— Honda CR-V infotainment problems are being debated in court, but a recent ruling erased many claims made by CR-V owners who allege the display screens are defective.
CR-V owners from two states had their claims against Honda dismissed, but the lawsuit survives based on a few claims made by California owners. And the judge ruled a nationwide class action cannot proceed based on the current allegations.
The allegedly defective display screens are in the following vehicles:
- 2017-2019 Honda CR-V
- 2017-2019 Honda CR-V EX
- 2017-2019 Honda CR-V EX-L
- 2017-2019 Honda CR-V Touring
The lawsuit alleges Honda advertises the infotainment systems as technology that makes driving safer, but the plaintiffs allege the systems are nothing but a distraction when they malfunction.
The infotainment screens are allegedly defective because they "dim and go dark, freeze, or shine at full brightness, causing driver distraction and rendering the information center inoperable."
The infotainment problems also allegedly occur repeatedly and unexpectedly and make occupants "less safe by detracting their attention and poses enough of a safety risk that [the] [v]ehicles cannot be said to provide safe and reliable transportation."
According to the plaintiffs, Honda conceals the defects from consumers even though hundreds or possibly thousands of complaints have been filed about the display screens. Taking the vehicles to dealerships allegedly is useless because the infotainment screens aren't properly repaired.
Honda filed a motion to dismiss by arguing the plaintiffs allege California law should apply to all claims of all CR-V owners, but Honda says the nationwide claims should be dismissed because "no single state's law (whether California or any other) could properly be applied" nationwide.
According to the lawsuit, Honda has known about the alleged display screen problems based on complaints made to dealerships and to Honda's customer service hotline. But the judge ruled as those complaints are undated, they do not prove Honda knew about any alleged defects.
The plaintiffs also rely on pre-release testing data and testing conducted in response to early consumer complaints, but the judge ruled the plaintiffs allege no facts as to what information Honda obtained as a result of the "testing."
According to the judge, "such conclusory allegations likewise do not give rise to an inference that Honda knew of the defect at the relevant times."
Honda also points out the plaintiffs allege the claimed defect is one "in material and/or workmanship" but include no facts to support such conclusory assertions. The judge agreed and ruled courts are "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation."
The plaintiffs argue Honda breached the implied warranty of merchantability because the alleged display screen defects render their CR-Vs "unfit for the ordinary purposes for which such vehicles are used." On the other side, Honda argues the alleged defects do not render the vehicles unfit for transportation.
However, the judge ruled the allegations are enough to support a finding the alleged defects compromise the ability to operate the SUVs, so the claim for breach of implied warranty will continue.
The Honda CR-V infotainment lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California - Woo, et al., v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
The plaintiffs are represented by Lemberg Law, LLC.
CarComplaints.com has owner-reported complaints about Honda CR-Vs.