CRV Vibration Settlement > Notice

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
IN RE: AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC., CR-V VIBRATION MARKETING & SALES PRACTICES LITIGATION, CASE NO. 2:15-MD-02661


If you own or lease a 2015 Honda CR-V, a proposed class action settlement may affect your rights.

A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from counsel.

The parties are seeking court approval of a proposed class action settlement involving unpleasant vibrations in model-year 2015 Honda CR-V vehicles. Under the settlement, Honda is engaging in a Customer Outreach Campaign to provide information to drivers about unpleasant vibrations, including items such as the available product enhancements, the warranty coverage for those repairs, and reminding 2015 Honda CR-V owners of their right to engage in a dispute resolution process with Honda if they remain dissatisfied.

Your legal rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in this notice.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS
RECEIVE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS No action on your part is required to benefit from the settlement.
OBJECT Write to the Court about why you don’t like the settlement.
GO TO A HEARING Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the settlement.
  • These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in this notice.
  • The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the settlement.

WHAT THIS NOTICE CONTAINS

Basic Information

  1. Why is this notice being posted?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. Why is this a class action?
  4. Why is there a settlement?

Who Is Part Of The Settlement?

  1. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?
  2. If my 2015 Honda CR-V is not vibrating, am I included?
  3. I’m still not sure if I am included.

Settlement Benefits—What You Get

  1. What does the settlement provide?
  2. Is my 2015 Honda CR-V affected?
  3. What repairs are available?
  4. Will I have to pay for the repairs?
  5. Are the repairs effective?
  6. What if I remain dissatisfied?

The Lawyers Representing You

  1. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  2. How will the lawyers be paid?

Objecting To The Settlement

  1. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the settlement?

The Court’s Fairness Hearing

  1. When and where will the Court decide to approve the settlement?
  2. Do I have to come to the hearing?
  3. May I speak at the hearing?

Getting More Information

  1. Are there more details about the settlement?
  2. How do I get more information?

BASIC INFORMATION

1. Why is this Notice being posted?

This notice was posted to provide information for anyone who may own or lease a “Settlement Class Vehicle,” which is any 2015 Honda CR-V distributed by American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in the United States, including its territories and Puerto Rico.

This notice was posted to alert you to a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement.

This notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and the case is known as In re: American Honda Motor Co., Inc., CR-V Vibration Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation,, Case No. 2:15-md-02661. The people who sued are called Plaintiffs, and the company they sued, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is called the Defendant.

2. What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit claims (among other things) that Honda sold the 2015 Honda CR-V vehicle without disclosing that it is prone to unpleasant vibrations during certain driving modes (described more fully below), and that although Honda provided product enhancements designed to address the vibrations, it did not provide sufficient information to customers of the existence of the enhancements. Honda denies that it did anything wrong.

3. Why is this a class action?

In a class action lawsuit, one or more persons, called Class Representatives, sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All of these people are members of the proposed Class or proposed Class Members. One court decides whether any proposed class can be certified and if so, then resolves the issues for all Class Members. U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson is in charge of this proposed class action.

4. Why is there a settlement?

The Court did not certify a litigation class or decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Honda. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get the benefit of the settlement without further delay. The Class Representatives and the attorneys think the settlement is best for the proposed classes.


WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT

To see if you will benefit from this settlement, you must first decide if you are a Settlement Class Member.

5. How do I know if I am part of the settlement class?

If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can get more information at by looking at the other information on this website. If you need help understanding your rights, you can call Class Counsel listed in Section 17 in this notice.

Judge Watson decided that everyone who fits this description is a Settlement Class Member:

All persons or entities who own or lease any Settlement Class Vehicle in the United States, including its territories and Puerto Rico.

Excluded from the Settlement Class are: Honda, any entity that is a subsidiary of or is controlled by Honda, or anyone employed by Class Counsel; any judge to whom this case is assigned, his or her spouse, and members of the judge’s staff; and anyone who purchased a Settlement Class Vehicle for the purpose of resale.

6. If my 2015 Honda CR-V is not vibrating, am I included?

Yes. All persons or entities who own or lease any 2015 Honda CR-V vehicle in the United States (including its territories and Puerto Rico, and who are not listed as excluded above) are members of the Settlement Class. The information provided below, including the applicable warranty coverage and dispute resolution process, will apply should you feel unpleasant vibrations in the future.

7. I’m still not sure if I am included.

If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can ask for free help. You can call 1-888-888-3082. You can also visit the website of the lawyers who were appointed by Judge Watson to represent the 2015 Honda CR-V owners by clicking here.

THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS—WHAT YOU GET

8. What does the settlement provide?

In this lawsuit, Plaintiffs argued that although Honda had approved vehicle modifications, called Product Enhancements, to address unpleasant vibrations, the existence and availability of those Product Enhancements was not being adequately communicated to drivers who were experiencing (or who may in the future experience) vibration-related concerns and who have not yet obtained the Product Enhancements for their 2015 Honda CR-Vs. Plaintiffs also argued that drivers who were previously turned down by Honda dealerships for warranty coverage were not being told, once the Product Enhancements became available, to return for them.

The primary focus of the relief provided to the Settlement Class is to ensure that adequate information regarding the availability of the Product Enhancements is communicated to the Settlement Class through a Customer Outreach Program implemented by Honda. The Customer Outreach Program is designed to reach 2015 Honda CR-V owners and lessees in a variety of ways, including through mail and email to those who previously contacted Honda (e.g., before the Product Enhancements became available) or Class Counsel who never had any of the Product Enhancements installed; through optimized web searches designed to drive traffic to a dedicated webpage (CRVVibrationSettlement.com) on Honda’s CR-V Owner Link website (owners.honda.com/vehicles/information/2015/CR-V); and through four quarterly messages to Honda dealers encouraging them to identify Settlement Class Members who visit their dealerships for any reason and to alert them to the availability of the Product Enhancements.

The settlement also provides reminders (including in the notices described above and later in this notice below) about warranty coverage for the Product Enhancements and about Settlement Class Members’ right to participate in a dispute resolution process with Honda if they remain dissatisfied, provided they satisfy certain eligibility requirements. (This settlement does not release any Settlement Class Members’ legal claims for monetary relief against Honda or any other entity relating to the vibration, except for the Class Representatives do release all of their claims).

9. Is My 2015 Honda CR-V Affected?

Some 2015 Honda CR-V drivers have reported feeling an unpleasant vibration when driving and when stopped in gear.

Not every driver of a 2015 Honda CR-V experiences unpleasant vibration. If unpleasant vibrations do occur, such vibrations will be during one or more of the three driving modes listed below.

  • Driving Mode 1: Vibrations may be present when stopped with vehicle in gear, for example at a stop light.
  • Driving Mode 2: Vibrations may be present during low-speed driving—between 1,000–1,200 rpm.
  • Driving Mode 3: Vibrations may also be present when driving around 40-50 mph—between 1,800–2,200 rpm.
10. What repairs are available?

Honda has issued Product Enhancements to its authorized dealerships via a Service Bulletin numbered 15-046. Your dealership will be able to access the bulletin directly, but you can also download a copy at here.

What product enhancement applies depends on when you feel unpleasant vibration. The product enhancements are specific to Driving Mode 1, Driving Mode 2, and Driving Mode 3. For example, if you feel vibration only when stopped and with the vehicle in gear, the Driving Mode 1 product enhancement will likely be appropriate for your vehicle. Your dealership will be able to talk with you about appropriate repairs for your vehicle.

11. Will I have to pay for the repairs?

Not if your vehicle remains under warranty. The length of warranty coverage depends on the Driving Mode.

For Mode 1 repairs, Honda’s Powertrain Limited Warranty applies. This warranty lasts through the earlier of 5 years or 60,000 miles.

For both Mode 2 and Mode 3 repairs, Honda’s Emissions Control Systems Defects Warranty applies. This warranty lasts through the earlier of 8 years or 80,000 miles.

If your vehicle remains under the applicable warranty, the dealer will diagnose your vehicle and provide parts and labor for the Product Enhancements at no charge. Based on Honda’s research, if you have not experienced any vibrations within the first few months of driving your 2015 Honda CR-V, you are unlikely to start feeling vibrations later on.

12. Are the repairs effective?

Yes. The vast majority of 2015 Honda CR-V drivers who have obtained the applicable Product Enhancements have not reported further vibration complaints or needed additional repairs. This is consistent with Honda’s research and the information Class Counsel has viewed.

In the rare event that you continue to feel unpleasant vibrations even after receiving the product enhancements, you should contact your dealer to inquire whether your vehicle requires additional service.

13. What if I remain dissatisfied?

If you remain dissatisfied even after discussing your concerns with your dealership (and its management) and with Honda’s Customer Service (at the number listed on the inside front cover of your Warranty Booklet), please remember you have the right to mediate or arbitrate under the procedure set forth in your Warranty Booklet provided you satisfy certain eligibility requirements. This process provides an independent forum run by the National Center for Dispute Settlement (NCDS) and is available to you free-of-charge.

