Judge Approves Preliminary Settlement of Honda Brake Suit

A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement of a class-action suit that says the rear brakes on 750,000 Accords and Acura TSXs are wearing out much faster than they should.

The suit was filed in September and covers 2008–9 Accords, 2009 Acura TSXs and a few 2010s. The suit claims the rear brakes wear out in 15,000 to 20,000 miles because a new brake design causes “excessive force to be applied to the vehicles rear wheels.”

Honda agreed to a settlement earlier this year, although the company denied having done anything wrong with the brake design.

On April 15, Judge Margaret M. Morrow of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted preliminary approval to the deal. She ruled that the terms of the settlement “appear sufficiently fair, reasonable and adequate.”  Now the court will accept comments on the proposed settlement before ruling later this year.

Within 60 days of that approval, Honda is supposed to notify eligible owners of the proposed settlement.

Here’s what is proposed:

• Owners who had the pads replaced and rotors resurfaced before approval of the settlement would be reimbursed for one half of the cost, or a maximum of $125, “whichever is less.” That would be for repairs in which the original worn pads were replaced with pads of the same type. Owners can file claims for multiple repairs, and the work does not need to have been done at a Honda dealership.

• Owners will also be given a one-time payment of up to $150 to have new, redesigned brake pads installed.

The lawyers for the plaintiffs, Eric Gibbs of San Francisco and Berk Law of Washington will get up to $2 million for fees and expenses.

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