Honda Odyssey 9-speed transmissions allegedly have defects that cause multiple safety problems.

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Honda Odyssey Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed
Honda Odyssey 9-speed transmissions allegedly have defects that cause multiple safety problems.

— A Honda Odyssey class action lawsuit has been dismissed after minivan owners "failed to adequately allege a defect in the Transmission."

The Honda class action alleges there are defects in 2018-2019 Honda Odysseys equipped with 9-speed ZF automatic transmissions that allegedly suffer from the following:

“[R]ough, delayed, or sudden shifting or failure to shift; grinding or other loud noises during shifting; harsh engagement of gears; sudden or harsh accelerations/decelerations; and sudden loss of power.”

According to the plaintiffs, the Odyssey minivans operate erratically and cause safety problems for drivers and occupants.

The class action lawsuit says Honda equipped the minivans with the 9-speed transmissions to allegedly improve the fuel economy. But the plaintiffs claim that came at a high cost of transmission troubles that Honda couldn't fix.

The Honda class action lawsuit alleges Odyssey drivers have problems when making turns, changing lanes, merging into traffic and accelerating from stops.

The plaintiffs allege a driver can do everything they can to correctly operate the minivans, but the Odyssey transmissions allegedly prevent the safe operation of the vehicles.

Honda Odyssey Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed

Judge Beth Labson Freeman dismissed the class action but said the plaintiffs may amend and refile some of their claims.

Honda argued all plaintiff claims should be dismissed because the claims rely on the existence of a transmission defect, but the plaintiffs allegedly don't adequately plead a defect.

In its motion to dismiss, Honda said the symptoms described by the plaintiffs are not symptoms of a defect but "are expected side effects of the Transmission’s fuel-efficient design."

Honda also told the judge the plaintiffs must plead what the defect is, but instead the plaintiffs allegedly only plead a "conclusory allegation" there is a defect and its alleged symptoms.

According to the judge, she agrees with Honda the plaintiffs plead only symptoms of a defect and have not given Honda "proper notice of what, exactly, it must defend."

Judge Freeman said the Honda Odyssey class action lawsuit does reference technical service bulletins (TSBs) regarding software repairs to other vehicles equipped with the same transmissions.

However, the lawsuit doesn't allege a "malfunction in the operation of any software or electronic control unit" in a 2018-2019 Odyssey.

Judge Freeman said some of the bulletins referenced in the lawsuit directed dealerships to update the transmission software in the past.

"However, Plaintiffs do not plead that these are the same parts in the Class Vehicles afflicted by the “design defects that cause the transmission to exhibit” the alleged symptoms." — Judge Freeman

This was enough to cause the Honda class action lawsuit to be dismissed, but the judge said the plaintiffs may amend their complaint.

However, certain claims were dismissed with prejudice, including claims alleging breach of implied warranty under Florida law, a violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act and a violation of the South Carolina Manufacturers, Distributors, and Dealers Act

The Honda Odyssey class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: Browning, et al., v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Capstone Law APC, and Berger Montague PC.


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