The Honda CR-V is advertised as having seating capacity for five people. A new class action lawsuit against Honda alleges that this claim is false. Rather, the rear seat configuration allows only two passengers to be safely secured in seatbelts at the same time. This leaves the car’s fifth passenger without a seatbelt and exposes him to the risks associated with not wearing a seatbelt in a moving vehicle.
The lawsuit maintains that the carmaker made deceptive claims since the vehicle can only seat four passengers safely. Indeed, the manual for the 2017-2018 Honda CR-V claims that all five seats are equipped with lap/shoulder belts. Instead, the plaintiff, who purchased the CR-V to accommodate himself, his wife and his three grandchildren, found that all three passengers could not be buckled without overlapping the middle passenger’s buckle. The Honda dealer who examined the plaintiff’s car agreed that the seatbelts overlap and cannot be used simultaneously. Other Honda CR-V owners have also complained that the seatbelts intersect and that three passengers cannot safely ride in the rear.
The problem lies in the design of the rear seatbelts. The seat belt for the middle seat has a detachable anchor which is secured to the ceiling of the car. An anchor buckle is situated to the middle passenger’s left side. Due to the design of the seatbelts, the anchor buckle and driver’s side passenger buckle in the rear cannot be used at the same time without twisting. The plaintiff asserts that he would not have bought this model vehicle if he had been aware that he cannot buckle three passengers in the rear.
The plaintiff alleges violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, and the False Advertising Act. In addition, the claimant sets forth similar violations of Illinois consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices law. The plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of lessees or owners of 2017-2018 Honda CR-V in the United States. Alternatively, he seeks to represent a class of Illinois residents who are either owners and lessees of the vehicle.
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