Although this class action settlement releases Settlement Class Members’ rights to file certain legal claims for injunctive relief in the future, it does not bar Settlement Class Members from seeking to recover monetary damages.

You may file a claim pertaining to your 2015 Honda CR-V at any time by calling NCDS toll-free at 877-545-0055. You may also write to NCDS at:

National Center for Dispute Settlement
P.O. Box 1108
Mt. Clemens, MI 48046

The purpose of the NCDS process is to help informally and efficiently resolve any dispute between you and Honda. NCDS decision makers are impartial third parties who will listen to both you and Honda and decide what can be done to resolve the disagreement. NCDS’s decision is not binding on you unless you agree to accept it. If you accept the decision, Honda will abide by it.

For more details about the process, please consult your Warranty Booklet (and the Customer Satisfaction section in particular) or call Honda’s Customer Service at the number listed on the inside front cover of your Warranty Booklet.

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court has decided that lawyers from the law firms of Gibbs Law Group LLP and Isaac Wiles Burkholder Teetor, LLC are qualified to represent you and all Settlement Class Members. The law firms are called “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. You may contact the lawyers who were appointed to represent the 2015 Honda CR-V owners by clicking here.

15. How will the lawyers be paid?

Plaintiffs’ counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses. The parties have not negotiated amounts to be paid. Once a motion has been filed for fees and litigation expenses, it will be posted on the Settlement Website. The Court may award less than the amounts requested.

Class Counsel will also ask the Court to award payments from Honda to be made to the Class Representatives to compensate them for their efforts in bringing this lawsuit and as consideration for their release of their individual claims in the following amounts: (1) $4,000 to each plaintiff who submitted his or her vehicle for inspection and testing; and (2) $2,500 to each plaintiff who did not submit their vehicle for inspection and testing. Honda has agreed to make these payments. The Court may award less than these amounts.

Honda will also separately pay the costs to administer this Settlement.

OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT

16. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the settlement?

If you are a Class Member, you can tell the Court that you object to the settlement and think the Court should not approve it. To object to the settlement, you must send a letter to the following address saying that you object to the settlement on or before August 24, 2018.

In re: American Honda Motor Co., Inc., CR-V
Vibration Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation Objections
P.O. Box 2718
Torrance, CA 90509

Your objection must include (i) your full name, current address, and current telephone; (ii) the model year of your Class Vehicle(s), as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your Class Vehicle(s); (iii) a statement of the position(s) you wish to assert, including the factual and legal grounds for the position; (iv) copies of any other documents you wish to submit in support of your position; and (v) your signature and the date. In addition, you must provide a detailed list of any other objections submitted by you or your counsel to any class action settlements submitted in any court, whether state, federal, or otherwise, in the United States in the previous five (5) years. If you or your counsel have not objected to any other class action settlements in any court in the United States in the previous five (5) years, you must affirmatively so state in the written materials provided in connection with your objection.

The filing of an objection allows Class Counsel or counsel for Honda to take your deposition consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure at an agreed-upon location and to seek any documentary evidence or other tangible things that are relevant to the objection. Failure to make yourself available for a deposition or to comply with discovery requests may result in the Court striking your objection and otherwise denying you the opportunity to be heard. The Court may tax the costs of any such discovery to the objector or the objector’s counsel should the Court determine that the objection is frivolous or made for improper purpose.

THE COURT’S FAIRNESS HEARING

17. When and where will the Court decide to approve the settlement?

The Court will hold a fairness hearing at 10:00 a.m. on November 6, 2018, in the Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse, Room 109, 85 Marconi Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43215. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Watson may listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel and whether to approve Class Representative payments. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long it will take for the Court to make its decision.

18. Do I have to come to the hearing?

No. Class Counsel will answer questions Judge Watson may have. But you are welcome to come at your own expense.

19. May I speak at the hearing?

If you would like to speak at the hearing about your objections to the settlement, you must add to your letter objecting to the settlement a statement that you intend to appear at the fairness hearing. If you intend to appear at the fairness hearing through counsel, your objection must also state the identity of all attorneys representing you who will appear at the fairness hearing.

GETTING MORE INFORMATION

20. Are there more details about the settlement?

This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can download a paper copy of the Settlement Agreement at CRVVibrationSettlement.com.

21. How do I get more information?

You can call 1-888-888-3082 or you can view the other pages of this Settlement Website at CRVVibrationSettlement.com. You may also contact the lawyers who were appointed to represent the 2015 Honda CR-V owners by clicking here or by calling 1-866-981-4800.