons or entities in the US who bought or leased a 2017-2019 Honda CR-V EX, EX-L, or Touring. If the court does not certify this class, the complaint alternatively proposes state classes for California, Colorado, and Tennessee.

The screens are standard equipment in these models of vehicles.

The plaintiffs in this case report the screen “repeatedly and unexpectedly switch[ing] to an elevated brightness setting and then [going] dark,” or suddenly freezing, until they stopped the car and restarted it. While this is happening, features that make use of the screen—such as navigation systems, hands-free calling, and the rear-view camera—are “inoperable and uncontrollable.”

Particularly distracting and dangerous is the screen switching to full brightness at night, blinding the driver. The complaint blames the problem on “a capacitive touch panel sensor that is defective in material and/or workmanship…”

The complaint says, “On January 23, 2019, Honda issued a Tech Line Summary Article (TLSA), acknowledging the Display Defect which, Honda admitted, it did not know how to fix.” The TLSA was intended for service departments, the complaint says; it was not for sales departments. Thus, while Honda has known about the defect for a while, the complaint claims, it has failed to warn potential customers that the vehicles have this defect.

The complaint quotes postings on this problem at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other online sites: 

  • “The display in my 2017 Honda CR V EX will start beeping at random and the brightness will start going up and down by itself. It is very distracting…”
  • “The display in the middle goes blank while I am driving a lot. Last time I was backing out when it did…”
  • “…It was turning itself on and off, and beeping. There was no way to turn the screen off and no way to silence the beeping. … This caused an extreme state of distracted-driver while on the freeway with many other automobiles around.”
  • “…This has caused several safety issues including high level of distraction and failure of the navigation system at all the wrong times…”

The complaint therefore alleges that Honda has actively concealed or suppressed the information that the system has this defect.

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